Two weeks ago we celebrated my mother's 88 birthday. My sisters came from LA as they have done for several years now, and we took my mother to the Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon as we have done for, again, several years. We "girls" all stay with Mom and Dad, in the house that they have lived in since 1960. Does anyone do that anymore? Every year my mother says that she doesn't want us to buy her anything, that she doesn't need anything, that we spend too much money to get to Portland as it is, etc., etc.,etc... We ignore her, weasel out of her what she wants, get it for her, and buy a bunch of stuff for ourselves that we "catch and release." (For those of you who don't practice this, it means buy tons of stuff, suffer quilt for spending too much money and take it back. You have to shop in stores that will let you do this.) During this wonderful sister/mother time, there is catching up, laughter, upsets, old jealousies, making up, great meals, and that's just the morning.
As I get older, I so value the relationships that I have with my sisters and mother. They have riches that I can never begin to thank them for. My mother's birthday was a fun time, but as she gets older it is also a reminder that she is becoming more forgetful, and little more frail. And as my mother gets older, saddly I have to prepare myself for her eventual death. It will be very hard, but my sisters will be there to remember and to cry with me.