The beautifully written post Missed Memoriesmoves me to write something deep from within my heart.
My mother just turned 88 this past July 4th, and like iscribblings said about her grandmother in the post below, we always celebrate my mother’s birthday like it’s a holiday- because, well it is. But that was not the case this year.
This year tension so sharp and so deep can choke you if you get too close. You see, not all of my mother’s children can stand to be in the same room together.
I am not writing about blame, or about who did what to whom, or who can’t cope, or who can get so pissed off as to decide not to be part of this family anymore. The fact is the family is shattered.
The five children that my parents raised, disciplined, loved and did the best they could with can not do their best to be all together with their mother on her 88th birthday. That my mother could not have this gift and make this memory, one of the last few birthday memories she will have most likely, is an atrocity.
In happier, or even less tense times, we usually have a big backyard cookout- all the family- children, grandchildren, great grandchildren- this year it would have even included great great grandchildren for my parents. All together, eating, my mother’s homemade pizza and eggplant, along with dogs and burgers and a whole lot of strawberry shortcake. And the Sangria that I enjoy making with chunks of oranges, limes and strawberries, Italian orange soda, Triplesec and red wine- it brings me back to the days when all of us kids got to drink a little wine and orange soda, before it became politically incorrect and deadly to give children alcohol.
This year, three daughters, a son-in-law and a granddaughter gathered at my parents house. My sister Donna brought a feast of blueberry crumble, and whipped up grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches for everyone in the kitchen. She also brought a cake that she baked and decorated to look like a giant hamburger. How sad that we had to eat artificial hamburger, delicious as it was. I made some benign punch but I don’t even remember the ingredients now.
The other children came around at other times, some due to schedule and maybe others strategically devised for sibling avoidance. Who knows? I will not judge anyone else’s actions.
Over the past month and a half that this blog has existed, I’ve posted a lot about forgiveness, anger and other wasteful emotions. I consider the elimination of negative energy both a priority and a daily battle. I hold no grudges and I’m not angry, or outraged or shocked anymore. I just want my mother’s 89th birthday to be different, if we are so blessed as for her to have one. I want to make good memories for her so she doesn’t just fade into the background.