It is now a little after 11 pm and all of the hoopla has finally subsided. Today is my mother's 92nd Birthday. It has been a very good day. In actuality, it's been a very good week. It all began this past Sunday with the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl--my mother's favourite football team (this week). It's a Catholic thing. In my mother's mind the Saints, Angels, Cardinals, Padres, and Notre Dame all answer to the Pope and therefore must be cheered on to victory or face doing penance.
I had to organize the festivities in shifts so as not to overload the Birthday Girl. Last night was a flurry of cards, gifts, and flowers. The centerpiece was a concert where the guests got to show off their musical inclinations. Who knew there were at least 23 variations of 'Happy Birthday'? In almost as many keys? Electronic keyboards, guitars, harmonicas--almost the entire gamut of wind and percussion instruments got dusted off and brought to the gala. The cats are still very tentative about moving around the house.
Today there were two separate gatherings--morning and afternoon shifts. More cards, gifts and bouquets. Kisses, hugs, and cakes--that's plural. The kitchen is now Diabetic Coma Central. Jennie Craig would have an apoplectic seizure if she could see the amount of sugar taking up residence in every nook and cranny. I'd pay to see that, actually.
The theme of this two day extravaganza was Mardis Gras. Beads, doubloons, and yes, even a king's cake. It will be months before I get up all the glitter and confetti as well as frosting that found its way into the most interesting places.
The best part, of course, was the Birthday Girl herself. I purposely left her out of the loop. She is not a show girl and I knew it would just embarrass her to have this much attention paid to her. She has no idea how much she is loved and appreciated by so many people. She was radiant--the epitome of charm and graciousness. That woman knows how to work a room! Poo-pooing the attention and eating it all up with a trowel at the same time. I stayed in the background doing all the stuff a behind-the-scenes stage manager does. It was HER day and she had earned it the hard way.
She had breakfast on Royal Albert 'Old Country Roses' in bed this morning. She had a candlelight dinner on Royal Crown Derby 'Primavera' this evening. I knew what her day would entail and I made sure to counter balance the caloric orgy. This is the first birthday I've spent with her since she turned 80 and by heaven, it was going to be memorable. My brother, his wife, and their two boys called from Illinois after dinner and thus the day came to its denouement.
It was a very good day for a very great lady.