Monday, February 06, 2012

Mom's Birthday Weekends

The year my mom turned 50, my sisters and I decided that in addition to the big party, we wanted to do something special.  So we took her away for the weekend, just her and us.  That first year, we went to Newport and stayed in my big sister's very swank vacation time share.  To be honest, that was a pretty special deal for all of us.  My little sister and I had never stayed in a condo before, much less one with a Jacuzzi in the bathroom!  Mom loved it - the beach was her favorite place and she always said her kids were her favorite people. :)

She was so happy and made a simple request at the end of the weekend.  If we never got her anything else for her birthday again, if we would just do this retreat every year, she would be happy.  Well, we didn't stop buying pressies (it's in our genetics), but we made her birthday retreat an annual event.  Over the years we returned to the beach several times, made a trip to Victoria B.C. so we could have tea at the Empress and go to the Butchart gardens, went to Prineville and took her on a horse drawn carriage ride (oh the memories of what we talked about on that ride - let's just say that *nothing* is sacred between sisters even pet names for certain things LOL) and some years we even stayed in town.  Though not at any of our homes.  We went to hotels and visited mom's favorite places, like the Portland Art Museum and even OMSI.  One year we did this because my baby sister was too pregnant with her second child to go more than twenty miles from her hospital.  Some years we did it because Mom couldn't travel.

Mom's Birthday Dinner 2009
The last year we left town for Mom's birthday, we went to the beach.  Seaside this time.  We rented a house and took her to the ocean on her scooter - it was her last time on her beloved sandy beach of Oregon.  The next year, she spent her birthday in a convalescent home - refusing to have a party there because she wanted to celebrate at home.  She went home, but the party wasn't destined to happen.  As you all know, Mom died in April and none of us girls will ever stop missing her.

Mom's birthday month has always been special for all of us girls, but this year, we're doing our last "Mom's Birthday Weekend" at her request.  You see, Mom got into the habit of giving us girls gifts on *her* birthday weekend (told you it was genetic) and this is her final one.

Mom with Us Girls at Pig 'N Pancake in Seaside
Mom with Us Girls on the Sand - We did it!

I'll be honest and tell you that as much as I'm looking forward to spending time with my sisters, I know that this trip isn't going to be an easy one emotionally for me.  But one thing that will make it glow like all the ones before it will be our memories of times spent with Mom celebrating her birthdays in such a special way.

It's your turn:  I'd love to hear some of your favorite memories with your own moms, or "mom" figures.  I know not everyone was raised by women like my mom, who saw parenthood as a true privilege, but most of us have someone in our lives that fill at least a part of that "mom" role.  Share your memories with me as I've shared mine with you. :)

Hugs and blessings,


marybelle said...

I can't praise my Mother high enough. She is a truly remarkable woman. Strong, independent with a stubborn streak. As a young bride, she was very slim & petite. The doctor said she would have trouble bearing a child. I am one of 7. See how determined this woman is. She showed him.

Laney4 said...

You are right: "I know not everyone was raised by women like my mom, who saw parenthood as a true privilege...." That being said, I'll talk about one of the other women in my life - my sister.

I am the youngest, my bro is 5 years older, a sister is 5 years older than him, and my big sis is 5 years older than her, making my big sis 15 years my senior. I didn't know my big sis well in her younger days (obviously), as I spent the first 4.5 years of my life in a hospital 2+ hours away (with a hole in my heart that finally healed on its own), but I have had great memories ever since then. Most people think SHE is my mom because of the age difference, and she and her husband (7 years her senior) have always treated me like their daughter, even though they have lived over 2000 miles away from me since 1970. Still, my sis has always welcomed me and my family into her home (often occupying the master bedroom because it had room for a couch for my kids to sleep on when younger) and vice-versa. She taught me about birds and bees, she bought me clothes my mom refused to buy me (because they were ... gasp! ... green in color!), and she just taught me by example. I love her and her family to bits (obviously)....

Thank you for sharing YOUR birthday party stories and pictures. I am glad you had/have that love in your life.