Surprise gathering for Mother

Before I launch, I wanted to thank those of you in the reading area who sent my wonderful elderly mother a birthday card or wish. I also want to state that this began as a super lengthy piece but I've decided to break it up into two week's worth of content.

This week I will attempt “happy-go-lucky” and will save the serious jazz for another time. Your massive exhales have once again moved Todd the Cat from his position atop Perpetual's (partner) head to the front door region. Thank you. (Note: the definition of Perpetual has changed to simply, “partner” rather than life partner and/or perpetual fiance. Hmm, what is going on here? I just noticed that but I promise there is no real meaning. I'm just trying to fill space.)

On with the topic at hand—wait, was it Mother? Yes, indeed it was and I thank you for bringing me back on course.

Several months ago the sibs (brother and sister) decided to surprise Mother by arriving in town without her knowledge. The original idea was that we would make reservations at her favorite restaurant, more on that later, and then they would just be there. That kind of fell through when she was in bed for over a week due to back problems. Plan two came into play which was for them to simply show up and play it by ear. This is never good for a person like Mother due to the fact that everything must be planned years in advance. This includes, but is not limited to, setting the Christmas table by no later than July 4.

She “knew” that Pumpkin (Sister Jill) and “Brimstone” (brother-in-law and don't ask) were coming in for Thanksgiving. She did not “know” that Brother Blaine was involved at all, which made keeping up the charade all the more exciting.

Brother Blaine arrived the day before the others and sought refuge in what was once The Child's (my kid's) room. Pumpkin and Brimstone landed the next day, I think. Heck, I cannot recall what happened last week but can impart the details of a homework assignment from 1979. I believe I digressed but avoided doing so in parenthesis just for a change of pace.

Brother Blaine was his usual whirling dervish self and did not stay planted in one place for any length of time. His attention span remains on level with that of a housefly. Believe it or not, he makes me look stable and attentive. The point of this description is that he flitted in and out of this house wildly. I live next door to Mother so I was amazed that she never spotted him. Then again, it's difficult to see a hat moving at the speed of light but, I digress yet again.

Jumping ahead: We all gathered in the dining room and sent The Child to carry out his part of the ploy or plot or whatever. He was to greet her at the door as she entered from WORK, at age 90, and tell her of a tragic event which would lead her to the room of dining.

He maneuvered toward the door and explained that he had spilled something on the plush, pristine beige carpeting in the elegant room in question. Since she did not keel over from a heart attack on the spot, he ascertained that it would be OK to creep forward with our sick plans.

I could hear Mother saying: “For crying out loud, what did you spill?” to which he replied in a nonchalant manner, “just some cranberry juice.” “What the *&%$# were you doing drinking cranberry juice in there?” she asked in dismay. “I was just having some before work,” said he with no sense of urgency.

After a sigh so powerful that displayed birthday cards were sent, tornado style, toward my home next door, she gimped along to the room in which we were all poised and ready for action.

Upon taking in the sight of those assembled, she did not flee the region and we knew we were in good shape. After realizing what was unfolding she reacted as one might expect by lecturing The Child about lying to her concerning the spilled juice. KIDDING! In reality, the waterworks sprung to life as she buried her head in her arthritic hands. This is all on film, of course, since nothing is sacred in this day and age.

Her actual comment was, “I couldn't have asked for anything better. This is what I really wanted.” That statement confirmed our worries that she might need an appointment with a licensed therapist and pronto. (For those who/whom know this crazed crew, that statement will come as no surprise.)

Seriously speaking for just a moment, it really did make her day, month, year and we are so honored to have that gal with us at the ripe age of 90.

There you have it. Mother was over-the-moon, we all sang that ridiculous birthday song and moved on with the visit. For those of you who are wondering what we did for her birthday dinner, do I even need to impart this information? GREENVILLE or bust of course. (For those who are not clear, Mother lives for what was once the Greenville Country Club and is now something I cannot recall. She insists on whisking all in her path to this destination as oft' as possible and for “celebratory” reasons ranging from a good trip to the dentist to having her tires rotated. In other words, she takes advantage of any excuse, large or small, to hit the road to Greenville.)

In closing I have to say that it was rather exciting to surprise that woman—in a good manner, for once. There isn't any cute exit strategy or precious way to end this bloviating session so I will simply stop typing.

WAIT!! I forgot to say that I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with those you love or tolerate. Love, peace and hippie jazz floating your way—we certainly need it.