Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lady G

My mom is 89 years old today. There she is above, all elegance and grace, my father teasingly poking her with a pen. She is not deterred. She will maintain decorum until the shutter clicks, and then we will all crack up laughing. That's my husband and me on the far left, a week after we were married. Has it really been twenty-five years? Next month, my dad will have been gone for fifteen years. You can see his mischief here. He was a brilliant mind, a judge whose decisions made the most compelling reading. My mother was his editor, the one who made sure he didn't descend into legal mumbo jumbo, that his writing remained riveting and true as clear glass. They were partners in every sense. He became a sir, knighted by the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace for the measure of his work. I was there when he knelt and she laid the sword on his shoulder. That made my mom officially a Lady, which she had always been anyway, just ask her sisters.

It was a rare and hallowed thing to be raised by these two. I grasp that fully now. Oh we had our days of rain, our shadows. But there was love throughout. There was always so much love. I remember my father in his final weeks, flirting shamelessly with my mother on the last of her birthdays that he would witness. They giggled as he slipped his hand along her soft arm, a secret joke blooming between them. When I opened my eyes this morning, I could see so clearly the way my father's eyes danced when they alighted on my mother that afternoon. He was in a hospital bed in St. Lucia. She was in a cool blue linen dress, worry lines around her mouth, yet she couldn't help laughing as he flirted, and when she laughed she was radiant. They had been married forty-seven years but he was still just a boy who couldn't believe his good fortune in spending his life with this girl.

Happy birthday, Lady Gloria. I know you still miss him more than you can bear to say. But take your time here. Don't rush away. Somewhere he is waiting for you. He knows, as we do, you are beyond compare.


  1. She looks like such a strong woman! May the rest of her years here be happy and healthy.

  2. Happy Birthday Lady.

    Oh my gosh Angella, you've gone and made me cry. Again. You are a beautiful, beautiful writer.

  3. Angella, such a moving, poignant post. So much love between your parents gave you a true gift: the ability to love your husband, your children. Not only did you feel cherished and loved, you were able to offer it to all those who came into your life. And your beloved Lady Gloria has passed her radiance onto you. xo

  4. This is what I call holy.

  5. I agree with Mrs Moon. What incredible richness, and your depth of wisdom and heart to recognize and cherish it.

  6. oh and happy birthday to the woman who mothered one of the coolest people i know!

  7. Once again your family stories bring wistful tears and soft smiles. How lovely to be but a small witness to your journey.

  8. speechless.
    and in tears.
    and humbled.

  9. Happy Birthday to your beautiful mother. How blessed you are to have had such wonderful parents!

  10. What beautiful, beautiful parents. And what a privilege that you have shared them with us!

  11. It's moving to read this. Indeed, your mum is elegant. It's wonderful to have parents who love each other (and you)and of whom you are proud.

    I'm glad I read this post. I'm simultaneously cheerful and tearful at the end of it.


  12. I hope your mother had a very happy day yesterday, Angella. Thank you for sharing her beauty :)

  13. Deborah, she's physically frail but mentally a powerhouse. thanks for the good thought.

    Rotton Mom, thank you for feeling this.

    Vespersparrow, you speak true. they made me feel that i was worthy of being loved well, and i thank them every day because without that, i think i might not have had the courage to accept the love of my wonderful husband, which was a big lifechanging deal.

    Ms. Moon, amen. i love that.

    Maggie May, i do cherish it. You are doing much the same with your brood, and they will cherish it too.

    Candice, you're the cool one. you and my mom.

    Kathleen, I love when you come by here. I hope your lovely family is well.

    deb, i am humbled by your friendship. how amazing what can blossom here.

    Tess, i feel blessed. I do.

    Elizabeth, thank you for appreciating the sharing. That means so much.

    Lucy, my parents have a great love story, for sure. And tearful and cheerful is just perfect! hugs.

    ellen, my mom is in jamaica right now, and she and her sister had afternoon tea with some lifelong friends. and my brother's two youngest woke her up with gifts and excitement and song, so yes, she had a good day.

  14. I can say that I cried a little. Very beautiful and deep post. All the best for your wonderful Mother.

  15. Angella,
    She is beautiful. I love seeing women full of light. Even in the dark there is something so full of light.
    It's incredible to see where we've come from, the women we have come from.

  16. Oh, Angella -
    I could barely finish reading this beautiful touching love-story.
    My eyes were filled with tears. What a poignant post.
    You are truly gifted with not only your family, but your writing skills as well. And what a wonderful photograph. Knighted by the Queen! OMGoodness!! Happy birthday wishes to your beautiful mother!!
    I love it here - on your blog.
    And I love you!

  17. what a glorious post for lady gloria.

    thank you for sharing your parent's love story. what amazing folks..... and you have not fallen too far from that powerful tree and keeping their legacy alive!

    sorry you aren't able to be in jamaica to help your mom celebrate her birthday - imagine next year there will be a big birthday blast!!!!


  18. Olga, thank you! and i will pass on your good wishes.

    Rachel, so true. We stand in their light, these women.

    Gabriele, my family has been a gift, and you are a gift also. love to you, dear friend.

    mouse, you are right! next year, the 9-0, will be epic. my brother and i are already planning.

    namaste, sweet kimy.