As we were driving away down the bumpy old road I stuck my head out the window and struggled to see Mom for the last time from the second story balcony. There she was, in pink sponge curlers and red eyes. She was hiding behind the curtains watching us leave. We turned the corner and I could no longer see her. I sat back in my seat and cried. How could I leave my Mom? It was just a few short years ago I told her that I would NEVER leave her and that if I ever got married I'd bring my husband to live with her too. And now, It was 1999 and I was 19 years old and on my way to a new life in the States. 1,500 miles away from my Mom.
As I stood in my Moms room 13 years later, with my husband and 3 little girls of my own, I remembered that sad time in my life, but there were no tears rolling down my cheeks this time around only a sparkle in my eyes and a smile from ear to ear, for this was a time of reunion and not of farewells. I could hear my Mom coming up the steps and Nubun and I giggled in quiet anticipation, for I was the one hiding in the shadows this time!
It was the week before my Mom turned 70 years old and we flew down to Toluca, Mexico to catch a bus, then a taxi to Chilpancingo to surprise Mom for her birthday 'week'. So when we got to her house she was gone on church visitation. We waited around 5 hours for her to get back and when my sister in law Apo heard her car coming down the bumpy old dirt hill she rushed us upstairs where we hurried to my Mom's room. We couldn't wait till she came through that door and saw us!
All the windows were open and a cool breeze came through the curtains and past my nose, I breathed in deeply, the smell of eucalyptus and mountain air filled my being. I loved the smell there!
Nubun and I were so excited we couldn't make up our mind what funny position we wanted to be in when Mom came through that door so we kept on changing positions. We ended up just bouncing up and down right in front of the door in childish glee!
Finally they were in front of us with just a door between, we could see their shadow under the frame and could hear their muffled footsteps stop as Sarah turned the doorknob and opened the door.
Mom was right behind her, when they looked up there we were!
Time stood still. For just a second, long enough to take a photographic memory of this moment.
If I was wishing for drama and excitement then I wished well, and my dream came true! Sarah screamed and Mom bellowed then there was an array of hugs and kisses and laughter that followed! Oh I love surprises! I mean who doesn't love surprises?
We had a wonderful time the next few hours, we sat around and talked with Mom and Nathan and Apo, then all of us but Apo and Weldon piled into Nathan's Trail Blazer and we went into Chilpancingo to get our necks pulled by an Alphabiotic Dr, sorta like a chiropractic adjustment. We were so happy to be together we laughed and giggled through the whole process, Nathan and I got one and to our amazement even Nubun and Mom decided to get their neck yanked too! You never heard so many bones pop at one time! Wow! How delicious that felt! And then when we were done we all piled back into the car and talked about how great our spine felt. Mom suggested us stopping by the new WalMart to check out the new place.
"No!" all three of us answered -almost in unison. Then Nathan, Nubun and I kept on secretly swapping grins and knowing winks, for that was not all the excitement that was going on at the Patterson household that evening. We needed to be home for the rest of the commotion!
When darkness came once again our excitement started building up and we prepared ourselves for another surprise. .....or two.
Russell, Mae, Shanda and Paul drove up and snuck inside the house. Nathan and Apo quietly greeted them and Nubun and I hid in my old bedroom. We could hear their quiet footsteps go up the steps and open Moms door. Once more the drama queen inside of me relished the gleeful commotion going on one one room away. We waited a minute or two, for Russell and Mae didn't know we were there either! Then we went upstairs to announce our presence.
After a full day of surprises and love going around we settled down and just enjoyed and relished each others company, I sipped on a hot cup of lemon grass tea and chatted with my Mom.
So I did go off and get married, but I completed my promise of bringing my husband back to live at home with Mom, even if it was just for a week.
I smiled over my cup, I could hear the wind rustling in the trees, and enjoyed the smell of my lemony tea. I liked to hear Mom's voice and see her smile as we exchanged exciting stories of the days gone by. I wanted to freeze that moment forever, because it was, well.... It was just, simply, wonderfully, and unforgettably, perfect.