This Friday night seemed just like any other with Mom and I lounging on the sofa watching the Grand Ole Opry. I could feel the joy that the Opry brought to my mom just by the look in her eyes as she watched, listened, and sometimes sang. Well she hummed more than she sang but that was my moms way of singing. As we watched her eyes would glow. Sometimes I would see a sparkle. As I watched her I knew what I had to do. I hugged my mom and said Mother, when Im all grown up Im going to take you there. Mom hugged me in return and said, Im sure that you will.
As I started dinner, I turned the radio on and to my surprise the station was doing a special on The Grand Ole Opry. This brought my childhood memories roaring back. The Grand Ole Opry played on the radio in the kitchen every evening as Mom cooked dinner. She would hum and I would ask her to dance (as I had seen my father do). She would accept, especially if it were a slow song. Mom said that when it came to fast dancing she was afraid that she would break something and that with nine children she needed every thing she had to keep up with us. We would dance and at the end I would bow and say thank you madam, she would courtesy and off I would go. Then I remembered the promise that I had made to her so many years before. I had a plan.
The following morning at work I put in for a week of vacation. Next came the wait for the approval. One day turned into the next, the next into the following. I could wait no longer. I went into my supervisors office and said well am I approved or not? Signing the final signature as I walked in. She knew the excitement and anticipation that I had been feeling. She just looked up at me and smiled. That was all I needed. I called the Opryland Hotel made the reservations. I called the airlines, booked three flights. Everything having to be prepaid of course. I called my daughter to let her know that everything was a go. She in turn, after speaking with the doctors was unsure rather they would allow her to go. You see she was eight months pregnant with my granddaughter. She called the doctors again and they told her that they would advise against it. We talked and she stated to me I can have this baby in Nashville just as easily as I can here.
So I called Mom. She had plans. I really wanted this to be a surprise. I asked her if she could change her plans. She didnt think that she could but she would check. Waiting on that phone call was the longest of my life, although it only lasted for an hour. Mom called back. She said that she could change plans, but it would really mess up everyones schedule. She asked, How important is week? I thought at that point I was going to have an annurisium or something. I said, Its pretty important. Mom never wanting to change plans that one child had made before another said Well cant we visit some other week? I stated to her Mom the Grand Ole Opry wont wait.
After we boarded the plane I watched as Mom adjusted her seat belt. Watched as Brandy wrestled with hers trying to make it fit, with Mom of course telling her how. All I could think was how much I loved all three. Taking a moment to thank God for blessing my life with the pleasure of them and of course to invite him to tag along. Then we were on our way. The flight was without problems.
Unless you count Moms changing Brandys drink order from a Dr. Pepper to a Sprite. Brandy of course having a craving and Mom insisting that she should not have caffeine.
Next was our arrival to the hotel. As we entered, all we could do was stare at the beauty surrounding us. It was breathtaking. After checking in and with our itinerary in hand sent out on what was to be an awesome experience. All inside the hotel itself. There were gardens, waterfalls, fountains of water that did every thing from spouting as high as one hundred feet, almost touching the glass ceilings to dancing in tune with music and lights. There was even a riverboat ride. Fish and birds were in all the gardens and waterways. The restaurants varied from the most elegant to fast food. And shopping was no problem. Shops everywhere. All we did was say charge it to our room please. They even delivered. But none of this would compare to The Grand Ole Opry.
I watched as Mom dressed for the evening. She was a bundle of nerves. Trying one outfit then another. Asking questions such as; is this ok? Does this match? And the worlds most dreaded question, Does this make me look fat? Never having the intention of touching that one, I said Mom you look beautiful no matter what you wear. Then we were off to the Opry.
On the walk to the doors of the Opry, I watched, as Mom tried not display her excitement. You could see it in her walk. Her little short legs were carried her as fast as they could. Almost giving you the impression that any second that they would tie themselves into knots. She had a smile on her face that stretched from ear to ear. Finally seated in our seats, the show began. Porter Wagoner walked out on the stage and I thought Mom was going to burst. It was then I witnessed the glow and caught the sparkle in her eye. The same glow and sparkle that I remembered as a child the night I made my promise to her. As we sat listening to the music my granddaughter danced. With each song she moved as if in tune with the music. Mom smiled and said She gets that from me. At the end of the performance my mother hugged me, whispered in my ear I love you, and slipped something in my hand. As she did she told me not to open the tiny box until we returned home. I agreed.
After returning each to their home, I returned to mine. I couldnt wait to open the box. I ripped off the pretty white bow and inside was a beautiful silver locket. I opened the locket and there was a picture of my Mom and the inscription I knew that you would.