Happy Birthday, Delaney!
Take Me to the Moon 5.8
Delaney blew out the candles on her cake. This would be her last birthday cake. As her family cheered, pictures from the past passed through her mind.
Her dad. Her earliest memory of being loved.
Her mom. Learning what could be accomplished with focus and discipline.
Looking in the mirror and hating herself for surviving them. Feeling that there was no reason she should have lived, when they did not. Realizing, even in her anger, that her life had to count for something.
Beginning again with Aunt Cacey and Uncle Barnaby, in Oasis Springs.
Finding Ryleigh, whose quiet orderliness, gave Delaney the relief from her past that she needed. And helped her build a new normal.
From the beginning, Alexander was like home to Delaney. Being with him was no different than being alone, except he was there to share whatever was going on.
All those friendships and love helped Delaney find the courage to start to dream of living up to that tremendous burden she put on herself to make her life worth living, to pursue her dad’s and great grandma’s dream for her … to be a Space Ranger.
As she grew, she spent countless long hours training
and building Earhart
with a few breaks with friends.
With Bella’s help, the day of Earhart’s first flight finally dawned. Delaney still remembers looking up at her creation and wondering what it would be like to be looking down from space, on everyone and everything she’d ever known here. And if her mother and father and grandparents would be proud.
Riding Earhart into the stratosphere, and beyond. Elation.
Coming back to earth, only briefly, and then a new kind of elation.
All the sorrow and joy of her life so far, wrapped up in one big day. Memories of loss and grief, juxtaposed against the forging of a new family.
Delaney also remembers the wonder of holding each of her nephews, Dashle, Dennis, and Darryl, for the first time.
And the unexpected struggles of learning to be part of an extended family.
Which made her appreciate and remember her mother again, after all those years.
Delaney’s early career was full of swashbuckling adventure and grandiose moments.
And she rode a wave of youthful vigor. Her main memory from Ryleigh’s wedding, which she helped plan, was heady flirting with Alexander while everyone else was in the kitchen.
This memory of Ryleigh’s wedding party merges into so many happy memories as she and Ryleigh both lived in each other’s houses, enjoying being adults and being friends.
Delaney’s still not sure whether Ewan was conceived in the rocket,
or on earth
But she’ll never forget the marvel of holding her own child. Hers and Alexanders. He was perfect, exquisite.
And her and Alexander’s banter about the Zombie Apocalypse, just after Ewan’s birth.
Through the joy of being a new mom, the sting of growing apart with Ryleigh was not what she would have thought it would be.
Looking back, she wonders if she could have reached out more to Ryleigh, but at the time, she was cocooned in the warmth of her growing family’s love.
She and Alexander soon found out they were expecting Elise.
And welcomed her into their family.
Delaney still wonders about Bella’s premonitions when she first met Elise. Or was it a memory of Bella’s, that was triggered by meeting her granddaughter?
The joy of Elise’s birth and sharing their home with friends and family, was overshadowed by Cacey’s impending departure.
This time, though, Delaney was too busy comforting Ewan to be too wrapped up in her own loss.
Maybe Delaney was still intoxicated with youth and love, because she didn’t really share the depth of Cacey’s grief at parting.
Not long after, Mortimer’s health was failing, and Bella, Mortimer, and Desmond moved in with Delaney and Alexander.
Before anyone was ready, Mortimer’s time was up. Delaney lectured Grim when he came to get her father-in-law. This time, she was determined not to just take what death doled out, silently.
Delaney’s great grandmother, Maddi, visited Tesla Place one time. She entered the house confident, after seeing Delaney’s accomplishment made concrete in a statue.
Alexander wanted one more baby. Delaney was nearly at the top of career, and even though another pregnancy would slow down her progress, she decided it was worth it, for him.
During this pregnancy, she thought she saw her mother in the bathroom one night, appalled at the state of the plumbing.
She’ll never forget how pleased Alexander was with his little Eric.
Or her own sadness at leaving him to go on her mission to Sixam.
The wonder of looking up into the galaxies above, for earth, and her family, out there circling a star far away. A pinnacle achievement; balanced by the realization that being human means where there is gain, there is loss.
The disbelief of Cacey’s return, and how much Cacey had changed.
And having the maturity and hindsight to not let things slide when they are really important.
Delaney doesn’t regret that she changed careers late in life to complete her Renaissance Sim aspiration; she’s grateful for the support and love of her family. Especially Alexander, whose constant love and supportive attitude and actions have allowed her to explore, succeed, and accomplish. She wants to support him, his well-being, his health.
Her accomplishments begin to fade in importance, next to her children’s. Now she is proud of Elise, her budding scientist,
Ewan, her artist, and Eric, her connoisseur.
And Zoe, her goofball daughter in law, who makes Ewan happy.
She’s gotten to see Ewan succeed in his own right, and in his first art show, see her own accomplishments through her son’s, and the public’s, eye.
Her treasure is the happiness of her children.
As Delaney goes into this last stage of life, she is grateful. And she has plans.
To enjoy her family.
To be there for Alexander, who has always been there for her.
To consider retiring, if the family’s finances can sustain without her already, so she can help others focus on their goals.
Maybe she will reconnect with Ryleigh and Cacey. If it can happen.
It is time to be more quiet, less striving, more peaceful, and more helpful to others. Delaney doesn’t know if she can do that, but she’d like to give it a try.
Thank you to CathyTea, from whose blog I got the idea to look back over Delaney’s life, at her elder birthday, instead of at her death. To celebrate her now, before grief blurs the picture.