Flashback September 28, 2015: Some days contain bits and pieces of quirky joy. Mom’s 87th birthday, which was yesterday, was one of them. She was sleeping lightly when I arrived.
“Hello,” I said as she opened her eyes. “Guess what? Today is your birthday.”
“It’s my bird day bird day bird day,” she was immediately playful.
“Yes! Shall I sing happy birthday to you?” I said, and then began: “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you–”
“Happy birthday dear Mummy!” she completed before I could; I laughed.
“You’re 87 today Mom. What do you think about that?”
“I think I’m coming along,” she replied. I laughed again. She smiled. Her smiles have become occasional. Putting her shoes on and getting her up from the recliner and into her wheelchair took about ten minutes.
“We’re going to have tea Mom,” I said once she was resettled. She began clapping. She claps a lot these days. It’s how she expresses a whole range of emotions from excitement and pleasure to anger and frustration. The set of her jaw hints as to what she might be feeling at any given time.
“Yay!” I verbalized her enthusiasm.
“Yay for the tea party!” She echoed, expanded and clapped a little harder. As we backed into the elevator, I asked her to watch out for her elbows so she didn’t bump them on the sides of the door. She understood and pulled her arms a little closer to her body.
“That’s good, that’s good Mom. You knew exactly what to do when I said that,” I encouraged while we reversed. “You’re getting smart in your old age.”
“I’m getting very smart in my old age!” She said, impish, and tapped vigorously on my arm when I squatted down beside the chair so she could see me.
“Smarter and smarter all the time,” I teased.
“It just gets better and better!” she fired back at me. I laughed even harder.
“Oh oh oh oh, I’m getting sort of queer. Queer on your deer,” she joked and rhymed.
“That’s okay Mom. It’s better to be queer on your deer than, than – “
“Funny on your bunny!” She filled in quick as a wink.
“Yeah. Better to be queer on your deer than funny on your bunny.”
Especially on your birthday.
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