This past Saturday, May 7th, was my Mother's birthday. It was the fourth birthday of hers that I've celebrated without her and, while it doesn't get easier, I've learned my way around the day and have become familiar with the muddy mix of sadness and happiness that swirls together through my heart. This year, I celebrated with my youngest niece, Mom's youngest Grandchild. She's a student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and so I scooped her up from her apartment and demanded a tour of the beautiful campus and then we made our way to a lovely old hotel on the banks of the ever-rising Mississippi River.
We strolled along the riverfront, toured the Old State Capitol Building, and listened to some great music at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival.
All within walking distance of our hotel.
We wound our way back to our hotel in time to choose a prime spot in the hotel bar to watch the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a big fan of horse racing, the Triple Crown races in particular, which begin with the Derby. She especially enjoyed it when the Derby fell on her birthday, as it did this year. So my niece and I drank champagne (me) and Shirley Temples (her), toasted my Mother, and watched a very exciting race.
Later, we ordered room service for dinner, and ate our dinners in bed while watching a rented movie. It was decadent, and lovely, and perfect. I believe that our day of togetherness, exploring and celebration was one that my mother would have loved. We sure did!