Sunday, July 23, 2006

Feeling warm and fuzzy on July 23

This is a special day in my family. My sisters and brother and I exchanged e-mails about it first thing this morning. We always do. We share a few sweet memories, expressions of thankfulness. One of my sisters observes the day each year by making a peach pie. Me, I buy flannel.

July 23 is our mother's birthday, and this year she would have been 89. Today marks the fifth July 23 we've observed without her.

Within a year or so after her death, my siblings and I found ourselves observing Mother's birthday in our own special little ways. Simple little things that had been synonymous with our mother - playing bridge, or lovingly baking a pie in a well-worn tin -- became an appropriate way to quietly observe the special day.

So while going to the fabric store is hardly an uncommon event for me, it's always different -- and very wonderful -- every July 23. This day is when I buy flannel for receiving blankets - the same kind my mother used to make -- that will go to babies who need them. I posted the instructions on how to make them here a few months ago.

It may be weeks or months before I actually get these simple little blankets sewn up and taken to the hospital, but for some reason it's been important to me to buy the flannel on my mother's birthday. So, once again - that's exactly what I did today. I took my time, picking out sweet prints and soft textures that I knew Mother would have loved. Then I came home and put it all through the washer and dryer so it'll be ready when the mood strikes.

So that's why I'm feeling warm and fuzzy this July 23. Not a day goes by that my sisters and brother and I don't miss both of our parents. But we're grateful that small things keep us close, that our parents' example is living on in new generations of the family, and that the memories make us smile.

And what would Mother say if she knew I were writing about her on a web log? She'd smile, hold her hands up in that "don't-even-bother-trying-to-explain-technology to me" gesture, and say, "Oh, you kids and that Internet!"

If there's a special birthday or anniversary in your own family, I hope you have a precious way to observe it, too.


Diane said...

I also stocked up on flannel at JoAnn's sale last week to make receiving blankets as well. My group prefers them single thickness and talk about a snap to make!
I've avoided thrift stores for months but today on a whim I found the shelves to be brimming with yarn including RED. 2 huge skeins for a mere 99 cents for red scarves, of course.
Thanks for the inspiration and happy birthday to your mom. Thankfully, her spirit lives on through you.

Anne K. said...

Diane, what a find at the thrift store! Have fun knitting and I know the Red Scarf project will love getting some of your work.

Knit on!!

Zoanna said...

I'm crying. That's a precious way to honor her memory. Absolutely precious. If I had to pick what I'd be doing (my mom is still alive) I would be packing a box of warm clothes for homeless children. My older sister would probably be reading in a library. ONe of my sisters would take in a stray puppy or kitty. My youngest would get her nails done.

Anne K. said...

Zoanna, thanks for the nice comments! And as for your youngest sister, there's a lot to be said for getting an honorary manicure....I might do that next year myself! Thanks for tip! Mother always kept her nails in great shape...something I've noticed in looking back at old family photos. When my oldest sisters were teenagers, my brother was a toddler and I was a baby, the photos show her very busy but always with gorgeous painted nails, and she did them herself!! What precious memories! Thanks for the warm smile, and have a great day.