today is my mother's birthday. or, it was. no, i guess it still is, though she's been gone for several years now. i saw her shortly before her last birthday with us. terminally ill, she was bed-ridden and on powerful pain killers. but she was most definitely present. i'd bought a gift for her, still not quite understanding it would be my last birthday gift to her. it was a beautiful ceramic lion - bright colors, a great facial expression. she loved animals, real ones and others as objects d'art. mom had a huge collection of animals made out of all sorts of material - most of them are here with me, all around my house.
i also picked up a bottle of bailey's irish creme, her favorite drink. she wasn't supposed to drink alcohol while on morphine, but who cared. as my father and a nurse's aide looked on aghast, i poured some into the sippy cup she was using, poured a little for myself and we drank a toast to her. she had a wonderful smile on her face as she tasted the liquid. i hope it was a good high. i miss my mother.