I never thought I would quote Robert Frost and Paris Hilton in the same post, but their combined words aptly summarize my mother’s 98th birthday this past week.
Robert Frost: “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” Paris Hilton: “The way I see it, you should live every day like it’s your birthday.”
My mother does not remember her age, or for the most part where she is, how old she is, or what is happening. Every day could be her birthday, and even with cake, candles, balloons and cards, she still would not realize what day it is.
But we still celebrate her birthday. She has had a remarkable life, and we are here because of her. We–her daughter, granddaughter and great-grandchildren–drove to Ft. Scott last weekend so we could sit together with her at night, reading aloud her favorite children’s poems and prayers, and also sing to her. We took turns telling her short, happy stories we remember about our lives with her, and with her eyes still closed, she amazed us by smiling and nodding in agreement! We were thrilled to have her respond.
The pictures on this week’s post are of the double chocolate cake we brought, the balloons and the yellow poster board with handwritten messages and cards from our family. I’m not posting any of the pictures of Mom on this birthday; she is on oxygen and sleeping most of the time. So I’ll share three pictures from the past that show how swiftly the years of her beautiful life have flown.
“Sunrise, Sunset” is one of my favorite songs from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and it summarizes how quickly the years pass for all of us. They’re to be cherished every day, but especially on a 98th birthday, even when the birthday girl doesn’t realize what day it is.