A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty by Ogden Nash

I’ve decided to do a revamp of sorts in honor of the Birthday! No resolutions anymore (A definite waste of time unless you happen to be iron-willed. I’m Not!), just revamps 😉 Nothing drastic…just an overhaul of the category list, so it’s more cohesive, relevant and makes more sense to me!

I’ve also decided to start including stuff that I haven’t written myself but that resonates within. I have no clue why I haven’t done this before…but better late than never! If you haven’t figured out already, this is just an excuse to spend more happy hours surfing the Virtual World for stuff I love (as if I needed one!). I have decided to include these in the main category on the site – Happiness Central 🙂

Picture from http://casiestewart.blogspot.com

You’ll probably see poetry I enjoy, images that speak to me, quotes that I love,  a bit of Edward Monkton for sure, a little bit of George Carlin most definitely, music that touches my heart, people I admire…you get the drift…rather like a “These are a few of my favorite things!” moment from The Sound of Music (one of my favorite feel-good movies :)) A great thing about this, is that it takes pressure off me on days when I can’t write (too many, too many :(), but more importantly opens up my sphere of thought, offers me inspiration and by its very nature is endless 🙂

I begin with a poem by Ogden Nash, an old favorite. I loved this one by Nash, because of its universal theme, Age and our normal human reaction to it, Despair. Now that the Birthday is round the corner, and another year added to my ‘Numerical Age’, it put things in perspective! I love the way he handles such a sensitive subject in such a clever way and could that last line be more meaningful…”How old is Spring, Miranda?” What could be more poignant, poetic and to the point?

Well done Mr. Nash and Thank-you for today’s much-needed, life-saving, Smiley Moment 🙂

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

Spring Maiden by Nadezhda Galitskaya (A Chernobyl Survivor)

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda’s sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then–
How old is Spring, Miranda?

The Birthday

It’s that time of the year again.

 

Two candles, one flame. It's how I like to think of us!

 

My brother’s Birthday.

A day rendered forever bittersweet since he passed away last year.

Last year we had a small remembrance…cut a cake, lit a lamp and published a poem in the newspaper.

This year, I’m not sure what I want to do. Whether I want to do anything at all. I was thinking of getting the Colonel’s chicken home for the occasion. He loved it and was sorely disappointed when neither KFC nor McDonald’s came to town, before he left. He would be happy, now that KFC has finally arrived, and I for one will never be able to eat it or even pass it by without thinking of him. In a good way though…you understand…in the very best of ways 🙂

I know Mom will light a lamp…I like the thought. A tiny light from us for the one who lit up our lives with the brilliance of a thousand suns! He was like that…brilliant, radiating joy and wisdom. So wise…however did my little brother get to be so wise? When did that happen? And so patient! I wish had a fraction of his patience, I’d be a better person. And yet, unlike others, his condition (he had DMD) didn’t bring him all that close to God. Well, not in the conventional sense. Not that I knew of anyway. Although he never made a point of it, he was an atheist, not really a believer. He tolerated all the stuff my parents did, (staunch believers both), the worship of countless deities and every manner of ritual, with his characteristic quiet diffidence. He wasn’t one to rock the boat with passionate arguments. No, those were entirely my domain! He was like my mother in that way – acceptance, compromise and reserve, his mantras. He understood her too, something I struggle with everyday.

I remember as if it were yesterday, the day he was born. I was away in Bombay for the Diwali vacation. Before leaving I had made it clear to my Mom that the birth of a sister would be sacrilege and utterly unacceptable! I was 12! Ever since I longed for a sibling, I always imagined a brother. I had always wanted a brother, so I could celebrate ‘Raksha-Bandhan‘ and ‘Bhaubeez’, without having to rely on the charity of cousins. I wanted someone who was mine, rightfully and exclusively. I got him at 10.14 pm on the 24th of October 🙂 We were all fast asleep when the telephone rang, but the adults were obviously expecting news and so were alert. My great-aunt answered the phone and then woke me up to say I had a sibling. She said I had a little sister but for some reason I couldn’t believe her and I must have said so vehemently, ‘coz the next moment she was assuring me that my wish had come true and that I had a little brother. My brother – all mine. By rights. My Dad & I traveled back to Goa, a few days later, I think. I can’t remember all the details. What I do remember is my first sight of him. He was red, very red it seemed to me, except for his hands that seemed almost purple (I know now that he must have been polycythemic), wearing nothing but a cotton nappy, nestled in my Mom’s lap. He wasn’t crying. He was looking around with those shining, bright eyes in a most intelligent fashion. I can’t say it was love at first sight or even any sort of connection, ‘coz at 12 my knowledge and understanding of such things as emotions was negligible, but I remember thinking, ‘He’ll do.’ Just that, ‘He’ll do’, and it felt right, like it was meant to be. I probably said something to that effect to my Mom, although again I can’t remember. I was happy. I remember feeling pride too, although I have no clue why I should have felt that particular emotion, even before I had begun to know him properly! My wish had been granted, I had my brother, all was well with the world!

Now Diwali looms around the corner again and I’m alone. Or am I? I’m older and wiser (a little) and I choose to believe that my brother is always by my side. And I don’t mean that he’s in my heart in the conventional way (although he is). No, what I feel is more tangible (No! Not ghosts and spirits silly!), just a very strong presence, a real feeling of his being around me, protecting me from harm. Nothing scares me anymore, ‘coz he brings me strength and every time I feel bleak and hopeless, he brings me hope. Tangled problems have a way of sorting themselves out and solutions seem to suggest themselves. Perhaps, it’s coz I have conversations with him all the time. When I have a particularly irritable or sensitive problem, I always ask him what I should do and always, always, the answer comes to me 🙂 How lucky am I?

We bonded solidly as he grew older and the decade between us shrank to nothingness 🙂 Music, cricket, politics, Bollywood, Hollywood, God and Death; we discussed them all and then some with passion and abandon. I never treated him as a patient. I just couldn’t. I was always honest with him and I like to think compassionate, but never soft. It’s not my way. But he understood. He understood me with all my faults – my anger and impatience and stubbornness and that frightening need for constant change. He was the only one who did. It’s hard to write more…unexpected tears. I didn’t think I would cry. I didn’t want to. And yet the tears aren’t all in sadness for his loss. Not anymore. They are also for the joy of having known him and for having loved and been loved by him 🙂

I’m reading the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik (incidentally my brother adored the epic and watched the TV series based on it only a million times :)), and have been thinking about that most sacred of all Hindu scriptures, The Bhagvad Gita (loosely translated as The Song of God). I found a quote that resonated with me in particular at this time in my life, “There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts.” And so, with conviction, I choose Happiness and banish doubt. For what do I have to fear? I know this much is true, my brother is watching over me and will never let me come to harm. And that knowledge lets me move mountains 🙂

Happy Birthday B!

Love you hamesha, P.

A Fight of Unusual Consequence!

Have been in a rotten mood these past few days…generally crabby and short-tempered with all and sundry.

Only Ishaan, with his solemn stares and mischievous smiles brought the occasional smile to my face…

 

Mr. Solemn-Face!

 

Two days ago, had a blow-up with hubby (Much needed, extremely therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyed! So don’t feel sorry for me in the least ;-)), over some trivial matter (which have since forgotten), first thing in the morning. Almost didn’t send Ishaan to school because of it…was just so pissed off and what do a few missed hours of school matter anyway at the age of 2 and a half, I ask you! However, wisdom prevailed (my own), coz I needed those precious child-free hours to get some editing done and meet with the publisher and so sent him, rather shell-shocked (that’s what makes me sad – the volume of our voices scared him…don’t want to have that happen again but know instinctively that it will), and so rendered silent, that…he forgot to cry! Uh Huh! He did! And then he went ahead and had a great time in school! Yoohoo for prayers answered!

Since I was treating my hubby to the full-fledged ‘silent treatment‘, I didn’t get to know of this utterly inexplicable and uplifting fact until last evening! Since yesterday, he’s been going quite happily to school, apparently calling out to his ‘aunty’ (they don’t say ‘Teacher’ in the Montessori system apparently), and going off with her with new enthusiasm! Strange are the ways of children and even stranger their timing!! I have been noticing his growing interest in other children. He likes older children and approaches them rather shyly but with conviction and calls them all ‘uncle’ and ‘aunty’ to my amazement and horror! They don’t seem to mind though (perhaps they don’t hear him too well :P), and pinch his cheeks and call him ‘sweetie’ and ‘cutie-pie’ in a most satisfactory fashion 🙂 The girls do. The boys offer him a firm hand-shake which he returns in an adorably grave manner, as if to say, “I’m one of you too!” Straddling two worlds with ease, my little chap!

So, it looks like we’ve finally made it to a tear-free school-life, although I’m still cautious and I have reason to be! Lest you think ‘All is Well’  (that would never do ;-)), he’s now started howling his head off, when hubby leaves for work!! “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, he howls, “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, in heart-rending fashion, especially on days, when hubby has to leave as soon as he’s dropped off from school (like today), only to fall into an exhausted sleep 5 minutes later. Is it just me, or do all children look like ‘angels’, only when asleep?! Oh come now…I know, you know what I mean!

With the weekend here, I’d rather reserve final judgement until Monday. But I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic and of course fingers & toes crossed firmly 😛

But, my devious mind is now off on a dangerous track…dangerous to hubby that is! If one good blow-out brings such miraculous results, what might a regular dose of them do? Every couple of months or so? What say? Therein may lie the secret to my potty training issues 😉

But you guys…you have a fabulous, blowout free weekend, People 🙂

I’m going to…don’t you know…NO HOMEWORK!!!

Drive. Dinner. Mr.Tickles!

The gist of my Saturday!

A glimpse of the Reis Magos fort...

The morning started out with a drive, its been a while since we’ve been on one…and the weather was perfect! Misty, crisp, breezy and a light drizzle. We set of in the direction of Coco Beach…we were in the vicinity for a family gathering on Monday last, and loved the surrounds 🙂 On the way, we stopped at the Reis Magos Fort (Goa has more forts than I had imagined. Apparently the Portuguese were keen fort-builders!), although we didn’t go up and explore it. That’s for another day.

Sea. Sand. Stone.

We did however stop by the road side and feel the breeze in our faces while taking in vistas of a heaving, choppy, Arabian Sea and the Panjim shoreline. At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum…I must say that Goa in the monsoons is enchantingly beautiful and the air you breathe…words fail me…suffice it to say…I feel ALIVE and it’s a good feeling 🙂

Colorful Sentinel!

We wandered on until we got to Coco beach and there stopped on a narrow road that ran along the bank of the Sinquerim river. It’s an idyllic spot…paddy fields stretching green all around, a temple in the midst of them, standing colorful guard, exuberant greenery bordering the road with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers that seemed to have attracted every butterfly and bee in the neighborhood, a pair of black ducks diving for fish and the river flowing smooth, it’s surface disturbed only by the soft pattering of random raindrops, providing safe harbor for resting fishing boats. Calm. Peaceful. Soothing. I could have stayed there forever…well for a few hours at least…urban soul that I am 😉 Ishaan enjoyed too and ran around yelling ‘Butata‘ (his word for Butterfly), trying hard to catch one! All in all…a fabulous morning 🙂

A typical Goan fishing village scene...

In the evening, we had dinner with family @ The Pan Asian Bowl, a restaurant that specializes in South-Asian cuisine, which means it’s got a great Indian-Chinese menu, of which most of my family (those who have good taste ;-)) are die-hard fans! Stuffed ourselves on Malaysian Chicken, which came with delicate rice noodles, fried (heaven!); Shrimp in chilli garlic sauce; Thai-style barbecue chicken; Fish Phoenix (I half expected the fish to rise from it’s sticky, red-brown sauce!); Burnt garlic rice and that old favorite American chopsuey!! Great food and company, a very decent Mojito to go with and an old favorite, a glass of Bailey’s on ice to finish of a fabulous evening 🙂 I wish I had pictures of the food (it was pretty too!), but it disappeared soon enough and I didn’t want any distractions while eating. So maybe next time! We didn’t take Ishaan along, leaving him at home with my Grandma and his Nanny, which brings me to Mr.Tickles 🙂

Enjoying the breeze 🙂

We were back home at 10.30 pm and all seemed quite within. I am disappointed…I hate it when I don’t get to tuck Ishaan in and say goodnight. It leaves me incomplete. I tip-toe to Granny’s room and the lights are out…further sinkage…I nudge the door open an inch and instantly hear, “Mama?” In a flash, he’s in my arms and all is well with the world!! In that moment, I remember Maura’s tag and the question about best compliments received…and I think…this is it,right here! My son gives me my best compliment every time he says Mama 🙂 Lots of kisses and hugs later, the scene shifts upstairs to our bed…and that’s when the tickling starts…he loves being tickled and it’s become part of our bed-time routine 🙂 Then the giggling begins and the sound of his laughter surrounds us. For a good 20 minutes we’re all lost in an orgy of tickling and laughter, until finally, spent, cheeks flushed and eyes shining bright…I hush him and crooning softly, coax him to sleep.

Oh Happy Day 🙂

Playing Tag!

Here’s the thing…Maura, my friend of the sharp wit and ‘pregnatress’ (Yoohoo! I’ve saved a word and used it too! Here’s how.), of her excellent blog 36 x 37, has tagged me in an online version of the ancient game of Tag. Yes, they have online versions of everything now, and so I have 8 questions to answer and 8 people to tag in turn. Thanks Maura 🙂 I am honored, happy and saved, ‘coz I was down with a bit of writer’s block after an exhausting festival season, or maybe it’s just the dullness of routine. Shouldn’t last long…my boy restarts play-school on Monday and then Life will be anything but dull…loud and teary is more like it!

This Tag business got me thinking about being IT. As a kid, I was not very sporty but I did play my fair share of Tag and Hide and Seek. I hated being IT. I have no clear recollection as to why, but probably ‘coz it meant being alone while everyone else was together, or maybe even then I was a hider not a seeker. Certainly as an adult I crave solitude like some people crave chocolate. I also crave gin & tonic…but that’s another post 😉 Back to being IT…I still haven’t got over that ‘Itsy’ feeling from my childhood. Some days it sweeps over me like a raging storm and I despair of being alone (figuratively speaking of course! Alone-ness is not a luxury I have in real life…sigh.) & ever making it through, while on others, it’s a flowing stream that’s gently refreshing, and I bask in its quietness, renewing my spirit. Those are the days when Ishaan is being an angel 🙂

Ever since the day Ishaan entered my life, I’ve been IT. No sick days, no holidays, no i’ll-just-be-in-my-room-reading days, no ‘Do Not Disturb’ days, just continuous, ‘Mommie’ days…where I’m IT, the ‘One’! I’m not complaining, just stating facts! Yes, I have help and an incredible support system and access to resources that many don’t, but that doesn’t alter the fact that the ball ends with me…I’m IT and always will be! And while that brings me boundless joy, it is the scariest feeling, ‘coz who shall I tag! Not a soul, that’s who! While I love the feeling of being the ‘One’ he turns to in sickness and health, in happiness and tears, along with it comes the immense responsibility of raising him right, keeping him safe and making him happy. And so that brings me to the first question…superpowers, ‘coz lord knows ‘parenting’ is hard enough even with all those I already have 😉

1. If you could have any superpower, which one would you have and why?

I have to say this, ‘coz it’s the first thing I thought…just one? No fair! It’s a tough call though…I think I’ll settle for being able to read minds or mind actually…Ishaan’s. So I know what devilry he’s planning when he’s giving me that ‘look’, deceptively innocent yet potent enough to floor every damsel from here to eternity (I jest, I jest, I’m a Mom!). Also, I’m thinking this power will prove invaluable when he’s a teen and not saying anything much at all! Although the thought of reading minds in general is rather interesting, I don’t really want to be Mel Gibson in What Women Want! Don’t think I could handle that kind of chaos!

2. Who is your style icon?

At the moment, my style consists of throwing on anything that is comfy, loose and preferably stretchable 😉 I like old-world style, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelley, Julie Andrews, Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn…my favorite. Simple, elegant, classic!








3. What is your favorite quote?

There are many…but all time favorites are “Happiness is a Journey…not a Destination” – Souza. And the poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. And then there are the funny ones like, “Wherever there is a will, I want to be in it!” and because I’m immersed in the world of Tolkien at the moment and am living most of my days happily in Middle-earth, I want to include this one, “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

I’ve received my fair share over the years…but those that compliment my son & my writing, in that order, are closest to my heart 🙂

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

A mix of Bollywood, Celine Dion, The Beatles, The Beegees, Mariah Carey, Queen, Tina Turner, Michael Buble and music that my brother played on his keyboard. I like music to be musical…no Hard Rock & Heavy Metal, although Bon Jovi is a well-loved companion 🙂 This is Queen…singing one of my favorites 🙂

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

An owl I am, An owl I’ll stay,

Always, forever, in every way.

My wisdom belies my tender years,

Silently I hunt my fears!

I thought that up all by myself! Sorry, couldn’t resist 😛

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs….except for this fella…




8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

Well rather self-explanatory really…H is for Happiness. My name Harsha, means Happiness and so H is for Harsha and H is for Happiness J I started this blog to get back to writing, a hobby that fell by the wayside while studying medicine and other stuff. I’m happy to say, it has done that and so much more…I’ve found like-minded friends, fantastic writers and a constant stream of Happiness to keep me going. I’m enjoying the journey and hope it’ll be a long one 🙂

So, here’s to you Maura, for tagging me, getting me out of my rut and introducing me to some very fine blogs like Herding Cats in Hammond River, which I must confess confused me initially because I actually thought it had to do with herding cats! Blame it on my rut or on my mind-numbing Aragorn obsession…I’m not usually this stupid! I must confess, rather shamefacedly that I don’t have 8 people to tag, but I’m working on that. So I’m tagging a dear friend, someone I know will enjoy this exercise and have witty answers, Aarti @ Indigo Violet’s Blog

As for the rest, anyone who comes by, consider yourself Tagged!

Wedding Tales:Leftovers!

This is the last post in the wedding series. 5 posts for the 5 days I was away seems like a fair trade! Just had a few things I wanted to share, leftover from posts 1 through 4.

My voyage of discovery:

1. I can survive away from Ishaan (barely) for 5 whole days. He can survive away from me, quite happily however, for the same amount of time 🙂

2. Reruns of ‘Charmed‘, a series I enjoyed, are showing on AXN @ 6 pm 🙂 A fact I discovered in Hotel Elite in Tiruvalla!

3. Not every wedding is about garish bling, overdressing and an overt display of wealth! Some can still be tasteful and straight from the heart 🙂

4. There’s nothing quite like steaming hot mutton biryani 🙂

5. The jury is still out for train travel in India. For me travelling First Class is not a luxury, it’s a question of survival!

6. If a destination is well-connected by air, fly! When it’s not, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

7. When buying sarees, less is more 🙂 Also applicable when buying, eating, thinking food 😉

8. Train travel is much pleasanter when one is lucky in travel companions and the views gorgeous 🙂 I guess that applies to all travel in general!

9. I discovered a side of myself that was not paranoid about sharing personal details with fellow travelers and actually enjoyed the interaction with people I would never have met otherwise 🙂

10. When in need – Ms. Blyton never fails me 🙂

There’s a moment from the wedding I want to share. I had just finished greeting Auntie outside the church while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive, when I heard an urgent, excited voice calling out my name, ‘Harsha? Is that you, Harsha?” and as I turned, I found myself enveloped in a bear hug! It was Reena’s (an old school friend) Mom and she was thrilled to see me and I was happily surprised to see her after all these years, nearly 2 decades! She cupped my face and said the best thing anyone can ever say to a woman a certain age – “You are looking so young dear!”, and she obviously meant it 🙂 She looked amazing herself and we went over to meet Uncle who didn’t look a day older than when I saw him last! He then went on to call his daughter, my friend Reena and arrange an impromptu phone conversation! What a wonderful thing to do! Moments like these are what Life is all about 🙂

And that’s it for the trip and the wedding. I’ve enjoyed reliving my memories through the blog and I hope you guys have enjoyed reading as much as I the writing 🙂

Now…back to routine…or maybe not…Ishaan starts play-school on Wednesday…should be fun…for us both 😉


The Good Daughter!

That’s me 😉 Or at least was me on Wednesday the 11th of August, my Mom’s B’day 🙂 I was on my best behavior, determined to show her a good time and for once, I didn’t mess it up!

The day began with a sing-song recitation of Happy Birthday by my Dad and I, and the presentation of cards, four in all, for Mother, Daughter, Wife and Granny, one for every role she so faithfully fulfills 24/7. Needless to say, she was touched and over the moon! It didn’t matter that I bought every card and wrote it myself and had my Dad and Granny and son do the honors. Not to her and not to me 🙂

Then the phone calls began and with every call, the smile on her face became wider. I’ve watched my Mom’s smile disappear gradually over the years, to be replaced by a look of constant worry and the strain of nursing a sick child – Life was just too hard and happy moments, hard to come by. But thanks to my son, she is now rediscovering the lost art of the smiling 🙂 I told her of my lunch plans, keeping the Salon visit and surprise party, carefully secret! She had no clue – Mom is not suspicious by nature. She takes people at their word and believes the most far-fetched stories some have fed her 😉 always rising to their defense when they are caught out, a fact that irritates me every time, but proved invaluable in my own happy deception! Lesson learnt – Never underestimate stuff that bugs you! Store it away carefully for future use in tight situations 😛 You never know when it may come handy!

I took her to lunch at an old favorite of mine, a Chinese restaurant, Goenchin. It’s cozy setting was perfect for the intimate tête-à-tête I had in mind. Along with an excellent lunch we made small talk and had bits of serious conversation, about Dad, about the loss of my brother, about Life. I’ll be honest – I was really nervous about this whole day, particularly about spending all that time alone with my Mom! Uh huh! Silly as this may sound – I was scared and nervous about being alone with my Mom. I have good reason to be, given our history – I always screw things up in my inimitable way – saying the wrong thing, turning a discussion into an argument, being judgmental. I didn’t want to ruin this day that I had planned for her and I’m thankful and pretty proud of the fact, that I didn’t!

As lunch drew to a close and we were licking the last bit of ice-cream off our spoons, I revealed the next step of my plan – a visit to the Salon for some good old pampering of those tired fingers and toes! She was pleasantly surprised and watching her face light up – knowing that I made her feel special – that felt good, really good 🙂 So, off to the Salon we went and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! Mom has NEVER had a manicure or pedicure! She never bothered with that kind of thing when she was young and stunningly beautiful (beauty skips generations apparently 😉 although my brother was beautiful!) and never had time for it when she was older, so this was a real treat! It felt good to watch her unwind, as her tired feet were soaked in warm water, their fatigue massaged away by expert hands. In typical Mom fashion, she was initially embarrassed of the condition her hands and feet were in, but that was soon forgotten once the friendly staff began their administrations!

Back home from a well-spent afternoon, she couldn’t stop telling my Granny (who was in on the plan, of course!), how wonderful she felt and how thrilling it was to have a day out with her daughter in all these years. I couldn’t stop smiling either 🙂 She kept worrying about dinner and planning the menu, while Granny & I nodded and encouraged her flights of fancy, stealing amused glances at each other, across the room! At seven, the first guests began to arrive and Mom was in a panic, “What are we going to do! All these people and not a morsel of food in the house! We haven’t even started dinner yet! God help us!” That’s when I decided, to let her in on the final secret – a surprise party with close family, catered to perfection by her favorite caterer! She was unbelieving! She kept saying, “But you didn’t say a word! You didn’t TELL me!” And I kept saying, “That’s why it’s called Surprise, Mom!” It was a hilarious, wonderful evening, with good food and family and happiness all around! A memorable day, in the best possible way 🙂

All through the festivities, I felt my brother’s presence. I could feel his voice in my ear, comforting, whispering, quietly encouraging, “Good Job, Sis! You’re doing Marvelously! Stay cool now!” I know my Mom felt it too – she wears his ring now, on her finger, and she showed it to me on our way home from the Salon. “See, I always have him with me,” she said, “Both my children, close to me.” I can’t tell you how that made me feel, except to say that my eyes are tearing up as I type and my heart is full…full to the brim and overflowing with love and admiration and pride for my Mom and for the woman that she is.

It was the BEST day I’ve had in a long time and certainly the BEST day my Mom and I have shared in many many years. It brought us a tiny bit closer and gave me the confidence I needed to make this a regular event – ‘A Mother-Daughter” day out, once a month where we relax and enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company!

Love You Mom!

You Rock my World!

p.s. A big Thank-you to all of you who sent your love and wishes to Mom! You added to her happiness and thanks to you, she is now a little less resentful of all the time her daughter spends glued to the laptop screen 😉