Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

My Mom turned 77 over the weekend. I took she and Dad out for dinner Sat evening. Her favorite, shrimp. She looks great although both of them now have hearing aids and poor Dad's back is bothering him again. Looking at Dad now is not the same as even a decade ago. He made his living through physical labor and that that strength is obviously not what it used to be. So he hesitates now in conversations, especially around people who are not his family. (C & son went with me to meet them) He is polite, as always but not wanting to offend, he withdraws. Also even with the hearing aid the backround noise in the restaurant bothered him some. He later found a phone book and looked up a guy he used to work in the garage with 30+ years ago before we moved. The guy is dieing of cancer. Everyone Dad knows seems to be dead or dieing. His silence grew.
Mom has always enjoyed learning, reading, solving puzzles, playing Scrabble, engaging others in conversation. Ironically Dad was always the more outgoing but then again I always remember him either with family, at church, or at his work, all of which defined him. Mom does not speak as much as Dad in church, or even with his family, but she lights up when it is the immediate family or even with friends. I know they love each other, have been devoted to each other for most of their lives now. They have always been affectionate around us, never heard them argue once until I was an adult and that was just about Dad following (or not) too closely. They seemed ideal for each other. Still, as I gave Mom her flowers, card, balloon, and gifts I tried to think of any flowers or gifts Dad had brought her. There had been dinners, but I don't know if he had ever picked out a gift on his own for her. He would usually have one of my sisters pick out something. The one time I went with him to get Mom's gift was when he bought her a sewing machine. (Which in his defense we needed at the time and she did want one. But even at that young age I knew that was not what anyone wanted for their brithday)

12 comments:

Mr. Althouse said...

Your mother and father sound like nice, down-to-earth people. My mother just turned 70 and my father is just a little older, but they are still quite spry... and they are still married to each other.

It is sadly unusual in this day and age. Nice post,

Michele sent me.

Used*to*be*me said...

Lovely story. Very nice to meet you. Michele sent me.

kenju said...

My parents were married almost 50 years (she was buried on that anniversary) and they sound much like yours. My dad was the quiet one, though and mom was very outgoing.After she died, he got very talkative. I decided that he had not been able to get a word in edge-wise while she was alive, and now he was making up for it!

Michele sent me; congratulations on being the site of the day!

gautami tripathy said...

Belated Birthday to your mom. My mom is 71 years old and I live with her. My dad passed away almost 6 years back at the age of 72. They were married for more than 45 years.

Thanks for this very beautiful post.

Glad I got here from Michele's!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Michele sent me today. Nice to meet you!

My parents are coming up on 49 years married this year. It IS hard to watch them age, you're right.

MissMeliss said...

Belated birthday greetings to your mother - you've given us a charming look into your parents' lives.

Michele sent me.

-- MissMeliss

michelle said...

Belated happy birthday to your mom. michele sent me.

Becky68 said...

What a lovely sketch of your parents, isn't it interesting as adults to look at other peoples long term relationships & consider what keeps them together?
Michele sent me tonight.

Warwick Circle said...

Thanks to all of you, and of course to Michele for selecting my site. I am currently out of town on business but upon my return will be sure to visit each of your blogs as well. Have a wonderful week.

Keith

colleen said...

Did someone say SCraBbLE? I love to play. I also think life is bittersweet, more so as we get older. Michele sent me too.

Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me over to visit your site of the day...how nice she picked you...

Loved reading about your parents - my mom will be 92 in May. They sound like really normal nice folks. Enjoy them while you can.

flleenie said...

You know what? Your Mom & Dad have been together for years... there's a reason for that.

Growing up I remember one Christmas when my Mom found, her present, a gift certificate for a dishwasher on the tree. Needless to say, my Dad was out the next day buying jewelry!!

Michele sent me to say hello!