chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

May 30: Dorothy’s birthday

DAK self portrait 1982By the time my mother turned 90, my dad was gone and Dorothy’s life had narrowed. Her vision and mobility were compromised and her thoughts didn’t always make it to the end of each sentence. But two things remained the same: her love of food and her love of attention.

There was surely no thing she needed as a birthday gift, so I did the obvious: I took her out to eat. Again and again.

Over the course of several weeks around her 90th birthday, we would make plans to go out to lunch or dinner — not unusual in itself as it was something we both enjoyed and could do together without too much conflict. But when we arrived at the restaurant, she would find, each time with renewed surprise, a small party awaiting her — special friends, close cousins, the women in her writing group. There were eight of these occasions, each at a different, favorite, restaurant, each with different, favorite, people.

Whether she retained any memory of these meals once we left the restaurants I don’t know. But for those sweet hours, her smile wide, she basked in generous affection and felt truly and joyfully celebrated.
. . . . .
Dorothy watercolor self-portrait, 1982

9 responses to “May 30: Dorothy’s birthday

  1. Sheila S May 30, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Eight birthday dinners! How extraordinarily generous of you to do that for her.

    (How old was she when she painted that self-portrait?)

  2. jik May 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

    She was 71. I would have guessed younger, but that’s the date on the signature.

  3. Marsha May 30, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    A beautiful and gracious 90th birthday
    tribute to her.

  4. susanissima May 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    A touching, loving tribute for your mama. You are a super-sweet daughter. <3

  5. ccrooksphoto June 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    A wonderful memory. I am certain your Mother loved every minute of it while she was in the moment.

  6. jik June 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks. She did love it, and it felt like the perfect gift.

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