May 20 • 12:10 PM

Surprises not always all they're cracked up to be

May 21, 2008
Unable to sleep, I had come down to the family room and sat in the recliner for a while. Rolling around in my head were memories of last week's whirlwind trip to spend a little time yet with my brother Jim while we still have him. Thrown in were memories of Mother's Day spent with my mom, who was in a sturdy stabilizer arm sling which was stuck with Velcro to a band firmly attached to her torso.

"Might as well get up and see if I can turn any of this jumble of memories into a column,'' I thought. "But which part? And how can I say it in a concise enough way that it comes across on paper?''

I click on the computer. Fri. 3:52 a.m. Jim's birthday.

Since all but one sibling was able to be there last Saturday, we had sprung an early birthday party, more for us than for him, though he was able to sit up for an hour or so of it. "I can't really put that in the column. To experience the ambiance of that,'' I reason. "The readers would have had to have been there.

"Maybe I could re-cap our Mother's Day. But I'd have to zoom in on just one little bit of it—a clip that wouldn't be a cookie-cutter image of everyone else's Mother's Day. And I'd have to give it a backdrop. Would it be sacrilege to say Mother's Day surprises aren't always all they're cracked up to be?''

First, it would help you readers to know our family birth order: Willene, Marv, Jim, Leona, Donna, Pearl, Bill, Kathy, Ken, Martie, Karen, Steve. You need to know that our daughters Brenda and Karin and Karin's 3-year-old Katie rode along to Iowa with us. You need to know that my sister Leona, and my sister Donna and her husband Jim flew in. With that many extra people, our carful was split up—Mike and I stayed at my parents' and the girls stayed at Pearl's, as did Leona.

Pearl's gang cooked and experienced her perennial garden (since she was busy in it); Grandpa and Grandma's—a couple miles away—was Grand Central.

Sunday morning Mom was determined to go to church, despite the fact that she had 'til then been unable to change shirts. So, I was in the middle of cutting it the rest of the way off and cutting another to work around the sling, when in walked Pearl, Katie in tow, to give my mom the corsage they had just made together. Pearl, of course, rose to the occasion and helped me get Mom pinned in, but it wasn't exactly the way a great-grandma wants a little girl to remember her.

As they left, I had just taken advantage of the break in the action to poke my toothbrush in my mouth when I heard Pearl again, saying to Katie, "Say Happy Mother's Day, Grandma.''

"A beautiful 3-year-old, whom I rarely see, is presenting me with a miniature rose bush,'' I thought, "and here I am, foamin' at the mouth.''

Like I said, Mother's Day surprises aren't always all they're cracked up to be.

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 20 - 19
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