Mother will be ninety in May. A few weeks ago, my youngest sister asked if she had a bucket list.
“Not really,” she answered. “I’ve seen London, Dublin, New York City, and San Francisco. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, and lots of the United States. I’ve worked as a teacher and in a cemetery. I’ve seen my name and art on the cover of a book. I’ve been married and had five children, then had lots of years on my own since your daddy died. I’ve been lucky and gotten to do so many things I only dreamed of growing up in The Depression in Cuthand, Texas. I guess the only thing I’ve been thinking about is taking a trip on Amtrak.”
That didn’t sound like much of a hill to climb. I called a very dear family member we’d both been wanting to visit for a while and wangled an invitation. We invited my sister-in-law, Shirley, which ensured a great time. After checking the dates with everybody, I got the tickets. About a week before we were to leave, Mother called.
“Have you already bought those tickets? It’s really not a good time for me to go before Christmas. I’d rather not spend the money right now and I haven’t done any shopping. Can you get your money back? Could we schedule it sometime later?”
I didn’t remind her she’s never once, in her whole life has ever felt it’s the best time to spend some money. I also didn’t remind her she always gives everyone cash, so there’s no gift shopping. “You don’t have to decide today. Think about it a day or two. Your ticket is your Christmas gift, so that won’t cost you anything.”
That sealed it. “Oh, in that case, I’m ready to go.” She was as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.
More to come …..