The renewal of my life cycle is the most important day of the year for me. I tend to surround myself with friends and feast with various forms of entertainment. I start planning in December. Many people informed me that they were attending. However, little did I know that it was not true.
One by one cancelations started streaming in within an hour of the dinner. At least some people informed me that they were not coming. Others did not even say anything to me. They simply did not show. There I sat for thirty minutes awaiting company that never manifested. The lovely chairs looked back at me with their emptiness. One friend appeared. She was the only one that kept me company all for a while.
After the sub standard meal, I went home and became a puddle on my floor. Alone. In the darkness. I did not want to be alone on my birthday. Yet, there I was. It was a cold reminder that my importance was secondary yet again. I was thankful for the text messages, fb love, and phone calls. A card even came in the mail. The tears have yet to dry from my wet face as I try to nurse myself back to a rational state. It was the worst birthday of my life.
As Fall rolled around, I knew that this time of introspection could possibly be chaotic for my newly widowed mother. It would be the first birthday without her husband. The thought of her having a nervous breakdown while I was at work was more than I could take. What could I do to avoid such a fate? Simple. I planned a surprise party.
Once this idea popped in my head, I contacted one of her main associates. She was thinking the same thing and jumped at the chance to be a part of the inside scoop. The amount of text messages that this woman received from me probably caused her to upgrade her cell phone plan. The Surprise Pajama Potluck was well under way with a guest list of 26 women. Cake, furniture, and entertainment were coordinated in between performances and readings. Instead of running to Publix for the common dessert standby, I decided to upgrade to a Cake Couture Specialist. After sending two sketches of what I thought would be a jaw dropper dessert, she created the most beautiful cake that I could imagine. Candles were designed and four shopping trips followed just to make certain that the gift bags were on point: fine chocolate, Sandalwood sachets, and the candles all made their way into the Fall themed gift bags. Tables and chairs were collected from various sources including a party center. Games were gathered as well as balloons, confetti, and orange cutlery.
In the middle of the day of madness, it occurred to me that nothing was going to occur on the actual date of my mother’s birthday. Would there be a feeling of a daily routine? I made my way to a local florist to order flowers for October 22nd. As my mother reveled in her party, she would have a visible reminder of all of the merriment that was made…..and there was merriment running amuck. As the ladies began to arrive at 7pm, my mother was enjoying a pedicure with the decoy. I sent word to her that neighbors wanted to use her yard for a party. When she returned to her own house, she still had no idea that it was filled with friends anxiously awaiting her pleasant shock. The joyous expression on my mother’s face at the sight of everyone gathered in her honor was more than a million dollars. She was caught by pleasant surprise.
The women prayed, danced, ate, sang, and played an intense game of bingo. Testimonials were given and presents were shared. The cake was cut and consumed. The guests left filled with happy memories while others yet stayed behind and created an after party. My mother reported to me that people did not leave until 2am. Well, it was a pajama party after all. One guest was even in town without her knowledge and surprised all of us late in the night with her colorful presence.
Here it is two days after the party, and I have done absolutely nothing besides get a massage and write thank you cards. A cleaning lady is coming to my home tomorrow to take care of its needs while I attend to the matters of the week. One of those matters include the planning of the next party. Now that my mother knows all of our tricks, I have to take it to the next level without alerting her suspicion.
At one point during the evening, I heard a male voice. It was very strange because my brother had informed me that he wasn’t attending the party. I even opened the door to see the face of the voice and no one was there. My ear soon rang which indicated a spiritual presence. I am certain that my father wanted me to know that he was pleased with what I had accomplished on behalf of his wife. I realize that it is my responsibility to do all that I can to make sure that she smiles as she adjusts to him being in the land of the ancestors. Happy Birthday Mommy. Many, Many happy returns.