Happy birthday, Mama…


Today would have been our mother’s 88th birthday, if she were still living. She isn’t, but she was certainly with my sister and me today. It was amazing.

Since our mother’s death three years ago, we have spent either her death day or her birthday together. We haven’t done anything particularly related to Mom, like sing her favorite songs, watch her favorite movies, or drink her favorite drinks. We have just spent time with each other. Frankly, we do this every couple of weeks, anyway.

My baby sister and I have things we like to do together…go junking, check out thrift shops, eat hot dogs, play with the kitties, look at pictures of weird looking ancestors (my opinion), and shop for socks. Sometimes we just sit at her house and drink coffee and talk. Mostly we laugh.

Today, we did my sister’s pet adoption volunteer gig. We do this frequently, too. From the time she pulled her car into the space next to mine, we began to laugh. We didn’t even make a reference to our mom’s birthday until 15 minutes into the set up of the adoption. It was at a pet store near her house, and we have done this before. So, while we were waiting for the dogs and kitties to arrive, we perused the store, and found the chicken feet.

Our mom’s nickname was Rooster, and we used to give her roosters in all shapes, sizes, and materials for every gifting event. One of my favorite memories is of my sister and me dividing Mom’s rooster collection under a street light amid snow flurries. We laughed, bartered, and did our “sisterly loan” on that night. The creepy chicken-feet-dog-treats were our first “sign” of the day from mom.

Later, we cruised the aisles of Home Goods, and saw a wall hanging which read, “I love you to the moon and back,” which was Mom’s sign-off when she talked to my sister. There were roosters popping out unexpectedly all over that store, and the next one as additional “signs.”

The final “message” from Mom came as we were pulling out of the parking lot. I was already in stitches over a faux pas I made in the store, and telling my Sis of a YouTube video I had watched, when right before my eyes was a car with the vanity-plate reading “Ruthie 1,” our mom’s name. Well, not the 1, but Ruthie.

We both got the silly giggles all over again, and we knew our mom was with us. One of the last things Mom told me was that she was so happy that my sister and I developed an adult friendship. Frankly, my sister is the very best gift I ever received from our mom right after I turned 18. Living near her and being able to be friends with her is the best, ever. Thanks, Mom. Happy Birthday, Mama. Keep talkin’ to us. We miss you, but we have each other.


About Horton Hears Herself

Here I am, listening to myself for the first time in my life! I like what I am hearing, most of the time. This time of listening to myself, discovering myself, and learning how to have my dream life is a rocky path with surprises, good and bad.

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