Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Various memories of my mother’s birthday creep into my mind: of wrapping Windham Hill instrumental CDs in aluminum foil and decorating with Sharpie pens for creative wrapping paper, to surreptitiously stalking the perfect fake fish aquarium at the teeny-bopper store in the mall to surprise her with. I would sneak off on my bike to the nearby store to buy her flowers and a card, trying to think of something nice for her birthday and trying not to raise suspicions by being gone too long. When we lived in Spokane, Grandma would cook her dinner – for some reason I am remembering pork chops but cannot confer with anyone to confirm, now that Grandma is gone too.

Always a maraschino cherry cake – that was always her favorite. Grandma always made them for her, except one year after she had moved over here and I entertained in my condo and had to make the maraschino cherry cake for the first time. I remember being incredulous at the recipe, for some reason. I don’t know why I didn’t believe that what she was telling me was accurate, and I remember remarking at the cost of the extra ingredients and more complex process. And the 7 minute icing, or was it called Dream Whip?

So Mom, wherever you are, happy 65th – or, happy anniversary of your appearance here on this plant 65 years ago. I do wish that I had the opportunity to have made you that cake again this year. I think you would have really appreciated that your birthday was on the eve of the Boy’s defense, and even now, I think you’d appreciate that you are still part of our lives, how we celebrate, how we remember and how we honor.

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