Today is my mom’s birthday
I’ve had many long talks with girlfriends about moms. These talks often happen late at night when we’re sipping wine and getting quiet. No matter who I’m talking with, we always agree that the depth of love and connection between daughters and moms is palpable. Sometimes even painful. I have started a practice whenever I visit now. I try to see my mom. To really look at her. To take her in. It’s so easy to blow through our lives without really seeing the people we love. I have been guilty of that.
My mom doesn’t get to read my blog very often. This is partly because in the past year most of her energy has been going into caring for my dad, who had a stroke last August. It’s also partly because she’s not a big fan of computers. So, I’m writing this post just for her because it’s her birthday, and she hasn’t gotten a lot of attention this past year. Today is her day.
So, in the spirit of blog post writing etiquette, here’s 11 Random Things I Love about my mom…
1. I love that whenever I see Lily of the Valley, I think of her. I love that the fragrance reminds me of my mom and the big patch of Lily of the Valley that she planted in the shady side yard of our old house.
2. I love that whenever I go home, no matter what has gone on in her world, there is always a fresh little vase of flowers on the kitchen table.
3. I love that I still get regular handwritten letters and notes from her. I also love that she always sends me (and my siblings, and now, my husband) cards for every birthday, holiday, and holy day, and that there’s always a note about how special we each are.
4. I love that my mom made our meals every single night of our lives when we were kids. (I hated this when I was a kid. All my friends got to eat at McDonalds. And we never got to eat at McDonalds. And if we ever did get anything from McDonalds, she’d fix us a salad on the side! A SALAD!) My mom still cooks every night. I do too. She taught me well.
5. I love my mom’s unbridled enthusiasm for everything. She loves going out to plays, theatre, museum exhibits, gatherings of any kind, and great restaurants. And afterwards, she will recount every single detail and taste and texture for you.
6. I love that my mom sang a song to me every night when I went to bed. That’s how I know songs like, “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “Down by the Old Mill Stream.” And I love love love that she wrote a song just for me called “Have you Ever Seen a Treasure?” I can still sing it word for word.
7. I love the ferocity of my mom’s love. She’s the glue that holds my family together. And she has been a warrior for and with my dad throughout this year.
8 . I love that my mom is probably the most stubborn person I know. Besides me. (I’m a Taurus, too. It wasn’t exactly Our Town in my house when I was a teen.)
9. I love that in every story of my childhood that my mom retells, I was always five. Five was apparently a big year for me.
10. I love that when I take my dog to visit, I wake up every morning to find that my dog is already in the kitchen lying next to my mom with her tail wagging slowly. My mom will whisper, “Well, I just gave her a little bacon.”
11. I love that my mom writes in a gratitude journal. I hope that she will write today about how grateful she is for the beautiful world that she has created and for her own vitality and zest and joy that she has passed on to so many others.
Happy birthday, Mom! I love you!