May 9, 2012

Remembering is important.

I'm going to think about taking my mom to tea at the Brown Palace this Mother's Day. What a blessing and a total nudge from the Lord that was...

I had been nursing Natalie upstairs one night before Christmas, and I was trying to think of something special to give my mom. I was looking at the books in her room (we haven't moved any from the built-ins R built years ago), and my eye stopped on a small book given to me called "Invitation to Tea." I thought it would be fun to host a little tea at my house for my mom as her Christmas gift... there are lots of recipes and cute ideas in that book. But then I felt the need to think grander. Well, you say "grand," and the Brown Palace pops into my mind. It had been years since my mom had really gotten out to experience anything, been downtown, or seen anything beautiful... and I knew they decorated their lobby gorgeously for the holidays, which is where one has tea. I talked to Raul about it, and he agreed it would be a very special Christmas gift. 

I had fun making a little invitation for her (the flipside says "You're Invited"):

She opened it and giddiness followed. I love that.

We went on January 4th, at 11am, and it was beautiful. We got there early, so we strolled around... went up to the second floor and looked down in the lobby. She refused to let me carry her oxygen for her, but somehow I snuck it on my shoulder anyway. That's how it usually worked with us. {Now, when I see somebody with oxygen, my heart goes out to them and I am tempted to carry their tank, too--maybe I'll have an opportunity to one of these days. I can say that living beside my mom with her illness softened my heart in ways I'm still discovering... helping with even the seemingly little things in life often mean more than you ever think they would, and the oxygen stuff is one way I will be soft forever.} We oohed and ahhed over the vintage furniture, Christmas garlands and bulbs, and the fancy schmancy bathroom. 

Mom & I before we left

Looking down into the lobby at the Brown Palace from the second floor

What a ceiling!

A pianist played the whole time we were there, and he looked just like Carl from UP.  Loved that, with his big black-rimmed glasses. He played music from musicals and old movies. Mom and I kept trying to name the song, or the movie, before the other could--she beat me! I had no idea she knew her showtunes--we never watched these together when I was growing up, and I never heard her mention that she liked them, or at least knew them. I was impressed.

"Carl," our pianist

They served us 3-tiers of scones, sandwiches, and wee little desserts, and we had a bottomless teapot of this amazing chai tea--they placed a lovely, but heavy, silver strainer that sat on our cups. We each also had our own silver teapots--I had to lift mom's for her for refills, they were so heavy.  She refilled her cup a lot, so I got my workout in! We even enjoyed a kir royale--black currant liquor mixed with sparkling white wine--a first for us both, as we waited for the tea fare.

Kir royales, with berries: yum

It was all so beautiful and relaxed and enjoyable.  She looked so snuggly and lovely in her green sweater--I think my favorite sweater of hers, ever.  Do you have favorite clothes your mom wears? Why are they your favorite? I loved clothes that made me want to hug my mom, especially the last few years. Most of what she owned was like that... knit, soft, warm colors... I think I liked the green sweater because it brought out her eyes.

It means so much to remember this day we shared because we might not have had it: I had originally made the reservations for January 15th, but something in my gut told me to make them sooner, if possible. Originally, the 15th was all they had available. But that sour pang whispered in my spirit, "You may not have enough time..." so I called right before making her little invitaton, and they said they had an opening on the 4th. One month and a few days later, she was gone. I told Raul later that him urging me to take her there after I had mentioned it was the best gift he'd given me. I still feel an insane amount of gratitude to him for letting me love on my mom through tea and scones that day.

She had said to me then, "This will be a good memory for you." She said it with such resolve, no tears, just... this is how it is, and I'm glad.  Can't only a mom say things like that in such a situation? I know she shed many tears, but the fact that she overrode those to speak good things to me clearly and with joy is something I hope I can do for my girls. Again I say, leave it to a mom to do that... Anyway, me taking her there was just as much for me as it was for her, I guess. She was right; it's one of my favorite memories of us, now. I look forward to snuggling her in heaven and saying, "Remember when?"

I love you, mom, and miss you so much, every single day. The sadness would overtake me if it wasn't for the good times, so praise God for that. {Then again...the sadness wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the good times, so... it is good to miss things, because that means there was love!}


tess said...

mindy! it's good to write these memories down! it's so nice to remember all these little details like how heavy the pots where, etc. when i read about your mom's green sweater i start racking my brain about something my mom always wears--my mom always always always wears a necklace with a teensy gold heart--a gift from her younger sister. i remember lying in bed with my mom when i was little and she told me she's always worn it and has only had to take it off once--for when she was in the hospital having me! whenever i see heart-shaped ANYTHING i think of my ma...
happy mother's day lady! i wonder what item of clothing you wear will make your girls think of you!

Julie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this special moment/ memory with us. I am so impressed you took a picture of the invitaion. What a special day. What a special mom. What a special daughter.

Julie said...

She does look GREAT in that colorful sweater!

Kati's Keepsake said...

That is so special. What a lovely tea. I am glad you and your mom were able to share that memory. She had a very special daughter!!!! And happy late mother's day to a wonderful mother- your girls are lucky to have such a wonderful mother, too.