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Tell us about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?

So, here I am – a week behind on our assignments – searching the files in my brain to find a time when I was completely fooled. The above prompt was the one that showed up the day I got this assignment in the mail.

Choose one? How can I look over the last 57 years and only choose one? And should I think about the wool pulled over my eyes, or the fact that I love to completely fool others?

As I sit here thinking about this topic, I find that I keep going back to my mother’s 80th birthday. She was adamant that she didn’t want some big celebratory birthday party just to acknowledge that she was turning 80. I agreed. I sometimes think well meaning children believe this is what the parent wants. Far too many times, we as the children of our parents invite anyone and everyone that we can think of, or we publicize it in some sort of media which again draws people who feel obliged to attend.

Nope, I agreed with my mother that I would not do this either with her planning or as a surprise. At least not in the way she was thinking.

My mother’s birthday that year fell on a Sunday, and her one birthday wish was that I come to church on that day. Again, nothing out of the ordinary, and when I appeared at “her pew” in the church, she beamed; but expected nothing more – except maybe going out to dinner afterwards.

It is a standard practice at our church that after the service is over, people wait for the postlude music to finish before leaving the sanctuary. So, after the service was over, my mother sat back and prepared to listen. She was, however, surprised when the organist and congregation broke out into “Happy Birthday to you. She turned to me and I just shrugged.

To top it off, the minister extended my invitation to the congregation to proceed to the fellowship room for birthday cake and punch. I hadn’t invited a lot of people she hadn’t seen in a long time, or relatives, or neighbors; instead, since my mother was so active in the church, I invited those people who she meant something to.



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