Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

By Maggie
May 10th is my mother's 90th birthday. Ninety years. That's a heckuva long time. Just to live that long is quite an accomplishment. On top of that, she's in pretty good health, considering her age.

I always take my mom out to dinner on or near her birthday. So, I made sure I had returned from my trip to Malice, research, and family & friends visits so we could celebrate her 90th at her favorite restaurant last Saturday night. I chose to take her Saturday night, May 8th, because her real birthday fell on a Monday---and there's no jazz on Monday night at Jay's Bistro here in Fort Collins. That's the same great cafe and jazz spot I refer to in the Kelly Flynn mysteries as the "Jazz Bistro."

My mom's tastes are simple, actually. She likes fine food, great jazz, and a really good martini. Jay's Bistro qualifies on all counts. The husband and wife owners, Jay and Jackie, love my mom and always make a fuss when she comes. Maybe that's one of the perks of old age. Everyone loves you. :) I guess we Baby Boomers will have to wait and find out if that's true for us.

The marvelous jazz pianist, Mark Sloniker, even managed to work in a few bars of Happy Birthday in the midst of the music. My mom likes to sit in the cocktail lounge in the big curved booth right next to the window. I try to make sure she gets everything she likes. She deserves it. My mom was one of those brave young women who dared to strike out on her own for a better life years ago. As a divorced working mom, that was a hard road in an Ozzie and Harriet world. And that's what took her (as well as the mother of my dear friends Nancy & Diane who lived across the street when we grew up) to Northern Virginia. Hardworking, courageous young women with families to support on their own took their secretarial skills and left smaller cities and towns around the country during that time and came to find good jobs with the Federal Government as Civil Servants. They worked hard for not-very-high pay. But, they also had health insurance which was important when you had children to take care of. And, an elderly grandmother in the home, in my case. My mom did a magnificent job.

So, I figure Mom has earned wonderful dinners with jazz and martinis, as well as the great Mother's Day Brunch I took her to on Sunday. She's earned all that and more. Especially our love. She's been a loving, supportive mother for me and for my four daughters as well as the six additional grandchildren she inherited when she re-married later in life. And next weekend, all four of my daughters will fly in for a short weekend to celebrate some special time with my mom. I'll get a yummy chocolate birthday cake, and we'll just sit and enjoy being with her. At this age, we never know how long our aged parents will last. I'm hoping Mom passes her older sister's time of 93 years.

Meanwhile, I figured 90 years was worth making that extra effort. If I remember correctly, it was playwright Arthur Miller's wonderful character Willy Loman who said: "Attention must be paid!" I agree, Willy. Attention must be paid.

I hope all of you celebrated Mother's Day in your own special way.


Mason Canyon said...

Your Mom sounds like a great lady. You are so fortunate to still have her with you. Congratulations and best wishes on her 90th birthday. Many she have many more.

Thoughts in Progress

Lover of Books said...

That is so cool! I hope she lives to 93 as well. She really does sound like a great lady. I am glad you were able to spend time with her. :)

Dru said...

Your mom is truly a great lady and I hope she has plenty more years with her family.

Valerie Consoer said...

It sounds like you're quite close with your mother. I am, too. I don't know what I'd do without my mom. She thoroughly enjoyed all the flowers and greenery I planted for her in her flower bed. She turns 59 this year and I'm in denial that she's aging at all. Each time I see her, I notice something new about her that shows her age. My brothers aren't very good to her, so I feel as though I need to make it up to her. I'm glad to be close with my mother. You're a good daughter to take your mom to her favorite restaurant for martinis and jazz. Sounds like I'd get along great with her. Tell her Happy Birthday for me!

signlady217 said...

My husband's paternal grandmother turned 90 in April. He was able to work things out to be there for her surprise party. His sister and brother-in-law were the only ones who knew he was coming (not even his parents knew) so it was a great surprise for everyone. His mom even started crying, she was so glad to see him.

My mom will be 62 this summer. I know what Valerie means about noticing things each time that show her age creeping up on her. It's hard, and thinking about what could be the future is tough, too. The best thing we can do is enjoy the time we have with them now while we are able to.

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!

jbstanley said...

What a lovely blog! It's so wonderful that you got to be with your mom on such a big birthday!

Andrea C. said...

What a nice post and loving tribute to your mom! 90 years - way to go Mom! My grandparents all lived into their 90's and I sure hope it is genetic and my own parents surpass them! :)

Helen Kiker said...

Please wish your mom a great big happy birthday from me.

This was a wonderful post that made me happy in every way. Even though it was not a celebration on the day itself, my daughter and one of my granddaughters made my last Friday's day a special Mother's Day for me.

Helen Kiker

Maggie Sefton said...

Thank you, Mason. I know how lucky we are to still have her with us.

Thanks, Krista---I'm glad she still enjoys going out.

Maggie Sefton said...

Thanks, Dru. I hope she's still with us for many years to come.

Thanks, Valerie--If you're ever in Fort Collins, CO, go into Old Town and look for Jay's Bistro. You won't regret it.

Maggie Sefton said...

signlady---I agree. We need to enjoy the time we have with people we care about---family that is a blood-relation and family that's made up of friends. I believe we're all like my heroine, Kelly Flynn. We create family with the people we care about.

Maggie Sefton said...

Thanks, JB. I know you're close with your mom, too. I forgot--does she live in VA or North Carolina?

Maggie Sefton said...

Well, get ready, Andrea. You'll probably live into your 90's too or beyond. I think a lot of us our age will be pushing thru 100. Wow.

Maggie Sefton said...

That's wonderful, Helen. It's not the date that counts, it's the company. Whenever we gather together with people we care about, we're celebrating.

Chèli said...

My husband & I took my mom (85) to her favorite restaurant for dinner. She had only ever gone for lunch and was startled by the prices and she was so cute, because when I said what I was ordering, (I knew it was what she wanted) she piped up with, "well, I'll have that too." It's wonderful when we as children can do something special for our parents after all the years and things they have done for us.