" I am so glad to see you, I brought this for you" and a virtual stranger shoved this picture into my hand... The event was a party to mark the 50th anniversary of my aunt and uncle.
In 1960, a little girl accompanied her expecting mother to substitute a fourth grade class. The little girl, so enthralled by the wind that plays with her skirt, is of course, moi. And the beaming lady....that's my mom.
This picture had been lovingly cherished for all these years
"The happiest days of my life" my mom pronounced upon seeing the snapshot. Her face beamed, and the stories began to pour forth. I've heard them all before, of course, a hundred times, but every once in a while, it's fun to hear them again... to watch her face soften and change and a lilt come into her voice that is not often heard.
Life got difficult for my mom after those days. This baby was born with severe birth defects and died without her laying eyes on him. The third child, longed for and loved, none the less brought a certain amount of anxiety after that experience. And then, pregnant with son number 3, she lost my dad- the love of her life. Nothing- nothing- was ever the same after that.
My mom is made of steel however. "I'm tough" is her favorite expression... and she is. She raised us all to be successful adults. She never let us forget what was expected of us. She worked hard to provide for us, and to keep a happy home. We always knew that we were her first priority.
A second marriage brought a new life, a little less frantic, a little more stable. Brother Steve joined the family and life established a new normal.
Through it all- through it all- my mom endured...
I like to remember my mom as I am seeing our hospice familes. I sat today with a family who found their way to laughter and to rememberance. It was good to see- good to hear. I know that they will go through their own trials- that time is coming soon, of that there is no doubt. It is good for me, as I sit with them, to remember my mom. To remember her strength, her determination, her stories, her laughter and her tears. I know this hospice family will find the same strength my own mother did.
Today is my mom's birthday. It seems a good time to thank her for who she is and what she has been in our lives. Thanks mom. Happy birthday, and many more.