To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – Thomas Aquinas
I must admit, I was down to the wire when it came to writing and posting my last blog for 2014. I knew I wanted to commemorate mom’s 95th birthday which was on Christmas day, and yet I really didn’t have a concept in mind. The only thing I had going on in my head was the image of Father Time trying to hand off his duties to a mere child. I had to work fast!
TICK TICK TICK was reverberating throughout my entire body. How could anyone write a blog with this much pressure and racket going on?
TICK TICK TICK.
TICK TICK TICK.
My goal … beat Father Time before he beats me and the kid takes over. Stop that damn TICK TICK TICK any way I could became my battle cry. So, I came up with what was a bit of a cop out. It would be down and dirty and hopefully somewhat engaging.
I took mom’s age … added it to mine … subtracted the total from 2014 … and came up with the year 1848. Then, I googled “what happened in the USA in 1848”.
The TICK TICK TICK provided the back-beat as I quickly read Wikipedia’s answers.
Before I share, don’t tune out until you read the last one.
TICK: Discovery of gold prompted the California Gold Rush
TICK: Construction began on the Washington Monument
TICK: Gas lights were installed in the US Capital
TICK: Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state
TICK: Zachary Taylor was elected President of the United States
TICK: John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States from 1825 till 1829 (born 1767), passed away
TICK: The Shaker song Simple Gifts was written by Joseph Brackett in Alfred, Maine
STOP THE CLOCK!
This last entry wouldn’t even connect with most people, but to me, it meant everything.
What are the odds? The very first blog I wrote on May 22nd, 2011 was titled “A Gift to Be Simple” and featured the lyrics from Simple Gifts.
What are the odds? My mom’s and sister’s favorite song was Simple Gifts. They learned it while cutting silhouettes of Shakers (past and present) in Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill Kentucky. They sang the song all the time … it was not only their favorite song, it was their mantra.
What are the odds? On July 30th, 2011, I wrote another blog titled “By Turning, Turning We Come Round Right” … part of the lyrics to, you guessed it, Simple Gifts.
It featured a video of my mom, sister and me singing Simple Gifts. It is one of my greatest treasures, because my sister passed away of Alzheimer’s at only 64 years old in April of 2011.
What are the odds? This was the last video ever taken of my sister.
What started out as a desperate and arbitrary attempt to beat Father Time at his own game had me weeping.
Without warning, time went into rewind mode.
It was Christmas day. Mom was on the receiving end of her cake. It featured two candles … the numbers 9 and 5. Mom’s 93rd birthday was the last for individual candles … after that year’s experience, we felt any more candles would be a fire hazard, especially in her house that was built in 1796.
What are the odds? Mom has lived to be 95! But, if you ask her, she’ll say she is six, ten or twenty-two.
What are the odds that mom’s two granddaughters (my daughters), her two son-in-laws, six great grandchildren and my wife and I would all be here … on her actual birthday to celebrate with her?
Happy birthday, Mom!
Fast forward … Happy New Year, everybody!