Today is my husband, Michael's birthday. And it's also the night my beloved Aunt Nip died. All this coming and going always leaves me feeling tender about this being alive.
I'm "lifting" yet another email from Michael because it's Christmas Eve and I'm full of words and empty at the same time. And also because it's a reminder how special we all were to our mothers on the day we were born. There's nothing quite like it, actually.
I caught mom at a good time. She was writing me a birthday letter, sharing recollections of the day I was born. She always recalls the pain – two weeks late with a big head. She said it helped during delivery to connect my birth to the birth of Christ, as at the time she was, in her own words, a “devout catholic.” It was a precious time but I don’t recollect.
Johnie’s words fell on me like gold coins.
She said she remembered the nurses at the hospital being particularly kind and solicitous in light that she was not at home with her family, but instead, in the hospital.
Johnie recalled all the girls born that day were presented with red ribbons in their hair (glued on); while I was presented with a red bow tie. I didn’t know that until now.
She told me how much I meant to her; how much I had been “present” for her (my mind keeps saying “What? it was she who was there for me!).
Here's to heart-to-hearts with our mothers, be they living, or with us in spirit.
Here's to a gentle Christmas Eve.
Happy Birthday, Michael.
Peace be with you, Aunt Nip.
And with you, dear readers.