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I Made My Mother Cry. . .And I’d Do It Again

March 24, 2015

I took a trip this weekend. Not your normal business trip. I travelled to Washington to celebrate my mother’s surprise 70th birthday party. It wasn’t a surprise that my mother was turning 70. But, it was a surprise that my step father was throwing her a surprise birthday party. And it was even more of a surprise that I drove 1000 miles from Utah to be there, and my brother drove 1000 miles from California to be there. 

This trip was really important to my mother. It’s part of the reason that I decided I wasn’t going to “work” over the weekend. I sent an email saying I was going to be completely unavailable. (An Overinflated Sense Of My Own Importance.) Last week when I discussed work/life balance, (Work/Life Balance Is Overrated) I talked about the fact that if something conflicts with work, I just do it anyway. Because I normally take that attitutde and that direction, it made much more of an impression on my clients and coworkes when I said I’m not available. 

There was no way I was going to risk missing her party because something broke. And I’m sure it did. In fact I know something broke. I butt-dialed one of those 58 people that knew I was on vacation. 

Hey Rodney, since you called, did you want to know the status?

The status on what? 

They want to put Windows Media Player on the call floor. There’s a big long email chain. VPs are on it and it’s created quite a buzz.

If they put Windows Media Player on the call floor without getting the client’s permission, someone is going to get fired. 

Oh, I know. . .

But, I’m on vacation, I’ll hear all about it on Tuesday.

She was surprised at the party and cried at all the work here husband had gone through. Then she caught sight of my brother and she cried. Then she caught sight of me and cried again.

Each of her children spoke a few words at the party. When it came my turn on the mic, I said,

I used to think that everyone’s life was like ours, and that my family was just better storytellers. And then I discovered they are not. In fact, my siblings and I have been blessed to lead extradinary lives, and we owe it to an extraordinary woman who made it possible. 

During this party, I met people I hadn’t seen in years. My mother still lives in the town I grew up in. One friend from high school stopped by,

I wasn’t going to come, but then I thought if Richard and Rodney are there, I really want to say hi to them. 

How did you know we were coming? We only decided on Wednesday and we didn’t tell anyone.

I knew you wouldn’t miss your mother’s 70th birthday. 

And she was right.  



Happy birthday to my wonderful mother. 

I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild. 
Follow him on Twitter (@rodneymbliss
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  1. Richard Bliss permalink

    Hey, can I steal this article? Much easier if I just use yours and don’t have to write my own.

    • I will sign over 100% editorial content and control, IF you will include a link to my site in the “thanks” or “credits” or whatever section.

      But, certainly feel free to use it.

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