Birthday Presence

King's Crest

It’s hard to believe this picture was taken 40 years ago today.


And that my mom was the same age in this picture as I am today.


She was 52 and I was 12.


Today we’re celebrating her 92d birthday.


We’re not celebrating the arthritis that has robbed her of mobility, or the loss of hearing and vision, or all the symptoms that go along with congestive heart failure and kidney failure.  All the things that can happen when you live into your nineties.


Because these bodies of ours, miraculous as they are, just don’t last forever.


There was a time when birthday celebrations in my family included dinner out at the honoree’s choice, usually McBride’s for a steak.  There were presents to be unwrapped and Hallmark cards to be read.  And of course there was cake.


But we’re learning that the best celebrations are simply about presence. Little things, like


Being at home.


Making it to the bathroom in time.


Finding something to eat that still tastes good.


Looking at old pictures.


Playing with Chester.


And if we feel like it, riding to Sonic for a strawberry cream slush.


Being thankful for another year of being together. 


Thankful those glasses and collars and hair went out of style.


Not a minute too soon.




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Burross says:

    Sally please pass along my dearest wishes to your mother. Such a sweet lady and sooooo many memories!!!

    1. sallygary says:

      Sweet memories! Thanks, KB – she’ll be thrilled to hear from you!

  2. Faye Armstrong-Paap says:

    Sally, please give your mom my best wishes. Tell her that I still remember that trip to visit your folks with our small group of girls when we were in college. She was so kind and gracious (and raised a daughter to be much like her!). I really enjoyed the trip. It is one of my fond college memories. Hugs to you both!

    1. sallygary says:

      One of my fond memories, too, Faye! As I recall, we hunted Easter eggs in sponge rollers!

  3. Peggy Corder says:

    Thinking of you as you prepare to move and knowing how hard it is to live a distance from your folks when they are aging. I live 4 hours away from my aging Dad and fortunately, my sister lives within 20 minutes of him. It is hard to parent our parents, yet that is what we are called to do as they age and we age with them. Enjoy your time with your Mom.

    1. sallygary says:

      We’re on this journey together, aren’t we, Peggy?! Much love to you & Tollie!

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