Thursday, September 18, 2008

mom's exciting birthday party extravaganza.

i don't normally buy greeting cards. sometimes i'll look through all 200 available and find nothing *i* want. it's easier to get what i'm looking for in my imagination. so i usually just make them myself, but i was in the drug store the day before mom's 86th birthday and decided to see what i might find card-wise.

the Very 1st card i picked up seemed like such a perfect metaphor for alzheimer's i had to buy it:

now, i ask you. how often do you see that type of symmetry in life?

i also bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies (she loves them), and that was going to be the extent of my gift giving. until i woke up in the morning, that is...

do we dream these things? do our minds reboot and clear the clutter of old data, allowing fresh ideas to germinate while we sleep? whatever.

i woke with a near** brilliant plan. i would go to the grocery store and buy enough cupcakes for all the residents and aides. we're gonna have a cupcake party! (click on pic to drool. and i don't even hardly eat sweets.)

hey wait a sec. i just now noticed there's a chocolate one missing!

on the way over, i stopped and pilferred some crepe myrtle blooms.

and some turk's caps.

mom asked several times, "where did all these flowers come from?" and of course, each time i told her i had brought them. one time i even admitted i'd picked them out of peoples' yards on the way over. later when she -inevitably- asked again, joyce, one of the residents, said, "your son stole them. but i think he makes up stories."

hahahahahahaha. true on both counts, joyce.

at one point i asked mom, "how old are you today?" she tersely said, "i don't have to tell you that," and everyone laughed. but i persisted, just joking around. she thought for a few seconds, trying hard to come up with an honest answer, i think, and finally said with the slightest bit of hesitation, "65?"
i laughed and asked her how old she thought i was. she said she had no idea. i told her, "57, so i guess you had me when you were what? about 8 years old?" this made her laugh.

later on when i wanted to get a picture of her smiling i asked her again, "now how old are you today?" without skipping a beat she responded, "25."

complete and utter laughter ensued.

the aide passing out the cupcakes! asked each resident, "what color do you want?" i thought, "that's odd." i'd have probably asked, "which flavor," or mentioned the choices as being strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, lemon, etc.

mom wanted "pink." joyce wanted "white."
while joe, a very distinguished black man who rarely speaks, was offerred a vanilla one withouthaving been asked. (there were more of those left and the aide probably figured he wouldn't respond to her question, anyway.)

well, i'm here to tell you- joe spoke up. he replied with a sly grin, "no thank you, i'll take black."

one more cool thing about the party:
there are usually just 2 aides and a supervisor at any given time on the floor, but that afternoon there were also several new aides there doin' recon work or something. we got to talking and it turns out that...

2 are from ethiopia, 1 from eritrea (she was delighted i knew where that was), 1 is from nigeria (though she first claimed to be from louisianna), 1 is from dallas, and a nurse, whom i'd invited up from the 1st floor for the party, is from ukraine.
what an awesome melting pot we live in. mom is so lucky to be surrounded by such a caring group of people no matter where in our world they're *from*.

and maybe that explains the chosen semantics of, "what color do you want?"


** i said "near brilliant idea" because the better idea would have been to take cupcake mix up there and to have made our own. meh.
live and learn, right?

one cupcake at a time...


dear family, i hope this slide show of all the pictures i took yesterday works. (please come back later if it doesn't.)

ok. looks to me like it *worked* even if it is kinda blurry. lemme know if you wanna see any clear photos.

and a happy cupcake to all.


Annie said...

Are you sure you didn't go out looking for ice cream, and found...cupcakes!

That was a brilliant idea, and you are a brilliant son.

Many happy returns!

josephine terese said...

DANG i wish i hadn't missed her birthday! will she answer if i call? or should i wait til you're there so you can remind her that i did so?

josephine terese said...

oh ps the party looks hoppin'! good job.

Anonymous said...

a lovely birthday party you put together. you are so creative and resourceful! looks like maryanne really enjoyed herself.


cornbread hell said...

josephine, just give her a call. she may answer. maybe not the 1st few times...

but birthday wishes are always appreciated. and always good for at least a week. right?


cornbread hell said...

annie and tl,

i do nothing for my mom y'all don't do for yours. we are brilliant 'suns' and daughters all.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Flowers and sweets for a lady's birthday...what a perfect gift!

She raised a fine son...hugs to you my friend.

cornbread hell said...

and hugs to you and yours, chris. :)

J said...

WOW what a great idea. Love the card, too. Doesn't it feel great when things just seem to fall into place! We need those times to help balance out the times when even the simplest things are such a struggle.
Great pics!

DONALD said...

What a wonderful birthday!

rilera said...

Bringing cupcakes was an awesome idea Rick. Your Mom looks so happy. I'm glad she had a wonderful day.

wendy said...

You are somethin' else, my friend!

SKYGIRL said...

AUHHHH!! What a sweet son you are, and the cupcakes? Brilliant. They are very "IN" right now, too? I bet you didn't know that! We seem to be swimming in many of the same streams. I can't even tell you how I got *here* today! But;

"Happy Birthday Mom!"