Yesterday, on my 50th birthday, I woke up crying. I was having a pity party for myself because I expected so much more, after all I made it to 50, where was the band playing and ticker tape parade down my street?!
I was disappointed. I cried. I felt sorry for myself."It's too late." I said to her. I needed to put you on the schedule yesterday; yesterday you refused to go and I didn't want to force you. I cried.
My husband took the day off. Ideally, I would have liked to spend the day with just my husband and time off from Care Giving. Time off from cooking and serving every one... it didn't happen. I cried.
I cried a lot. My eyes hurt and itched all day from just 2 hours of crying.
Knowing that I had to make the best of my day, that I am the only one who can make myself happy, I lowered my expectations. I expected nothing so whatever came during the day would be awesome. I also knew that I needed to cheer up or my mom would be a handful, she reacts to my emotions and I was tetering on the verge of sabotaging my own birthday happiness.
I began to think, "who better to spend my 50th birthday with but my mother, she was there when I took my first breath." I changed my focus from myself to my mother.
Changing my focus, shifted the energy around me. It changed from sadness to gratitude. I am grateful for my mother, I'm grateful that she's alive. I said to her, "Ma, you gave me life, who better to spend my day with?" My mom said, "Well, you saved my life too, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you." We hugged and shed a happy tear.
"Ma, let's go to the fish market, I want to get myself lobster." I said to my mom. "Maybe we can stop at TJ Maxx so that you can get me a little memento gift, a gift that I'll remember you long after you are dead so that I always feel you with me."
My mom scurried off to get ready for our little shopping adventure. I checked email one last time before heading out and I got an email note from my Sister-in-law. My brother and her bought me a weekend away at a fine resort in Vermont. They will take Ma for the weekend so that Brian and I can have a little time away, something that rarely happens these days. I sobbed.
My mom seemed a little happier, but still she had a big sad frown on her face. She felt bad that she was causing me to have a bad birthday and it was going to take a lot of effort on my part to turn her frown upside down.
We headed toward the fish market in Revere and stopped at TJ Maxx. We looked at bathing suits. I got one. I got a new summer dress too. We checked out the jewelry counter and my mom spotted a necklace that she wanted me to have, a tourquise necklace with big rocks, 3 strands of tourquise... blue... my mom's favorite color.
I tried on the necklace, it felt like a noose.
My mom, she loved how it looked and wanted me to have it. I felt a noose was appropriate as a gift. The necklace will remind me how oppressive Care Giving for a parent can be, but it will also be a reminder that love, no matter how heavy a burden, the power of love gets us through the tough parts of life. I love my tourquoise noose.
I found the peridot ring that I've been visualizing. It was in the clearance case, the ring that I had been seeing in my dreams. It's a little too small, I'll have it sized... but it's perfect. Exactly what I had wanted for my birthday so I bought it using my husband's credit card. Happy Birthday to me!!!
Summer is lobster eating season in New England.
I'm the only one who likes lobster so I bought Brian king crab legs and a cooked chicken for the mom's. I got home and served our mom's their lunch, chicken and left over cacciatore from the night before.