Book me a room at the home, Mabel, I'm coming in.
I have no brain left. I've said that before, but I was lying then because obviously I had a little bitty bit of brain left. Now? No brain.
The sixth anniversary of my father's death was approaching. Now, as any of you who have lost a parent knows, this is a tricky bit of business. You want to call the living parent and offer moral support and comfort on a yucky day. But what do you say? "Happy anniversary of Dad's Death?" There's no Hallmark card for that.
The other thing is, I can never remember the actual date of Dad's death. After much brain prodding and memorizing, I can now remember he died in December 2006. But did he die on the 6th? Or the 9th?
"When did my dad die?" I ask my husband – every single year.
"You ask me this every single year," he replies, every single year.
"I know, I'm an idiot. But please tell me. I'll remember this time."
Dave sighs ... every single year he sighs just like that ... and tells me he died December 6th.
Yay! Thanks Dave! I burn Dec. 6 into my beleaguered brain and swear to the great gods of merciful memory that I WILL REMEMBER next year.
When Dec. 6 rolled around I phoned my Mom, who sounded perky.
"How are you doing?" I asked in a sombre, I-am-worried-about-you tone.
"Pretty good," she said. "My leg is really bothering me but other than that I'm fine. How are you?"
"Oh good," I said, brushing off her question. "But really, Mom, how ARE you?"
There was a pause, then she said, "I'm fine, Cathy. Why? What's up?"
I got all awkward and didn't know what to say so I mumbled, "Well, it's, um, Dec. 6 and I thought I should see how you are."
There was an even longer pause, then Mom started laughing. "He died Dec. 9! Not Dec. 6. You do this EVERY SINGLE YEAR!"
Then it was OK. We laughed like looney tunes. The awkwardness of not knowing how to mark a terrible anniversary dissipated.
"I'll phone you on Dec. 9," I said, just before I hung up.
"Oh, you don't have to do that," Mom said. "It's fine."
But I did. I called her last night and, as soon as she answered the phone I said, "It's Dec. 9," and she laughed, real unabashed laughter, all over again.
I think I might have to do this again next year – in fact, every single year from now on. Because if it can make my mother laugh on one of the saddest days on the calendar, well, there's no need for a card from Hallmark, is there?
Speaking of brain-dead, I had forgotten that today was a special day for everyone's favourite Ninja blogger, Alex Cavanaugh. If you'd like to drop by his blog and wish him well and thank him for being such a bright spot in the universe, do so here.
Alex is one of the most popular and generous bloggers I've ever come across and it's absolutely no wonder that everyone loves him so much.
On this special day I would love to say that the world is a better place because of you, dear, sweet Alex. I wish you nothing but all the very best, on this day and all the ones to come.
(Is there a Hallmark card for Alex's Special Day?)