Since the beginning of ElderBlog, I’ve been encouraging my siblings to post their own entries…to no avail. This time, there was no choice. Elizabeth, my Baby Sister, had to write it.
So, my brother is making me write a blog post about Mom’s and my adventure to Houston this past weekend and I didn’t want to do it. But since my big brother told me to and I didn’t have enough battery charge left on my cellphone to text-argue, the time that elapsed essentially committed me to it by default. Here’s the story.
I awoke Friday to a thunderstorm and this was my queue to get my guard up to the airline challenges ahead. I got to BWI and found that my flight was cancelled due to missing equipment. That means an airplane broke somewhere and couldn’t come to pick us up. Some time later, BWI had eight of us on a shuttle to DCA and switched our airline to one that had an airplane that could take us to Houston. I’m a seasoned traveler and live by the credo that you have to be flexible when you travel, so I didn’t get my knickers in a knot over the situation.
What twisted my knickers was the realization that my 81-year-old mother was at GSO with a cancelled flight (just what are the odds!!!???) and I couldn’t reach her driver, my sister-in-law who is also an experienced travel agent. Where was her cellphone? Why wouldn’t her number take messages? How would I hook up with Mom at IAH and when? What flight would she be on? Would Mom get food and drink? Why does Nordstrom’s call it a “half yearly” instead of a “semi-annual” sale? Long story short, Joy drove Mom 1.5 hours to Charlotte to arrange for another flight and became the hero of the day! Fred became the messenger.
Houston had grown up since I left in 1984 and even the airport had evolved into five terminals. I found Mom two terminals away (hallelujah) and was so grateful for the wheelchair assistance since we had to pick up luggage at her terminal and then return to mine. Navigating was a dream, and tips with blessings were handed out liberally to everyone who helped. We rented a car and made it in to the Hyatt near the restaurant with just enough time to primp up and get to the party.
Oh, did I mention that we went to Houston to surprise Mom’s friend of 58 years Mae Malone, who turned 90 and had a party to celebrate the day? Mae didn’t recognize Mom when she saw her and we weren’t prepared for that. Maureen, her daughter, was expecting me, but was shocked to see Mom. We had to remind Mae who Mom was. Also surprising Mae was her son and his family who flew in from New Mexico, and that presented quite a reunion for Mom and me. Mae greeted everyone, spent time with every single guest, danced and danced again, and seemed to have limitless energy. I sure hope I’m like that at 90. All the while, I took pictures of Mae with each of her friends which will be scrapbooked later. It’ll be a big surprise.
On Saturday, Mom and I went to two yard sales, a thrift shop, and a Goodwill, before we went to Mae’s apartment for ’90th Birthday Party, the Sequel.’ Drop in, meet, greet, smile, rush, and repeat. By now, we were all old friends with the couples who enjoyed a feast at the retirement center’s dining facility.
After all her guests left, Mae had me take her and Mom to the Mall where she showed us the carousel that she likes to watch when she goes there. Of course, I bought tokens and all three of us enjoyed a carousel ride adding to an already huge stack of happy weekend memories. Then Mom and Mae visited Yogurt Land and sampled nearly every flavor of frozen yogurt available. Finally, we brought Mae home and found our way to our final hotel stay before leaving for our own homes.
It was always my intention to be there for Mae’s 90th birthday since she started telling me about it 3 or 4 years ago, but it was only 2 weeks ago that I asked Mom if she wanted to go with me. After some consideration Mom decided that it was a good opportunity to share the gospel with Mae and help her along the way of making the choice to follow Christ. Mom was satisfied that she accomplished this mission and that Mae will indeed be in heaven with us. Mom was happy that she went and felt the time and money was spent wisely. I did too. But never again will I let my Big Brother force me to write another blog post!