Owen was almost himself today and when the weather cleared a little we went outside to collect two fine eggs and to feed the chickens their grapes, to kick the bamboo. He wanted to give the young chicks "middle" names. The only ones I remember are these:
That last one is my favorite. Eggytina.
I asked him what he remembered about the hospital.
"That I didn't have to take any medicine."
There you go. It is true. He did not.
I told the child I would fix him anything he wanted to eat. He asked for Chex Mix. I gave him some. He ate it. Later he asked for cheesy noodles. I made those. He ate perhaps a bite or two but Gibson ate two bowls full. But Owen drank Sprite and water and he is being wise. I remember in nursing school being told that when there is a stomach upset, the bowel sometimes just needs to rest. And he is resting his bowel.
Boppy came home early and the boys were overjoyed. We played Wii games and Owen won and won and won. Gibson played too and was overjoyed just to make things happen on the screen, winning or losing not yet a firm concept in his mind.
It has been that sort of day. No wins, no losses, just life.
Tomorrow Jessie and Vergil will be here. We will celebrate Jessie's birthday and this is the second one of her life that she has not shared the day and a cake with her grandmother whose birthday was the same day as hers. I remember as a child thinking that the first day of May was a very, very special day and getting up early and going outside in the just-born morning to pick flowers for my mother to put in an Easter basket to lay beside her bed. That is the best memory I have of my mother's birthday. It came from a child's love and I did that for several years. When I grew up, I would send her flowers on her birthday and I know she appreciated that. She would keep them as long as she could, pulling them out as they died, keeping the ones that had not yet faded until they too, had to be thrown away.
I will admit though that in the last decade or so, I sent the flowers out of guilt, not love, and I can neither be ashamed of that nor regretful. It is simply what happened, the truth.
But she was usually here on her birthday, celebrating with her beloved Jessie, and her name would be on the cake along with Jessie's, and they would blow out the candles together.
That, too, is true, as is the fact that she loved sharing her birthday with Jessie.
I believe this was the last party they shared.
I will think about Mother tomorrow. I thought about her on Monday night when we were in the emergency room because the last time I was there, I was in a different room, holding Mother's hand as she died.
Birth, death, all the days in between, strung like jewels of joy and sorrow, of nothing more than making soup, kissing a child, listening to the rain.
And thus, altogether, a life.
Might as well blow out the candles with exuberance. Might as well make a wish.
Might as well be glad for the rain. As trite as it is true, the sun will shine again.