We don’t like to think of our parents getting older. Heck, we don’t like to think of ourselves getting older! But then something happens that drives home the fact that the aging process is inexorable.
My parents are amazing. Both turn 90 this year and still live independently in their own home. My mom has had a few health issues and is a bit more frail, but my dad has remained strong and incredibly capable for his age. Until a few weeks ago, when he suffered a mild stroke. Thankfully, the effects were mild, and he is already improving with therapy. We have every expectation that he will fully recover in fairly short order. But, it reminds us that life is uncertain.
So, my siblings and I plotted together as we are wont to do. We were unable to be all together during the holidays due to COVID, but now we are all vaccinated. It is much safer to travel and to gather. We hatched a plan to surprise our parents for Mother’s Day! Last Saturday, I flew in from Las Vegas and my sister caught a connecting flight from Montana. We met at the airport and drove to our brother’s place for the night.
My in-town sister picked up our parents and brought them to our brother’s house for what was expected to be a routine, low-key Mother’s Day dinner. My sister and I lurked around the family room corner, nonchalantly waiting for them to notice us!
The big reveal was all we had hoped for. We hugged. We cried a little. We giggled about how hard it was to keep the big secret. (They really had no idea!) It was the first time my nuclear family had been physically together since Christmas 2019. What an incredible blessing.
Best. Day. Ever.