I knew Ray looked washed out in this photo. Just a fading ghost of his old self, until you hear him talk. Now I have so much to tease him about. Ray is the baby brother on the right, with the white hair and white beard, and pale yellow shirt fading into the background. My Mom is seated in the chair, I’m behind her, and big brother Tony is on my right, your left in the photo. He’s turned out to be a nice guy with old age creeping up on him. Mom and I still have our dark hair, but the poor guys in the family aren’t so lucky. I’ve always called it the perk for being the oldest daughter, Mom in her family, me in mine.
So, Tony picked me up this morning and took me over to Mom’s house (BTW, does this lady look like she’s 94 to you?). She was a bit surprised to see me actually walking in the door, because I had sworn the boys to secrecy about my ability to walk again. Still not really steady, but I’m getting there.
She’s a beautiful lady, and I do mean a LADY. Her knees are shot, but other than that she is as healthy as someone half her age. Actually healthier than all of her kids put together. We all pitched in with food offerings for lunch, so, Ray’s contribution was this: rib eye steaks he grilled after his last Mass of the morning. Since Ray is a priest, he has several Masses every Sunday, but I love to tease him by telling him it’s the only day of the week he actually works. I know this isn’t true, because he is also a full Professor at Brescia University in Owensboro, our home town.
I didn’t ask if Tony brought the flowers or if one of the other sibs sent them, but Tony did bring 4 humongous potatoes to bake, and some baked beans for the lunch, plus some Hawaiian rolls to heat up before serving. We ended up baking 2 of the potatoes, because they were so large that Mom and I each ate one forth of one, Tony and Ray each ate one half of one, and there was a half left over for Mom to have with her leftover steak tomorrow.
Ray also brought me some burgoo, because I really do hate steak. I know, a lot of people will think I’m touched in the head for that remark, but if any of you had ever had to herd those beasts up and down a country road as many times as I did, when they broke out of the pasture looking for some kind of bovine pleasure, you would hate it too. I’ll eat ground beef, because that’s all the animals are good for, but I won’t eat beef in any other form. Plus, I’ve eaten the stuff all my life, so it really has no great significance for me like it would for city people who think they are getting a treat, when most of my life all I had to do was open the freezer and pull them out. So, I guess one man’s treasure is this woman’s junk.
Okay, back to the subject, I baked a Strawberry, Greek yogurt, Banana bread for Mom to enjoy the rest of the week. I didn’t take a photo of that, because Ray also brought a cake a friend made for him. A beautiful chocolate cake. with white marshmallow frosting. We were too full after eating lunch to try another bite of anything, so while we sat and talked and worked up an appetite for dessert, a huge surprise for me walked in the front door. My daughter, Gina, and her youngest son, Andrew. This is the first time I have seen her on Mother’s Day since she left for college in 1978. Suddenly I couldn’t even stand up to hug her, I was so surprised. Soon after she came in there was another visitor, older son, Don. Another first since 1979. I must be doing something right, or they must have some kind of bad news no one has shared with me, but there they were. Andrew decided to be shy until Tony mentioned chocolate cake. He was suddenly very much alive and ready, so we had our cake, and oh, was it good!!!
We had intermittent thunderstorms all afternoon, but at about 4:00 p.m. the rain let up enough that we could all stampede to the cars with relative safety from drowning or being struck by lightening, so Don brought me home after we said our goodbyes, and I came up to my apartment, after spending some time with Annie, down in the lobby. Her spirits are still down, so I just couldn’t stay very long or I would have been down with her. I started to rest for a few minutes, but then there was a knock on my door.
My third surprise of the day, Mike. This photo wasn’t taken today because I didn’t have the camera with me when he came in, with Janette and Noah, . So, for the first time since 1978, all three of my children visited me on Mother’s Day. Not all at the same time, but at least all of them came. My heart is so full tonight I can’t express how much this day has meant to me. I didn’t think I would ever get to see my Mom again, but today I did. And for the first time 36 years I saw all of my kids on Mother’s Day. This is one to remember. One I hope to never forget. They all remembered, they all came. I’m happy.