Tuesday Thoughts: My Mom is 90

Sorry about the lack of Monday posting. A weekend away will do that to you. Well, maybe not you, you insufferably energetic bunny, but is sure does it to me.

So, where was I? I was in Pennsylvania, the land of my birth. I was there for my mother’s 90th birthday. (Her actual birthday was Sunday, but the party was Saturday.) We drove down on Friday, settled in to our hotel, and went to my next-oldest sister’s, where we dined on pizza and iced tea, and then rolled plastic knives, forks, and spoons in fancy paper napkins to be tied with blue ribbons. The party theme was winter and the main colors were blue and white. And then we put mini Reeses cups and Hershey kisses in little bags and tied those with ribbons as part of the favors. We also did the usual: laughed and picked on each other, talked about those who weren’t there helping, and about some who were there. That’s my family. We’re loud, and sarcastic, and louder still, but we have fun. It was a good night.

On Saturday, we picked up some blue Gatorade so my sister could make punch for the kids, and drove up to the fire hall in Clarks Summit, PA to help set up the party. Tables, chairs, tablecloths, set out favors and centerpieces, get the coffee brewing, set up the other drinks and the buffet table- the usual for that sort of thing. The guests started arriving: family, friends, about a dozen folk from the senior apartment complex where Mom lives. Maybe 60-65 people in all. It was fun. One sister made cupcakes and another made blue and white spritz cookies (which I was reminded while there we as kids used to call “colored cookies”.) The second oldest of us (I am the oldest) put together a little skit spanning the decades of Mom’s life. We had a flapper, a gangster, a WWII pilot, a 50’s couple, Sonny and Cher, Jackie Kennedy, Magnum PI (one of her favorite TV shows), the Queen Mum (a running joke family joke), and these new-fangled texting emojis. We sang Happy Birthday. There was way too much food. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

In lieu of gifts, Mom asked that people bring either donations to the food pantry or winter hats, gloves, etc. for the local family shelter. And people responded. There was quite a pile of donations at the end of the day. It was nice to see.

The weird thing to me at these things is that I am, as we jokingly call me, the Phantom Sister. People either don’t remember there is another sister, or don’t recognize me. I mean, yeah, I don’t live in close area like most of the others. Susan is in Philadelphia, and is the next furthest away. She does come home to visit more often. Still, I lived with my parents for 23 years before I got married and moved out of state. It’s sort of like 23 years of my life don’t exist. I can’t say I obsess over it, but it does feel a little weird when I do think about it.

We went to see Mom’s apartment. It’s small, really small, but she really doesn’t need more. It’s a bit crowded with her furniture, but she’s alone, and it works for her. Her kitchen is big enough for her to work in, but not so big she can’t reach everything easily. And since she has some trouble getting around sometimes, that’s good. And she’s made a lot of friends and is active and goes to bingo and other activities which is really good for her in a lot of ways. It’s nice to see her in a better place than the old apartment, and keeping active and busy.

So, here are a couple pictures from the day:

These are the characters from the skit
Mom and the seven of us (not in age order)
Nana and all of her children, spouses, and most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren