Sixty-three years ago today my mother was born. She was definitely the coolest mom anyone could ask for. She wasn’t the smothering, or domineering type. She let you live your life and be yourself and figure life out on your own, but she was always willing to listen and offer advice. Growing up she wasn’t only a mother to my brother and I, but also to many of our friends. Many times in our teen years she took our friends in, and loved them, and she did until the day she died.
Three things stand out profoundly for me that she tried to instill in us. They are: appreciation for nature, honesty and being kind to others. She absolutely loved nature, all of it. She found great joy in simple things like a beautiful sunset, flowers, trees, flowing streams and definitely animals. She has always surrounded herself with lots of animals. When we were younger we would camp on the river, and take trips to the mountains or the beach. Today, I, like she did, find great joy and peace with those same things. I think now those things will mean a little more.
My mom would not tolerate lying or being unkind to others. Her big saying growing up was “As long as you don’t lie to me, you won’t be in trouble.” And she meant it. I’m sure there were moments after hearing some of our stories she cringed, but it truly opened the door for us to know we could tell her anything. She was definitely one of a kind. She also had a soft spot for people, especially the ones that were troubled, or different in some way. I think that was derived from the difficult childhood she endured. It gave her a determination to love us, and always provide an environment where we could speak openly and honestly. She carried this over not only to Bobby and I, but all of our friends. I know she always considered those days with Bobby, I and all of our friends, to be the best days of her life.
When my brother died it crushed her. Mom was never the same again after that. She held on the best she could all these years, but a part of her died the day Bobby died. She, like many of us have, fought demons for years.
There was a long period of time after Bobby’s death, that she and I grew apart. It was really quite sad, because I believe we needed each other more than ever through those years. Fortunately, she and I rekindled our relationship. We’ve shared so many laughs and cries together through the years.
She adored my husband. She used to always tell me how I broke the cycle with him. She also adored her granddaughters. She was always so patient teaching Reese how to cook, or talking about her cats with her for what seemed like an eternity, because she knew Reese enjoyed it. She was always willing to be an ear or a confidant for Morgan. She spent a whole summer with us about six years ago to look after the girls. I had surgery and she cleared her calendar to come take care of me for a couple of weeks. She even took breakfast requests. She loved her friends as well and spoke so sweetly of them. For those friends and family here today that helped her along, thank you.
Although my mom was so broken, she was still willing to help when we needed her. I have called her countless times to cry, vent, or just chit-chat. I’m going to miss that so much. She was wonderful to converse with, because you could have a deep, honest and meaningful conversation with her. About ANYTHING! Nothing was off limits with her. I loved that about her, as I know many that were close to her did.
I know many people may find it sad to bury her on her birthday, but I see it as the best birthday present ever for her. Today I lay my sweet, yet exhausted mother to rest, on the same grounds her beloved son rests. There is nothing I can think of that would make her happier.
Happy Birthday Mamma