Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the long black limo

 This smiling woman is my Mom.  She is smiling because yesterday we surprised her.  The tiara and necklace are to let her know we think she is a queen.  I will explain how this all happened.

Mom turns 80 in December.  On Christmas Day to be exact.  She was born early because Grandma was going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and fell on an icy sidewalk and the result was my mom arrived on Christmas Day. 

This year Mom will turn 80, and my sisters and I began talking about her birthday several months ago.  We didn't have any idea what to give her for her birthday, because there is nothing she wants.  What to do?  We racked our brains until Mom offered the solution with 6 simple words:

"I've never been in a limo."

BINGO!! Problem solved.  Debbie started getting the information and basically organized the whole thing (she organizes so well... I didn't dare offer because my organization skills are lousy).  She let us know what we owed, where to be, and when.  We kept it all hush hush and not many people knew what was going on. Mom mentioned several times over the past few days after I arrived in California that she wished she could ride in a limousine.  That last mention was at dinner with Vix the other night when the subject somehow came up and the three of us just looked at Mom discussing it with some friends and then looked at each other with innocent eyes and snickered when Mom looked away. 

So yesterday, October 4, 2010 was the big day and after a close call with the sitter arrangements for Vicky's son Chris, we were at Mom's, distracting her while we waited on the limo driver to arrive.  On our way there Vicky and Debbie were musing on whether Greg (G.W.) would be young, good looking, etc.  I told them I didn't care how he looked as long as he didn't wreck us.

Then he called.  G.W. was evidently looking for Mom's place in the wrong location.  Vicky had to go outside, where I was parading Mom's dog around and telling her to hurry up and pee, and tell him how to find us.  Then we both beat a path back into the house to make up more lies to keep Mom busy.  Mom couldn't understand why we weren't ready to go, and Vicky told her we had bowel problems from what we had eaten the night before (a bit too close to the truth after my experience with Smooth Move).  Vicky had also invited a couple of Mom's gambling buddies, because the ruse was that we were all going to eat out and go to a local casino about 45 minutes from Mom's house.  We planned to go in Melody's car.

I heard the limo pull up outside and a couple minutes later a knock at the door.  Mom said "who is that?" and I told her to answer the door and find out.
mom and g.w.

There was G.W.  He gave Mom a big hug and handed her a bunch of balloons and told her Happy Birthday.  Somehow I was the only one who made it to the door to see this.  Vicky and Debbie were busy, one with the dog and one in the bathroom I think.  Melody and Elaine were somewhere behind me.  I was right there seeing the look of bewilderment on Mom's face.  One thing  I can do right is to be where the photo opportunities are.  I had Big Girl in my hand ready to go.  I took  a couple of shots and then while G.W. went back to the limo, I told Mom we were ready to go. 

Mom: but these are for Vicky, he got the wrong person.
me: no he didn't Mom.
Mom: are you sure?
me: yes I am sure.
Mom: how are we going to get there?  All this stuff (meaning Hugo, her rolling walker with the built in seat) won't fit in the car.
me: (pointing to the limo) ...yes it will Mom, because there's your ride. 


She looked at the limo.  Then back at me.  Then at the limo again.  Then the realization started to sink in. 


This WAS her ride.  The limo ride that she had never had was about to happen.  And being Mom, that was when the tears started.  I stopped for a second to hug her and kiss her, then I kept snapping, because I realized I would never get a chance to catch a moment like this with Mom again.

I hollered at the girls inside to get their purses so we could get going.

We all filed out to the limo, Mom walking down a red carpet G.W. had put out for her.  We got our stuff stored and stopped long enough for a group photo or six, then climbed in and were on our way.

And the party started.  Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I will post a few here:

giving her the crown jewels

adjusting her tiara

dooj sings


melody and dooj sing

mom still can't control vix
And we had such fun!  Mom won money at the casino and enjoyed the ride of her life.  By the end of the day we were all worn out, but in a pleasant way. 

Something I learned that day was that not only is there pleasure in giving someone something they have always wanted, but the memories it creates give back to the giver.  This was one of the best days of my life, spent with some of the people I love most in the world. 

And that is priceless.

the queen waves


  1. @Thom Brown Mom still talks about it...a highlight of her life. :D

  2. Looks like you all had a blast! Thanks for letting us in on it. xox

  3. @sweepyjean. It was a blast and I am so glad we had a chance to all be together. It was great! xo