New month, 3 BT Today

July 1 - I want to start the new month with three beautiful things - and gratitude.

1. This morning I gingerly slid my legs over the side of the bed and stood up - without whimpering - and walked slowly downstairs. Such a simple thing. Something I have taken for granted until - I tore the meniscus in my right knee and could not stand up and walk without whining, grunting or sometimes flat out screaming.

I walked early - and have been free wheeling in the world ever since. Mama tells me I started climbing out of the crib when I was nine months old - "you were too little to be doing it - but you did it anyway." You can guess the stories of young frustrated parents whose first child was a kid meant to be on the move. I am grateful to be mobile again.

2. This evening my mother and I had a lively, laughing telephone conversation when she answered the phone herself. For awhile she was not doing that and it broke our fifty-three year communication line. I have missed such easy access to my mother. I was grateful to hear her strong-voiced. She recognized me right off. We talked through her day and then I told her about my knee. And thanked her.

" For what?"

I reminded her how she had shown me her trick for putting her pants on - "put them on the floor, stick your feet in and then pull them up - that way you don't have to lift your leg."
"Mama that has really saved me with this knee - goes to show you are never too old to learn something from your mother."
"Ellouise, that's the truth - and you are smart if you have learned that."

I went on - "This knee thing has also taught me something about your life Mama, and how hard it must be for you somedays."
"Ellouise, I don't want you to pity me."
"That's not what I meant - I am saying you can't understand someone else's situation - if you have not walked a mile in their shoes."

Mama was quiet for a minute. I wondered if I had lost the connection with her. Then,
"That's right. You do have to walk in somebody's shoes, don't you. Thank you for telling me that."

It was a wonderful close hug between us.

Then she flew the coop. "I have to go now. I am going up to the third floor ( she lives in a one story building) to see Mama, and my little baby, Chris. They are expecting me."
"Who is Chris, Mama."
"You know, my baby."
"I don't think I know him. I wonder how I missed that one."
"I couldn't say. But you must have. And did you know little Kathy has disappeared."
"Mama, could it be that Kathy has grown up?" (Kathy is my sister who will soon be attending her 50th high school graduation reunion).
"That's what they tell me."

" But she's not gone - she is still in your heart as your "little piece of baby."
"Maybe so. Maybe so."
(Little Kathy with Granny and Dad Jack at their 25th anniversary reception.)

Then Mama came back.

"Dad Jack's birthday is in July. July 25."
"I know - - and mama who else has a big birthday in July."
She was quiet. She laughed. "Oh, its YOU!"

"You better watch out - I almost tricked you."

We giggled.

"But you didn't."

Truly a beautiful way to start my birthday month.
(Jack Baer - circa 1944, taken at Wrightsville Beach)
3. And speaking of mothers and daughters - this morning on 37 Days Patti Digh told a wonderful story about her four year old daughter Tess. The story takes you right into their sweet loving relationship and into the fun of living with a small child - when you are open to the fun of it.
Tess's story prompted a memory from my childhood and I shared the story on 37 Days.

Blogs are beautiful connections between people. I am grateful to be a part of the blogging community. Without Clare, I might not be naming these Three Beautiful Things.