Sunday Morning #16 – Gone Dancing

Today I was thinking about my Mother and how much I miss her. I have so many things I want to talk to her about, but she left this realm in 2003 just after the new year. I wrote this in 2013 about her 80th birthday and today is the day it needs to be shared again.

Gone Dancin’

My mother loved to dance!  As a child, I remember her dancing around the kitchen to songs on the radio.  If the TV was not on for her to watch her “stories” every day, the radio was tuned to her favorite station.  It was primarily Country, but she loved all kinds of music.  Unfortunately, my father who loved music did not have the love of dancing my mother held dear.  I saw them dance once in my lifetime, at the wedding reception of his grand-nephew.

During the last several years of her life, Mom and her two best female friends and their best male friend went dancing as many as three nights a week.  They traveled anywhere their favorite band was playing within a hundred miles from home.  None of the ladies were able to drive at night, so the lone male of this foursome served as the driver.  Each of the three ladies provided their vehicle on a rotating basis for “going dancing”, but Bill always drove.

About the middle of July before her 80th birthday in August of 2002, I asked Willie L how she wanted to celebrate.  Without skipping a beat, she in no uncertain terms told me she wanted a dance and wanted to provide dinner to everyone invited.  This was not all.  She continued to tell me she wanted their favorite dance band to play.  It was obvious this was not a spur of the moment reply…she had been scheming all along for this celebration.  I loved it and told her she could have whatever she wanted for her very special birthday.

We brain stormed who would do what and got to work.  Her job was to book the band, which she did.  Some how, she was able to get them to forgo a regular gig to play for her birthday party.  That tiny little lady always got what she wanted.  They even agreed to learn her favorite song to play for her that night.  Cost was not an issue, but these guys loved Willie L as much as she loved them, so the price they quoted I knew was a generous discount.  I didn’t haggle, but they did get a generous tip.

We rented the hall, planned the menu, invited over a hundred close friends and family, cooked, cleaned and decorated.  The day finally arrived and she was more excited than any sixteen-year old on the day of her Sweet Sixteen.  In a way it was the same.

Two surprises came late in the day that really made it even more special.  Her baby brother arrived unexpectedly from Atlanta, Georgia.  But, even better than his arrival was a snow-white surrey pulling up to the front door to carry Cinderella to her Ball.  Levi, a family friend who had wagons and carriages of all types, decided his gift to her would be a carriage ride to the party.  I was in on this surprise and the look on her face was priceless when she opened the front door to find Levi standing there with his white surrey and white horse asking her if she needed a ride.  Of course the dancing began early as she made her way to the carriage.  Attached to the back was a sign wishing her a ‘Happy Birthday’!

Guests lined the walk when Levi pulled up to the hall where the party was held.  They all cheered, wished her happy birthday, and walked her inside to get the party started.  And party she did, not missing a dance all night long.

This birthday would be bittersweet for her friends and family.  Five months later, this spunky, vibrant little lady was suddenly taken from all of us and the stars were no longer as bright in the Central Texas sky.  She died as she lived, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Forever, Willie L has Gone Dancin’!

Copyright © 2013 Annie – Original Non-Fiction and Poetry

Micropoetry written on January 2, 2013:

Mom gliding across the kitchen floor ~ swaying to the music on the radio ~ for now she has ~ forever ~ gone dancing

This story and a collection of my short stories can be found in my book Annie’s American Stories – or choose shop from the drop down menu.

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