Happy Birthday to you!

Marcia Wagoner

It was a hot August evening in Sun Lakes. Do we have anyone visiting then? Never. I’m usually in my pajamas quite early, so when I looked out when the doorbell rang, I saw my son, who lives in Phoenix, with a big smile on his face. Nothing too wrong, then. I opened the door and there was a woman with a big pot of daisies, some of my favorite flowers, covering her face. She brought down the daisies, and voila, there was my daughter from Atlanta, with her dazzling smile announcing, “I’ve come early for your birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!” Well, I nearly dropped my old teeth. That she would come here to Sun Lakes for the first time in three years, leaving a busy life with a family — two sons, her husband, the house, and her job — including a disabled person — caused deep emotion in me. To boot, my kids hadn’t seen each other in years.

My husband, who had been hiding out so I could answer the door, snapped some pictures, while my maternal instinct kicked in quickly. I had prepared a big dinner of shrimp scampi, unusual because my culinary skills and interest have declined significantly. Alas, my husband and I had eaten it all, and my middle-aged “kids” were relegated to frozen pizza. I felt pretty bad.

Well, a delightful evening was spent with my loquacious kids (hmm. I wonder where they got that trait). The next morning included much talking also, followed by a mid-afternoon ice cream cake with a couple friends. (We skipped the 75 candles to avoid the Sun Lake Fire Department arriving.) Then a little later we dined at a new French cuisine restaurant in Gilbert, Delicieux.l. More talking at home and a big card from my daughter’s family that included 75 stars, 75 hearts and 75 smiley face stickers and a sweet message on a card from my son, who has a way with words. Then a trip to Scottsdale the next morning to a favorite restaurant for brunch al fresco. Hot, hot outside. But what fun!

So did this happen because they thought I might not make it to 80? I may surprise everyone and repeat this event. Que sera, sera. And maybe I’ll serve shrimp scampi if I can get my act together and if they don’t surprise me.