First off, I'd like to thank everyone for the cards, letters, emails, gifts, beers, thoughts, etc. I am truly blessed to know each and every person in my little world and I love you all. OK, some more than others, but you know what I mean.
This 50th birthday celebration of mine has been in the works for three years now, and I don't think I've ever anticipated any other event in my life as much as this week.
My greatest fear in the months and weeks leading up to my birthday yesterday has been that my ill mother would die at this time. And although she had yet another in a series of strokes on Sunday, we are all grateful that she is still here with us.
Last night, after returning home from the big birthday dinner with the gang at the Angus Barn, I had a message to call my sister. Mom, as she has done every year for as long as I can remember, wanted to sing Happy Birthday to me. The phone was put to her ear and she gave it her best. I suspect the sounds that came out of her mouth would only be recognizable to my sister and me, but I loved it nonetheless. It was heartbreaking, and yet knowing that it would likely be the last time she would ever do this for me, I was filled with a joy and a love for her that was unbelievable.
Thanks, Mom! For everything. Forever…
From a purely selfish standpoint, I'm glad she's still with us and I'll be driving down to Charlotte to see her again in a few days.
As happy as I am that my mother is still here, it is with a very heavy heart that I have to tell you that my sister then informed me that her boyfriend Doug Thomas had a heart attack and died in his home office around lunchtime yesterday. Doug's office is at the opposite end of the house from my mother's bedroom. He was fine one minute and gone the next.
She said she didn't want to tell me yesterday and ruin my birthday. There are no words…