Happy birthday, Mama

Elizabeth Paige
Mary Elizabeth Manning Paige

As a kid, February 22 was celebrated as George Washington’s birthday – and my Mama’s. Today, my mother is 92 – or 93, if some in the family are to be believed. (She always told us she was born in 1921, but some of her siblings say she pushed her age back a year.) Like so many born in the 1920s, Mama doesn’t have a birth certificate. Not that it matters now, anyway.

I alternate between being grateful that my Mama is still with us and profoundly sad because of her current condition. Those who are friends of mine on Facebook know she doesn’t look quite like this now. In my minds’ eye, though, she still does. I try to document each visit with my Mama, by taking pictures and, when she’s up to it, recording her singing. I only wish I had started this earlier – my videos only go back to Christmas 2010, when she was still mobile, and she was at my house, with the rest of my family, for dinner.

We – her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – will gather this Sunday to celebrate her birthday. We will have cake and sing. And try to remember when she was the one baking the cake and leading us in prayer.

Happy birthday, Mama. I love you.


2 thoughts on “Happy birthday, Mama

  1. That’s a beautiful portrait of her — any picture can show what a person’s likeness, but a select few can show you what that person was like.

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