Today is my mom’s 88th birthday! She shares her special day with Veterans celebrating around our United States of America.
It would be lovely to spend the day with her, perhaps munching on a cupcake at her assisted living, maybe driving back to her house (my childhood home), maybe going out to a restaurant.
Not this year, alas, thanks to covid. No one can visit her assisted living home, and she doesn’t want me coming until we can hang out inside and enjoy ourselves.
Some of you may have heard this story before, but heck, you can settle in to hear it again. Last fall Barry and I bought a new wood stove. Attempted to buy a new wood stove. All sorts of craziness ensued with the company after we removed our old wood stove and waited for delivery. The backup propane furnace kept us relatively warm until the propane company insisted we buy a larger tank. Barry said no–we didn’t want a larger tank. He set the thermostat in the 50’s and this warmth-lovin’ wife said “Goodbye! Going downstate to visit my mom, thank you very much!”
I left the Upper Peninsula in mid-October. What a blast to hang out with Mom! We relaxed together in assisted living. I learned the residents by name while eating lunch at a round table in the dining room every day. We played “volleyball” with swimming pool noodles, excitedly hitting the ball back and forth over a net. Mom and I napped every afternoon. In the evenings at home I sorted endlessly through old childhood photos, dividing them into boxes for all the siblings.
My daughter flew in from Oregon to visit her grandma and mama. We enjoyed four or five days goofing around together. We drove her back to the Flint airport, and I met a childhood friend for a three hour breakfast. One afternoon motored down to a nearby city and viewed the movie “Harriet”, the story of Harriet Tubman’s life.
In the meantime, back in the woods, husband Barry shivered colder and colder.
“If you want me to come home, I need the thermostat at 68,” bargained warm wife.
“You better stay down there,” countered cold husband.
“Any sign of the wood stove?”
“Not yet,” he grumbled.
Daily calls ensued with the wood stove and propane companies.
Mom’s birthday arrived, as scheduled, on the 11th of November. Unfortunately it snowed in the Thumb of Michigan and the roads appeared slick, icy and snowy.
“Stay at home,” Mom advised. “We can celebrate my birthday tomorrow.”
And celebrate we did! It actually felt like a month-long birthday celebration spending so much time enjoying each other. It was a joy to see Mom enjoying herself in assisted living.
However, I did want to go home. After about three weeks started feeling impatience and prayed: “C’mon, God, isn’t it time to go home now?” Low-grade nervousness settled in.
As I lay in Mom’s bed wrangling with the Holy, an inner voice spoke up. It said something like this, “Kathy, just settle down. Relax. Enjoy yourself here. You have no idea what is going to happen–this visit is a gift for both of you. Don’t try to go home too soon. THIS is where you’re supposed to be.”
I listened skeptically, but paid attention to the intuition.
After about four week’s time, we received notice the wood stove was ready to be delivered. (It turned out not to be exactly true, but that’s another story.) Mom and I hugged and kissed goodbye. What an amazing month!
Four months later covid struck. Her assisted living closed to the public…and the rest is history.
I look back at that month with awe and amazement. That month together shines precious beyond precious.
Mom and I talk every afternoon sometime between 3:00 and 5:00. It actually feels like we’re together every day, although we both would love to actually be together in person. Looking forward to a long hug and more fun times–hopefully next spring?!!
In the meantime–Mom, if you’re reading this–Happy Birthday! Love you so very very much. ❤
Day 25 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.