Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

I see it is past midnight, which means it is my mother's birthday. She passed away 14 years ago July. If she were alive, she'd be 73. I went full circle over these 14 years -- mourning her, then growing up and breaking away from her. Yes, for a few years after her death I was angry at her, mad at the games she used to play. Now I'm back to the beginning. I miss her, but I don't miss the games. I've done some growing up in those 14 years.

It is sad that Thomas never knew his grandma. She was a hands-on, loving grandma. Maybe she smothered the grandchildren too much -- nah, she just loved them all to pieces. She took my oldest niece to Disneyland -- what a trip. She would watch all the kids for a week at a time, sometimes more. She bought them shoes, clothes, toys, trinkets -- spoiled them rotten. Thomas never got that from her, and for that I'm sorry. It's not the stuff that I'm sorry about, it's the love behind it. She loved her grandchildren.

I think in celebration of mom's birthday, Thomas and I should bake a cake. Then I'll surprise him and take him to Shrek, if I can dig enough quarters out of the bottom of my purse! Mom would have taken him.

Thomas's other grandma loves him, but she's not demonstrative. She forgets to ask about him when she calls Bob. She never asks to speak to him on the phone. She always remembers him at Christmas and his birthday, but usually with a trinket that I wouldn't even give to a friend's child at a birthday party. She's so different. Not very grandmotherly at all. I feel sorry for Thomas in that regard, too, because every kid needs a grandparent that dotes on him.

My dad dotes on Thomas when we're together. He sends special things in the mail, such as old train magazines, photos of the Big Boy engines, etc. Dad always asks how he's doing. He's a good grandpa.

And that is why I got my credit card out. See, we can't afford the trek to Denver, but dad will be 81 this year and as he tells me, he's not going to be around much longer. He's been telling me that for years, but I have a fear that I didn't have before -- I can sense something. So we'll use the darned plastic, drive two days (double-ugh) and I will face driving in Denver traffic just for him.

I hate driving into Denver. It is the most stressful thing I have ever/will ever do. (hopefully) The second to last time I drove in, I was on 6th ave. (a highway -- US 6) and a truck in front of me had a mattress fly out right at me. Yeah, we're going 70 probably. Thankfully I got in the other lane and avoided getting hit by it and hitting anybody. I still have nightmares about that. The last time I drove to Denver, I decided to go early on a Sunday morning so there wouldn't be any traffic (or mattresses flying!) So I'm driving out of Cheyenne at 6 am, and a drunk driver comes up behind me. I slowed down to about 40, got way over, and he passed me. The car in front of me wasn't so lucky. He hit him. I watched that pickup do several 360s and end up in the median. I stopped, got out, helped him, and stayed there with him until the Highway Patrol showed up. He was bruised up but walking. He called me later that night to thank me for staying with him and to let me know he was okay. However, when I took off I was shaking so violently, I could barely drive. I called my husband on my cell phone, something I never do -- cell phone while driving -- and he calmed me enough so that I could hang up and just drive in.

Mom always said things happen in threes. I just hope that nothing happens this time.

I hate driving into Denver. I'm fine in the city, I just hate driving into the city.


I don't have definite plans yet, but we are planning our trip so that we can go see the Titanic exhibit at the Denver Museum of Natural History. (They don't call it that anymore, I forget the new name.) Hopefully we'll be there for dad's birthday and mine. Dad's is the 26th. Mine is the 27th. As a child, dad always teased me that I didn't get a birthday cake, I just got his leftovers. Bless mom's heart, she always made two cakes.

And for my birthday? I want a safe trip. Aside from that, I want to eat at the Olive Garden.

So I'm in stress-out mode facing driving into Denver. I'm a wimp and I admit it.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I do love you. I'm not happy with a lot of the stuff you pulled, but I can forgive you. And I do. You were wonderful in so many ways.


mull-berry said...

Happy Birthday to Frankie's mom. She sounds like my mom ... lovin' on the grandkids. A cake and Shrek would be a great way to celebrate!

Anonymous said...

Well, shoot. I'm sorry we won't be there to meet up with you guys! That's disappointing, but I know you need to go this year.


audrey said...

Go see your dad for sure. My mom died 13 years ago (as of last Jan.) and my dad died a year a half ago. Those last few years, we knew he wasn't doing well and even though we had no money, we drove all the from here to KS to see him for two great Christmases. T got to actually know him, other than talking on the phone. The second Christmas, well... I just knew.

The final trip we made was when dad went critical. T wanted to know why we were going. It wasn't Christmas yet. Dad passed away only an hour after we got there. He saw T, patted his head. I sat with him alone for a while. I sang him his favourite hymn. Then, that was it.

We regret most the things we didn't do. I'm so glad we went.

Kaber said...

Good Luck on the Denver drive.

Angela, MotherCrone said...

What a lovely I can definitely relate to in a personal way. Enjoy that cake, and time with your family.