Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bitter Sweets

Today is St. Valentine's Day.  And it is my forty-seventh birthday.  And, I'm sick as a dog.  I have the wicked sinus infection that seems to have weaved its way throughout the family.  I fear I'm next at Urgent Care for antibiotics.

I will have to do a birthday/SVD "redux" as our credit card was hacked and had to be cancelled.   It  sucks.  I mean, I need groceries.  Okay I don't need groceries, but it'd be nice to be able to go out and buy some flour and food coloring.  So much for making my SVD cookies.  Ah, well.  I sure as shit don't need to eat cookies.  Still, I do take this day off, diet-wise.  We'll see what I can come up with.

I wish I could smell.  I woke up to a gorgeous bouquet of magenta tulips and my favorites: Carnations!  If I could only smell one thing in the world, it'd be carnations.  These are dyed to match the tulips.  They are lovely in my father's huge snifter.

I received a box from my cousin in Austin, Tx.  She and her granddaughters sent me a plethora of  goodies.  Most were made by them.  I wept.  God, why do these people have to live so GD far away?  I feel so close to them, though.  As I opened each gift, I felt as though my mother was sitting next to me.


First day home.  I think I'm going to like you!
Since she passed away nearly 22 years ago, I get melancholy on my birthday.  Don't get me wrong; I love "My Day."  My mother and father went through years of roller-coaster emotions trying to conceive a child.  After six years, they gave up trying.  Adoption was an option, but even that failed.  Then one day, I decided to sneak into their lives (stinker, ain't I).  Pregnancy was not kind to my mother.  It nearly killed her.  Still, she battled on.  My birth was no picnic, either.  It took her months to recover from it.  Still, it was a joyful time. 

As a child, both of my parents would tuck me in every night.  Mom and dad took turns each night reading to me.  I never felt safer back then.  My favorite story was told my Ma.  "Tell me the story about me!"  I'd ask.  She would pretend to be annoyed; I always asked to hear it.  As she gathered my favorite stuffed animals (I had many on the bed, but there were two that had to be hugged by me: Gophie and my bee.  I still  have both), then tucked me in, she would begin.

"Well, once upon a time, not too long ago..."  and instantly I relaxed.  I felt that nobody else could tell me this story.  Of course!  Still, she had the perfect story-telling voice.  If there is anything that I think my sons have truly missed out on, it is hearing stories in the voice of their grandmother.  I can tell that sometimes, she wept as she spoke.  It made me love her all the more.  What I would give...

I started giving my Ma flowers on my birthday when I was around seventeen.  The first time I did it, she simply thought it was a Valentine's Day gesture.  Not so.  I did give candies and cards with hearts on them to her, but the flowers were my way of thanking her.  Thanking her for all that she went through to have me.  For all of the hard days afterward.  And for simply being my Ma.  When I could, I gave her roses.  One for each year of my life.  Years later, it became yellow roses plus one red or pink one... for her Valentine baby.

I miss doing that.  I suppose I still could.  It's hard for me, though. I still get so emotional.  I am so her daughter.  She knows I still celebrate her every time my birthday rolls around.  I am today, as well.  Still, my mind trails back to the days of heart-shaped cake with the pink icing she'd make.  I have tried for years to replicate it, only to fail.  In a way, I am okay with that.  Still, if I could - just once - nail that frosting...

Well, my eldest son is up.  Think maybe I'll tell him a story.

Happy St. Valentine's Day!


  1. Dawww. I think I need to call my mother.

  2. I was "supposed" to be a Valentine's Day baby but I got sneaky too and appeared on January 26th. I can imagine the epic joy and fear your parents had, Mary, knowing wait--WHAT???---there's a real baby on the way?????!!! How they must have reveled in caring for you and loving you. What a great gift both ways. My mom always tucked me in and both my parents told me stories (my mom read them, my dad made them up). Get well soon. My mom is 87 and my dad is 90. They never had grandkids by me, but not for lack of trying. They do have a couple of boys my brother and his wife were nice enough to have for us all. Love...<3


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