In Between Moments

There was an in between moment where there was laughter and eating and having a good time, and I am always thank when these moments come in front of me.

There was a birthday party here at my house for one of my grandchildren, Austin. I always remember his birthday, because he was born just a few days after mom died. My mom was so excited to see this new baby, but hopefully, she is looking down at all of my grandchildren even today.

Here are a few of the photos from the happy moment.

                                                     This is the little brother in his clown hat.









This is the birthday boy, looking over his new Lego set.






The birthday cake, made by the mom










Jello ghost and pumpkins.







Al at the party.

I Am Special

As expected, Al’ birthday rolled in with bright sunshine and warm temperatures. He had asked me last night if he could go to breakfast for his birthday, and I agreed. Knowing this, I forced myself to get up much earlier so that I would have that time for me. Drink my coffee, get on the computer for a bit. He got up and came out with no smile, but a small twinkle I could see in his eyes. Yes, he had no dementia this morning, he knew it was his special day. I read him the birthday wishes from so many people. He smiled and smiled. I was amazed at how many had gone to the Facebook page and had wished him wishes. Even people I did not know, had made a visit to the page. He was ready to go. There was no waiting! I was ready also, so off we went. We lowered the windows and opened the sun roof and turned the radio on. As soon as I was about to pull out of the drive way, the radio announcer announced birthdays for today. The first one called was Al’s. He looked at me in a stunned look, and asked how they knew this. I told him I had called and told them. He said to me, you must think I am special. I said, you are! You are my baby brother, I love you very much. You are very special to me! He smiled so big. The pride just pours through my heart and spills over when I see that I helped him to smile. He had his list with him from all the birthday wishes I had printed off. He was guarding it like a dog guards his owner.(Thank you to all of you who helped make his day so grand!) We went to his favorite restaurant, the one that has the pharmacy and soda fountain inside. He walked in so proud. Although his knees were buckling, and his shoulders slumped, I could see the gleam in his eye and the smile was from ear to ear. As we made our way back to the soda fountain, everyone in the pharmacy yelled out happy birthday to him. I don’t think Al could have been any happier than he was today. They had a birthday card waiting for him, and his breakfast was on the house. He was just in awe. He had never felt this way in all the years I have known him. We went home and for lunch I had gotten  him a small birthday cake, so he had a piece of that. He doesn’t know about the big coca cola cake he will see on his party this Saturday. After lunch was over, I went down to get the mail. There was a big box there and a birthday card. I brought it back to him and he could not open the card. I said this is alright, you have me here to help. So I opened it for him and he read it and it was another card from the restaurant, and it had a gift certificate for another meal.  This pleased him. With my help opening the box, he received many nice gifts inside. A shirt, some candies, a cute fuzzy writing pen, a key ring. All he could speak is, I must be special. For a brief moment, I pondered on why he would think he was not special, then I let it go, and enjoyed the moment with him. This day was fantastic for him. It was all about him. No doctor appointments, no phone calls, no having errands to run. Just all about him. I can’t wait until he sees all the people here on Saturday just for him and his coca cola cake!

I Can Still Say Thank You

Staring at this screen, looking at the bright whiteness waiting for black to come over it with my words. Ashamed of myself for feelings that keep popping up in my mind. Memories of my earlier child hood. Taking for granted that these days would go on forever, never-ending. In one moment, thanking God for all that I have in my life, and the next moment, wishing for what I had before. I am just being silly, but not being able to get over myself, I have decided to write this down, maybe being able to lay this to rest, once and for all. We all have memories of our  childhood. Some of us are lucky to have wonderful memories, and others are struggling with thoughts from the past. Our parents, school teachers, leaders among us, all teach us how to become good, respectable adults in society. They mold us and help us form our opinions for when we are grown. Things that were not taught, I have learned on my own, through many trials and errors. Managing a checkbook, following a list of groceries needed, listing and following a budget for our finances. Knowing how to handle disappointments in life, understanding what follows from our first introduction to sex, understanding and dealing with the fact that not everything remains the same. I have had wonderful miracles in my life, including three children. I have had disappointments also, that only I could learn from. What I didn’t learn was to take each moment in life and treasure them enough. I didn’t learn to say thank you enough, or to embrace people who entered my life and then exited, as though, they were there for the moment, to help me learn something new. I took life for granted, thinking it would never change. I took for granted that people, acquaintances, friends, parents, family would always be there. Now it is too late, or is it? Do you believe that your loved ones are near you? Do you believe that they watch over us, even though they are not here with us physically? There are times that I do believe. I believe that my parents are together, with arms wrapped around each other, looking down on me with smiles on their faces, pride in their eyes, and sometimes tears when they see me going through sad or rough times. Their arms reach out and if I sit still long enough, I can almost feel the warmth touching my shoulder, whispering in my ear, that it will all be alright. Pray and give it to the Lord. What I regret, is that I didn’t thank them enough for what they did for me. My new bike, wonderful birthday parties, letting me have friends for sleep overs, putting a bandage on my knee or elbow. Wiping a tear from my eye. Buying me new clothes for school, paying for my education. Being at my silly school programs, knowing they had other important things to do that night.Speaking to their friends about helping me to get a foot in the door with my first job. Helping me buy my first car. I could go on and on with the wonderful ways my parents were a part of my life. I never said enough. So today is my birthday, and I am now older. My parents and family are no longer with me. I have learned that life doesn’t go on the way you remembered when you were young. I wish to go back in time, when mom was standing in the kitchen frosting my birthday cake, and dad was in the garage putting together a surprise birthday gift. Today, I am grown, and have matured through many teachings in my life. Today, I take nothing for granted. I thank God for all of my wonderful blessings I have. Today, I look up towards the sky, and with an open heart, and a tear in my eyes, I am telling my parents thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the sufferings that you went through to make me who I am today. Thank you for all the wonderful memories that you have provided me. I love you mom and dad. You were the best. I miss you both but soon we shall all see each other again.


A Birthday To Remember

Happy Birthday Coca-Cola

Happy Birthday Coca-Cola (Photo credit: The Rocketeer)

Although I never know how each of my days will go nor end up, the excitement is building  up inside of me as the day approaches. My brother’s birthday is coming in the beginning of May. As children we never had elaborate birthdays at a Chuckey Cheese, or the roller skating rink. We never had over night slumber parties. Our birthdays were celebrated with grandparents being invited and maybe a neighbor kid near by. Mom would always bake an angel food cake and decorate it with an icing made out of the clear Karo syrup. She would buy a store-bought kit, with the hard sugared candies. Do you remember them? You soaked them in water, which loosened them from the white paper. They were complete with candy letters spelling out happy birthday, and candy candle holders. Mom would put the appropriate number of candles on the cake. The highlight would be, they would sing a happy birthday to him or me. We would feel embarrassment while they all sang, then we would blow out our candles. They would clap. We would open our gifts we received, and loved what we opened. While mom would cut the cake and get coffee and plates out, we would take off with our new gifts to play, sometime later coming back to eat a piece of our special cake. When I ponder back to those days, each birthday was preprogrammed. Each year was done exactly the same way. I grew to count on those special days. I would give anything to have a preprogrammed birthday today. Most of my family is deceased now, so I am left to my memory files. This is alright though. They bring many smiles and comfort to me when I visit. Now, as I care for my brother, it is painstakingly hard to admit that I don’t know if my brother will be here next year with me or living in a facility with strangers. That thought causes huge goose bumps to pop up all over my arms. I don’t think I am ready to accept, although I have had thoughts of it. I have never told you this, but my brother is very limited in his sights. He sees one path, one road, one item. He has never been able to grasp more than one idea at a time. His love of his life is not of human form. It is red. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Round, tall, short, flat, old, new. It is the coca cola collection. When times are good for him, I can say that word ever so softly, and his eyes light up, his ears perk up and the chatter runs like salmon swimming upstream. Have you ever seen movies or pictures of salmon swimming up-stream? It is an awesome sight. They do not stop, continually moving and jumping. This is my brother, when he is with the love of his life. I have already started the planning process. I have invited guests, friends, his  part-time caregiver, my kids. I want this to be the most special birthday ever for him. I want him to rattle on about it for days on end. I will be guaranteed many smiles, and stars in his eyes. There will be a cook out with many food items brought in. A campfire roaring. Everyone will be at ease and laid back. There will be lots of conversations with laughter.  I have ordered him a special cake. A very special cake. A white cake, with butter cream icing, with lots of bright-colored butter cream flowers. On top of the cake will be his name in writing. There will be no candles on this cake, as I do not want to frustrate him by him not being able to blow out the candles. There will be no singing, as I do not want him to be confused with days gone by and today. There may be clapping or words of praise . On top of the cake will be the most elaborate decorations of all. It will all be done in coca cola.

Adding And Subtracting

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spring. A new beginning. New love. For me, it was a time of busy planning. My birthday is in April. Next came my brother’s. Two weeks later. Ten days after that, my mother’s. Two days later, my daughter’s. 14 days later, my son’s. A week and a half later, my husband’s. Finally, July 4th, my last child. Lots of birthday gifts to buy and cakes to bake. Parties to plan. People to invite. Our lives are sometimes in a whirl wind. Days turn into months, and before we realize it, another birthday has come upon us. Divorce was an unexpected event, which took away one birthday celebration. Kids grow up, marry, have children of their own, adding more birthdays to the calendar. Mom passed away, taking away one birthday, a few years later dad left me also, another birthday gone. So many special days in between these birthdays, made each year fly by so quickly. Now I sit here and I look back at my life, and thank God for all the wonderful memories. Videos run through my mind of my children blowing out their candles, laughing as they tear open their gifts. I switch channels to my parents and grandparents, and can see them in my mind as they carefully unwrap their gifts, trying not to tear the paper or the bow. The smiles on their faces, as they hold each gift up for all to see. I have now built a thick book titled Memories in my mind, and I will treasure it always. Sometimes now, as I sit in my rocker, I rest my head back, close my eyes, and open up memories.