Today would have been my mom’s 88th birthday. And boy did she know how to celebrate her birthday. Whenever her birthday came around, she liked to say she celebrated it all week. There would be multiple meals out that week, each being described as a birthday celebration. And even for several weeks or months leading up to the actual day, she would make purchases that would be described as “for her birthday.” As our daughter was born one day before my mother’s birthday, she would also like to celebrate a joint birthday with her granddaughter.
Often times it is difficult for adults to think of a birthday present to give to their mother or father. But for Mom, it was easy as two of the things she loved most—food and books—provided for an almost unlimited selection of choices. The one gift I remember the most is a book I would buy for her each year. Right about the time of her birthday each year, Patricia Cornwell would release one of her Kay Scarpetta murder mystery novels.
This was an author and a character that my mother introduced me to—ones that we both loved. So each year, I would buy two copies of the book, one for my mom and one for me. This must have been my gift to my mom for at least seven years as I have seven different Scarpetta novels sitting on my bookshelf.
But my mom was not just into celebrating her own birthday; she was very involved with making sure to celebrate other people’s birthdays as well. If it wasn’t making a birthday cake, it was making sure that a birthday meal was the center of any birthday celebration.
So it was my mom that really taught me that your birthday was a great cause for celebration. No doubt my mother has continued her celebrations into the afterlife. So, thanks Mom, and Happy Birthday!