The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. ~ Maya Angelou
How are YOU, Dear Tushkateer??!?
It’s been quite the week here; chock-a-block with life. (Five Oy Veys and Six Hail Mary’s on that one!) It included but was not limited to brain scans, birthdays and red velvet cake!
Half way through the week, on Hump Day (aptly named), I celebrated my birthday. I have a long and happy history of birthday celebrations.
My first recollection of happy birthday celebrations dates back to my 5th birthday, on which day I awoke early. Early enough to find both my mother and father sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying their morning coffee and toast; my father’s always slathered thick with marmalade, as they listened to the local radio station.
Miraculously, within minutes after my arrival, the radio announcer, in his deeply seductive announcer voice, said, “We here at WBDY wish Janice a Happy 5th Birthday! Janice, if you look under the living room sofa, you will find your gifts!” I scurried and slid into the living room with the speed and determination of a major league baseball player sliding into home, as I reached for and retrieved my gifts. I remember not a even one present, but I do remember the excitement!
Fast forward to this birthday, if you will. The ‘big’ celebrations with my favorite people on the planet – my kids – were scheduled for the weekends, thereby leaving the actual day wide open to celebrate in any manner that I wished. A no-brainer, really! Given my mother’s age (nearing 96 years old – come July) and her recent decline (not mammoth but the ‘cracks’ are beginning to show), I chose to visit with her. Not to be maudlin, but who knows what next year might bring.
I arrived with a bowl of freshly cut pineapple, grapes places around the edges. Sorry that I do not have a photo of it, because it really did resemble a birthday cake, and I do believe y’all would have enjoyed it!!!
Anyway … when I arrived my mother was a bit foggy about it being my birthday. We reviewed the date a few times, but at the end of the day, it still didn’t seem to register in the way that one might expect it to.
At the same time, mom is fully aware that she cannot remember. Essentially, she remembers that she can’t remember. And she remains determined to find a way to remember. So, she suggested, “Why don’t I note your birthday on my calendar. Then I won’t have to actively remember.” So – we did just that. We wrote in big letters on this particular hump day, “Janice B.day.”
Once that was out of the way, we sweetly remembered all the birthday cakes that had come before this fruity one, as well as radio announcements, et al. Then, rather nonchalantly, mom inquired as to the results of the CT brain scan she’d had the week before, wanting to know if she was officially ‘crazy.’ I told that the scan showed small changes but nothing to speak about, which was true. No point in speaking about it! And I assured her that she was not crazy, which is true as well. Perhaps she is lacking a bit of oxygen, but not crazy.
As I road the 20 minute subway ride back home, I reviewed the day, past birthdays, past cakes and I decided with extreme awareness (no lying to myself, no guilt, no shame, no strings attached) to stop at the best bakery in Harlem, Lee Lee’s, and pick up a slice of red velvet cake with icing atop.
To be clear, I was not eating cake to push down, submerge or anesthetize my feelings. I am in favor of feeling whatever is ‘there’ for a myriad of reasons. This slice of cake was planned, measured and counted. If you check out the calorie count online you’ll see that red velvet cake w. icing ranges from 250 to 780 calories. To the best that I could figure, my slice weighed in at 450 calories.
I waited for Peter to get home from work (not that I had any intention of sharing my slice of cake, but I thought it more festive to eat it with someone). We cued up American Idol (Top 3)! We watched, and during commercial breaks, we muted the TV as I savored the bittersweet flava’ of the day.
And then it was time to Move On! Into the rest of my life.
Which brings me to this week’s KICK in the TUSH CLUB e-letter, fully loaded and overflowing with inspiration, motivation, dysfunctional yet righteous recipes, play and lose it jigsaw fun and more! Enjoy!!!
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