It's not what you think. I hadn't planned to post about birthday presents, although I do reserve the right to mention them. 

Back to The Bistro for my birthday
My sweet Mr. T gave me the best gift he could:  his time...and three special treats that were just the right size and selection. 

On Friday, we took in the matinee of the latest [and last] Harry Potter movie.  Loved. It.  Will definitely go back to see this one again.  Then, on "real" birthday...he treated me to lunch at The Bistro at Childress Vineyards in Lexington (photo, left). Yum!  And cake when we got home.  Lastly, on Sunday, we drove up to Daylily Meadows in Pinnacle for what has become an annual birthday excursion for a new variety of daylily for our yard...or two or three.  We ended the three-day celebration with lunch at the Old Salem Tavern...always a winner.

Ranger Bob
Before I forget, the three newest members of our daylily garden are Barney, Ranger Bob, and Harem House...all purpley-pink ones this year. That's a picture of Ranger Bob on the right.

I also received flowers, gifts, calls, and cards from family and friends...and I appreciate every single one from the bottom of my heart.

No, the "gifts" I had wanted to post about today are a little more esoteric, shall we say?  I'm thinking specifically of some gifts my Mother has given me:  my love of gardening, my enjoyment of travel, and my appreciation of both the mountains and the beach, of good friends and good relationships with your family. 

She also bestowed a few gifts upon me that I sometimes wish I could return, if the truth be told.  One that comes to mind is the "gift" of emotional sensitivity in times of stress...and a pair of really active tear ducts. Mom has always cried easily...and without feeling self-conscious.  Me?  I hate when I cry in public...or when I can't seem to control the flow. Hate. It.

As Mom nears the end of her journey, I have been putting together a Tribute Book and a Tribute Video, using lots of old photos I have been scanning for several weeks now.  With everything else that is going on, you can imagine that my emotions have been raw and right on the surface...and the tears have flowed freely. Way too freely. "Basket case" is a phrase that might fit.

Today, for instance, the Hospice chaplain came to visit Mom while I was there.  He is a loving, giving person, and he knows Mom enjoys hearing him sing.  Even though she is sleeping most of each day, she was awake when he arrived, and responded positively to his voice.  So, while standing at her bedside and holding her hand, he began to sing "Jesus Loves Me." I had to leave the room I was crying so much.  I'm crying now as I write this.

Yes, Mom frequently says she is tired, but it is obvious with each new day that her will to live is still strong.  As the Hospice staff says, she's just not finished with things here yet.  So, I dig down deep and find what I need to face another day. If she's remaining strong, then I need to stay strong, too.  Amazingly, whatever I need is usually there.  No more, no less. 

Well, possibly more tears than I'd like...but you know what I mean.


Happy Birthday, Patricia.

I, and Teri thru me, continue to follow your blog. We pray for you and your mom every day. Keep up the strength.

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