What an honor it is today to wish my mother, Joy, aka “Snowy Owl Woman,” a happy 78th birthday. Last November, when doctors diagnosed her with sepsis, gave her two or three days to live and whisked her into her hospice, my three siblings and I never could have imagined that we’d be buying birthday presents and cards this week for our mom.
It’s now been 261 days since I acted on a hunch and asked a mobile phlebotomist to come to my mom’s care center on the day after Thanksgiving to give her a blood test, confirming my suspicion that she wasn’t actually dying. Although she’s now back on hospice status due to a nasty bed sore, my mother is doing well — so well, in fact, that she’s asked me to bring her a bottle of good whiskey today in celebration.
Of course, I’m more than happy to oblige. I’ll also be taking her a dozen dark chocolate cupcakes, a new bottle of perfume (Dior’s J’adore Joy) and a Donald Trump Balloon Baby T-shirt, since she’s been coveting mine. : ) The best gift, though, is the one that my mom has given our family: 261 more days of stories, smiles and laughter; 261 more nights of falling asleep knowing that our beautiful Snowy Owl Woman is alert, talkative and happy, not yet ready to take flight.
Happy Birthday to you, sweet mother of mine. The past year hasn’t been an easy one, but you’ve risen above the sadness and uncertainty. You’ve shown us all how to shine.