A milestone birthday

Day 5 – grief journaling

You have a vision in your mind of when you reach a milestone birthday you’ll be surrounded by your partner you’ve know since your teens or early twenties, your grown children proudly showing off their own grandchildren, identifying you as a great grandparent, all showering you with love, hugs, kisses, sticky fingers, chubby arms around your neck and presents piled a mile high. Well that was the vision I have for myself when I turn the ripe old age of 80yrs, an octogenarian.

My mum turned 80 last Saturday, the 4th of the 4th Month 1940. It was a milestone year. We had plans just like the ones I have envisioned for my future big birthdays, surrounded by family and friends and being showered in love. We were going to spoil her with a breakfast fit for a king, which technically could have been called brunch. She would of have had to have a nana nap from a food coma. She’d enjoy an afternoon cup of tea with a piece of cake or slice then get herself dolled up for a family meal at one of her favourite restaurants where she’d glance around the table and smile at the glory she’s created from being the mum of the clan.

On mum’s special day the world’s current predicament put a stop to celebration as we know it. We had to think how to make the day as special as her while keeping with the health guidelines for Covid-19. My siblings and I put our heads together to come up with ideas. We’d decided that we’d take it in turns of getting her some yummy food for breakfast, lunch and tea and handing her the presents we had bought her. I rang her in the morning to give her her first happy birthday greeting and asking her if she was hungry for breakfast, ‘yes I am’ was her reply – ‘I’ve already had a cup of tea.’ I drove to Maccas and picked up 2 egg & bacon McMuffin meals with orange juice and extra hash browns via drive through – 1 for me & 1 for her. Jacob would have given me a tick of approval for her breakfast choice as he often car pooled with his mates in his little Toyota Corolla for a late night snack stop. Mum and I sat on her verandah (good distance apart) and enjoyed our breakfast without being able to give her a birthday kiss, I had to blow her one. She looked every bit of the nanna she truly is, wearing her warm light blue dressing gown, slippers with a fluffy throw rug over her legs as she said it was a bit nippy. We bid farewell after our tummy’s were full.

My son Ben dropped off some yummy slices during the afternoon to enjoy with a cuppa. Her phone was going off with birthday wishes in messages and in conversations. Flowers and chocolates were delivered to her home from friends to brighten up her day with messages letting her know that they’ll spoil her again with a meal at her favourite restaurant when everyone was allowed and the world went back to her old familiar ways. Things to look forward to. My sister Trish picked up a 2 course meal for tea from the restaurant we were all supposed to be going to to celebrate our mum, nan and friend. Mum had previously checked out the menu online and took her time to pick out what her taste buds craved for – arancini balls for her entree and steak Diane for her main. We were so grateful that the restaurant had kept their business open for take-away only.

We had celebrated her 70th birthday at the same restaurant 10 years ago. Dad and Jacob were still wish us physically to shower her with love. This big birthday was the first one without dad by her side. She missed having him giving her a cup of tea in bed while they read the papers before getting dressed and ready to face the new day. I’m sure dad and Jacob found new ways of letting mum know they’re still with her just like they let me know in subtle little signs.

She enjoyed left overs for tea on Sunday night. Trish got her a nice Thai dinner for tea on Monday night which offered her more than enough to enjoy for a second night. Today is Wednesday and it’s my turn to get her something yummy to enjoy for tea. We want to stretch out her 80th birthday for a full week. Another family celebration will be put on hold at the end of mum’s birthday week – Easter….

No Good Friday gathering of eating fish and chips and yummy prawn cocktails with dad’s home made thousand island dressing to drizzle on the top. No family gathering at Trisha’s at Jamberoo for a huge bbq lunch and the traditional little egg hunt in the front yard. No conversations about finding eggs still in the garden from the previous year, and how their dog Bozz would eat them as we scattered them on the ground had we done the egg hunt in the back yard. There’s so many things we take for granted, like catchups over coffee, a birthday celebration, a family wedding, a celebration of life, a day at the races. What a party we will have when the bans are lifted and life will go back to the way it was. With human touch, a hug, a kiss, games nights and parties and connection. I hope we will appreciate the small things in life and learn to smile more – see miracles in life everyday. This distance thing will soon be a thing of the past and that can’t come quickly enough. Stay safe and well everyone and look after each other (while keeping those self-distancing guidelines in mind 😊)

I hope you enjoyed ‘your’ day mum, one that we’ll never forget, in the year 2020. I promise we’ll spoil you again just as we should do everyday. You deserve it ♡ just remember with each new day we wake up we’re a step closer to the end of this pandemic 🙂

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