Happy birthday, Mom!

2 Apr

If we hadn’t lost her in June, today we’d be celebrating my mother’s 88th birthday.

We are a family of storytellers and the ones I like to tell tend to be funny and not very flattering. There are a lot of stories I “remember”, but really, I was too young to remember. I have just heard them repeated so often they have become part of my memory. My favorite story I tell people stems back to high school. I was working at the local swimming pool after school and on weekends.

“What time is your dinner break?” Mom asked me before I left for school that day. Dad was either off or working a night shift because she continued. “Dad and I will drive dinner up to you.” Mom didn’t drive.

I must have told her. I forgot about the conversation during the school day and only remembered as I got off the school bus and walked to the pool. It was winter, and cold, and the warm scent of chlorine hit me as I opened the door to our small local pool and then entered the office.

I taught my before dinner classes and showered off before heading into the office for dinner. The design was poor. The front door of the office faced the front door of the pool. It was a half-door and also served as the front counter, so, every time the front door opened, pool staff got a blast of cold air. We generally huddled in towels.

I had just taken a seat in the office, wrapped in two towels, when the headlights of car flashed through the glass and I knew dinner had arrived. Another swim instructor sat nearby, huddled over the sandwich she had pulled from a paper bag as my mother entered, bearing a plate covered in plastic wrap. I said my thanks and Mom left, knowing I only had a short dinner break.

“Wow!” said my colleague as she looked over, her eyes almost popping out of her head. I had a plate with roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes with a pat of butter (Mom knew I hated gravy on my potatoes), and a green vegetable.

Even though the cold air kept blowing in, I was warming up from the inside, with food and with love, as I ate the dinner Mom had prepared for me.



7 Responses to “Happy birthday, Mom!”

  1. arjeha April 2, 2019 at 7:07 am #

    What a lovely story and memory. It is amazing what our parents did for us when we look back and remember.

  2. anita ferreri April 2, 2019 at 7:12 am #

    What a lovely memory! Moms sometimes know how to make a day!

  3. Diane Anderson (newtreemom) April 2, 2019 at 8:00 am #

    What a wonderful mom!

  4. Lisa Corbett April 2, 2019 at 4:36 pm #

    Nice! Much better than an hours-old cold sandwich. It’s a nice way to remember your mom on her birthday.

  5. Anna Maria April 2, 2019 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh this memory warmed my heart. Homecooked meals made with love are the best. This was such a sweet way to remember your mother on her birthday.

  6. ebgriffin April 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

    Thinking of you on this day. What a nice story.

  7. Brian Rozinsky April 2, 2019 at 7:19 pm #

    Special delivery, in all senses, encompassing the memory and this slice. Thanks for sharing.

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