Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My mom, the straight man.

Let me just start by saying that I can never seem to get anything over on my daughter. I guess I'm not good at keeping secrets from her or at least at not keeping a straight face when I'm trying to pull something on her. So the fact that we pulled this off was huge...

A week or so before the wedding, I finally convinced Mom to come for the wedding. I'm still not sure how I did it, but I'm so glad I did! She said that the only way she'd come, is if we didn't tell our oldest. Which also meant I couldn't tell our middle daughter, because she'd tell everyone! So I told our youngest daughter, because...well, being non-verbal, she can keep a secret! It helped me, and it sure made her happy! And even though he knew it was supposed to be a surprise, my hubby almost gave it away on a few occasions. He covered well, though, and she didn't suspect a thing.

Mom would be flying in on Thursday night. The night before the wedding. A couple of days before they were to get married, I got a text from our daughter saying she wanted to spend the night before her wedding at our house and get ready here. It couldn't have been more perfect. So we made plans to watch Survivor and eat pizza with her little sisters. We'd make a night of it.

However, we were so excited when she got there that we kept pausing the tv to say something, and it took almost an hour and 45 minutes to watch Survivor. At one point, we even had to pause the tv, when Mom called from the airport during a layover. She talked to both me and our oldest and told us all about my nephew's ballgame she was supposedly attending. It was perfect timing and added credibility to her not being able to make it for the wedding. It was just perfect all around.

Except for the fact that when she called me back 2 minutes later to tell me what time the 'ballgame' was, she was laughing hysterically when I replied, "Good. I'm glad you'll have plenty of time to get there!" I have no idea how I kept a straight face! Inside, I was squealing and screaming with excitement. I even caught myself smiling at the tv when I was thinking about it and having to get myself under control. It was hard work!

The younger girls are used to going to bed really early, so they went to bed 15 minutes or so before we finished watching our show, and they were asleep by the time I left 20 minutes later. Mom's plane was supposed to land at 9:10 or so, and by the time we got done with Survivor, my stomach was flipping with excitement.

At 8:45, I told our oldest that I'd forgotten that I had to run to Target. Would she mind sitting with the girls? Then I ran in the bathroom and freshened up a bit and brushed my hair. I mentioned that I should change my shirt, because it's rather worn, but she said, "Mom, it's only Target. It's not like you need to dress up!" (I realized then that I couldn't change clothes, or she'd suspect something). "What are you getting, anyway?" When she asked what I was getting, I had to act offended and like it was a gift she couldn't know about. She accused me of being obvious. I had to do everything I could not to bust up laughing and give something away. I can never seem to surprise her. It drives me nuts.

I finally got out the door and had my cell phone in hand to call my sister who knew all that had been going on. I had to actively remind myself to be securely locked in my car before I dialed, because I was afraid my voice would carry, and our oldest would be able to hear me in the house. I felt like I was going to burst!

So I called my twin sister, and we talked and laughed while I drove to the airport and tried to figure out where I was going. I'd only been to the airport one other time, since we seem to drive everywhere we go, so it was an adventure. One I got to share with my sister. It was so much fun, and I'll cherish the memories forever! I didn't realize exactly how close we lived to the airport, and I actually had time to burn before going in to pick up Mom, so we had more time to talk.

Being in such a silly mood, I decided to make a sign and hold it up for Mom. After all, it had been a few years since we'd seen each other, and I didn't know, if she'd remember what I looked like. I got a piece of notebook paper out of my purse that I'd written a list on, and I wrote MOM in pen on the back, since I didn't have a marker with me. I made the O into a ladybug, and I held it impatiently in front of me while I waited to see Mom's face.

My sister asked for me to have my phone on speaker, so she could hear everything as it happened, but I found out later she couldn't hear a thing. I'd pick up the phone every once in awhile and talk to her, but for the most part, it felt like I was just holding my breath in anticipation. I think 3 planes all landed within 10 minutes of each other, and I thought I'd never see Mom come through the crowd. Well, I guess I didn't. At least 200 people came by before she did, and there was no crowd around her by the time she came down the ramp. She was alone. She'd thought that I would be picking her up where she deplaned, so she'd sat down and waited for me. I'm so glad she didn't wait too long!

I was SO excited to finally see her, and it killed me that I couldn't walk to meet her, because of the safety restrictions, so I just willed her to walk fast. We couldn't seem to talk fast enough or hug hard enough. She didn't have to wait for luggage, so we headed out to the car after calling my sister back and letting her know Mom made it in okay. Then we began to plan how we were going to surprise our oldest daughter, and we hardly had time to get it straight before I pulled up in front of the house.

My twin sister wanted to be able to hear the surprise unfold. So I called her on my cell phone, and walked into the house while talking to her. That way, the bride-to-be wouldn't question me being on the phone that late, and she'd be able to hear everything. In the meantime, Mom called her granddaughter to talk to her a bit more and would wait in the car for a few minutes before coming in. I don't know for sure what they were talking about. Mom was asking for me, but I was asking our daughter to talk to her, because I was on the phone with my sister. Our daughter was definitely confused by all of it.

Whatever they were talking about, it had our sweetheart's attention. She was engrossed in conversation when the door squeaked a little bit and Mom walked in. You should have heard the blood curdling scream! Followed by sobbing. And laughing. And screaming. And more laughing. And the blubbering continued for at least 20 minutes. It was priceless! And on the other end of my cell phone was my twin sister sobbing over the beauty of it all.

And it was beautiful. And it made our daughter's night. It made all of everyone's night!

Mom helped make our daughter's wedding complete. Thank you, Mom. We love you with all our hearts!

I will forever be grateful that Mom gave the gift of herself to our daughter for her wedding.


  1. Sooo very sweet.

    You keep making me cry.

  2. You're a twin? That's awesome!! What a sweet surprise!!!

  3. Sorry. I meant to clarify when I was writing. She's my twin sister who is 10 years older than me. We have just always called each other 'twin'. :)

  4. You have made me tear up a little. You are so lucky to have your mom, even if she does live far away.

    What a lovely surprise for your daughter. Thanks for sharing it with us.


    PS: Thanks for commenting on my blog the last couple of days. I always appreciate it.

  5. Oh wow - that is SOOO awesome! Great job pulling it off!

  6. Hi Twin! I loved the story too, especially since I got to be part of it. Thank you again. I had no idea you told your youngest the sweet and special. I want to hear more about that. I love you!

  7. thats a wonderful story,this one made me cry :)


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