J: Happy Birthday to Sweet T! As we celebrate T's birthday today, I thought I would reminisce about one of her favorite sayings. "I don't want to see any long faces" is what she would say if something was awarded before it was actually earned. For example, if I received a Christmas gift anytime before Christmas, T would say "Now remember this gift - I don't want to see any long faces on Christmas morning". (In order to prevent long faces, she would routinely announce that ANYTHING purchased by her for us after September 1 was going "under the tree" - which was infuriating!!) As the middle child, I was always the one to perceive slights, so she probably had to roll the long faces line out to me more than any of the other kids, but I'm sure we all heard it at some point as we were all dialed in to what wasn't fair.
So as T celebrates her 78th year, I would like to report that she is not pulling any long faces. She's definitely been dealt some things that don't seem to be fair- from being the oldest of 13 children and having to watch as 7 of her siblings died at or shortly after being born (due to Rh factor incompatibility) to having to move to the projects when her dad was hospitalized (twice) with tuberculosis, she had plenty of reasons to have a long face. But she persevered through it all. And still today, as she is lost in her own world of dementia, there is not a long face to be seen. I wish you, faithful readers, could see how beautiful Sweet T still is. Her skin is clear and rosy, her hair is thick and lush, and her face is almost always sporting the sweetest smile anyone could want to see.
Happy birthday Mom - thanks for 78 years of smiles!