Mother’s 80th Birthday, the inevitable fear it brings

Posted in SharonSpeak on February 8th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

I am going to South Africa for my mother’s 80th birthday on February 13th. It’s a celebration, a party, but of course it brings the inevitable fear of ones mother ageing and moving towards death. So amongst the bright lights, music and laughter there lurks the thoughts of darkness and loss. With the coming of 80 is the cold sliver of ice, the shadow behind the door. Once in a while we take these thoughts out of the box and turn them over in our minds. At airports, on planes, in between places, when there’s time to ponder. For me, as I prepare to go to my mother’s 80th birthday, those thoughts are sliding around. The grandchildren are doing a big card with past photos and loving speeches. The family are gathering around the celebratory tables. Friends are trying on their dresses and buying presents. How do you mark the passing of so many years ? It holds up a mirror to the most important of human experiences, loving ones mother, watching her get old, flying across the world to see her again, even just making her a cup of tea. There’s a happiness and solidity about still having ones mother in the world and I know it won’t, can’t be, forever. So in the morning when I wake up and the time ticks towards her 80th birthday, and I go downstairs to open the shutters and make a cup of coffee, every day feels like a gift. My mother is still in the world and one day, not that many years after 80 I imagine, the world will turn on its head and she will be gone forever.
Happy 80th Birthday
Happy 80th Birthday