I write the on February 8th, the day of Mom’s 90th birthday party. Her birthday is actually February 9th, which is when I scheduled this post to go live.
Mom planned on having a her party more than 6 months ago. She called me at that time to ask if I would be coming. I said that I wouldn’t miss it. She said, “Good, I’ll hang on until then.” And she did.
“When you get old, every 15 minutes, it’s breakfast.” This saying sums up the subjectivity of time. I haven’t been to see Mom in a long time. I talk to her on the phone as much as I can, but it is difficult since she doesn’t hear well. That is very frustrating. FaceTime is also a problem since her hand shakes and it is hard for her to hold the phone or operate the touch screen. It was really great seeing her in person, but in the time that lapsed between visits, she changed profoundly in some ways and, in others she was the same way as I remember her from many years ago. It was a disconcerting mix of familiarity and strangeness. I also felt that the unfamiliar quality of the situation was unstable and would most likely increase with time.
A lot of people admire Mom. In addition to family who traveled from near and far to attend the party, her neighbors also stopped by. “Your mother is a great lady,” said Mimi from down the hall. “We enjoy playing bridge with her. She is a very good player,” said Ed and Fran, who are very good friends. She appreciated all the attention. It was like old times. The family doesn’t get together much any more.
Here is a selfie of Mom and me:
I don’t know if she likes this photo. “I look like an old lady,” she told me. I like it.
Mom did pretty well with the cake. She blew out half the candles in one breath.