My mom would be 90 today if she were still alive, and yes, if you're doing the math, that means she had me late in life. Those seven kids she had before producing me? Clearly, just warm-ups for the main attraction.
Anyway, where was I? Mom. Right. And her birthday. And what, if anything, I do to commemorate it.
Over the last three years, I've done a variety of things on Mom's birthday. As best I can remember, they include the following:
1. Talk to her. Yeah, I talk to my dead mom. On her birthday, it's usually along the lines of "Thanks for having one last kid, and thanks for all the hard work you put in." Other days, I might be hollering at her for some leftover childhood piece of unfinished business. But I talk to her.
2. Write to her. Same as #1, only in letter form.
3. Email my siblings, who were the backbone of my childhood and are still part of the rock I stand on. Okay, that's an awkward mental image, given that backbones don't usually turn into rocks, but you get the idea.
4. Visit the cemetery and pour a little Starbucks on her grave. Really. She and Dad loved the luxury of going to Starbucks and getting a mocha.
5. Bring flowers from my yard and leave them on the grave.
6. Call her best friend.
7. Light a candle, either in real life or at Gratefulness.org, a terrific online community based on the teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast and his colleagues. It's a network for grateful living (ANGeL, get it?). Check out this link of Br. David reading a short Billy Collins poem. Which has nothing to do with my mother's birthday, except she LOVED Br. David and loved poetry.
8. Sing "Happy Birthday" to her.
How about you? Any dead parents out there? What, if anything, do you do to remember them on their birthdays?
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And as always, thanks for reading.