Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Well, I've been silent for a few days. We were on the road (see photo!), and I thought I could keep up with my regular blogging and FB posts. Turns out I couldn't. Too much else to do. Too tired. And (one day) too sick. So ... the lights went out for a few days while I dealt with the corrosive guilt that's been my principal inheritance from my Puritan forebearers. (Why aren't you getting your work done? What possible excuse could you have? Your grandfather would not have missed a day of his blog--not that he ever had one. But ... if he had had one, well, he would not have used wimpy excuses like "I'm too busy" or "I don't feel well."
And on and on. My maternal grandmother would actually write this in her letters: "If you're too busy to write [letters to me], then you're too busy."
Anyway, Joyce and I had driven to Lenox, Mass., to celebrate my mom's 95th birthday ... and, not feeling well, I'd actually hacked out most of what you'll read below--but did not finish it till we got home yesterday (Tuesday) evening after a long drive home from Boston (more of that in subsequent posts).
September 6, 2014
We just got back from a remarkable lunch to celebrate my mother's ninety-fifth birthday. We went to a little tavern that's part of Cranwell (a resort/golf complex) in Lenox, Mass., only minutes away from the assisted living place where Mom now resides. Present were all three sons (Dick, Dan, Dave), all three grandchildren (Steve, Rick, Bella), Joyce, and Phil, my older brother's partner.
There were a few simple gifts, some expressions of gratitude, lots of raucous laughter, and some pretty good food. (I had a turkey burger!). Mom ate salmon--her favorite (not counting chocolate)--resting on a pile of Japanese noodles that gave her a bit of trouble, slipping off her fork. She found it all very amusing but was not managing to eat very much. Since I was beside her, I returned a favor she'd granted me, a favor that began with my birth in November 1944 and did not end until that day when I no longer needed it: I fed her. I was nervous about doing so (she has always been a very proud woman), but she seemed to enjoy it very much--and ate quite a bit of salmon and noodles that I slowly forked for her.
Then it was time for an amazing double-chocolate cake older brother Richard had picked up near his home in Dorchester--so Mom got her two favorite treats in one sitting. Let me say that she managed the chocolate with no help from me--or from anyone else. (It's dangerous to go near her when she's consuming chocolate!)
Afterwards, brother Dave and son Steve rode with her on the little bus back to her facility. Joyce and I headed for a coffee shop (Haven) in Lenox, where we did a bit of work we'd brought with us. Afterwards, we drove back over to see Mom for a half-hour or so (she was veering near a nap when we arrived). I first rose to leave about 3:25, then heard this from Mom: Don't go.
And so we didn't.
|Mom and oldest son, Richard|
|Mom and her three sons: Dick, Dan, Dave|
|Mom and the Whole Crew: Joyce, Bella, Dan (front);|
Dick, Phil, Ricky, Steve, Dave (back)