Today is a most special day for me; my mom would have been 67 this very day. I miss her each and every day but knowing she can finally rest and be pain-free brings me comfort. Her love continues beyond the grave, just being her daughter gives me a sense of empowerment because of the life she led and values she passed on to me. My mom was not perfect but she was an extraordinary woman! I miss her ability of knowing when I needed something; moms just have that perfect sense for their children. My mom was a no-nonsense kind of person, she was not much for “coddling” but I cannot remember a time I did not have the things I needed and even having most of the things I wanted while growing up. She encouraged play time and was always my biggest fan no matter what I was pursuing. She had such a strong sense of family and taking care of others. She worked 2 jobs most of her life, married at sixteen and had two children by nineteen. My mom was strong and resilient; she gave freely and lived her life in the shadows, asking only to be treated with respect. What a legacy she left for me, my brother and my dad. She believed in equality, meaning everyone who works the same job should have the same expectations…she worked in a factory and struggled with the generational gaps of ethics and working to be proud of the product you were making verses just showing up for a paycheck. My mom was definitely “old school” and I couldn’t be more proud of this trait that she nurtured and helped to develop within me. My life has been so enriched by the lessons I have learned from my family, I was blessed to have actually met my great-grandparents of my mom and dad’s families as well as several aunts and uncles plus numerous cousins. Every August, we have a family reunion for my mom’s side of the family; I did not attend in 2012, the grief of losing mom in June was just too difficult to face everyone, that and I had to work. Honestly, I did not want to attend this year but I needed to go and I am so very glad that I did. Seeing relatives and catching up on kids, grandkids and even great-grandkids was wonderful. What an amazing world we live in, where healing happens with family to share your grief and all the many memories that immediately bring smiles, tears and much laughter. I am reminded of just how very precious family is now that the matriarch of my family is gone, I know that she knew I loved her and my love continues just differently now. She always insisted she did not want gifts and that she did not need anything at birthdays and holidays…that always made me look all the more for that one perfect gift. My mom was a very practical woman, not wanting more than she needed and never placing herself above others. She is my hero, I know that I cannot be her… but I can try to be the best “me” I can be while holding onto the values and morals she taught me and I am living into the person she always knew I would be. We saw and experienced life differently but no matter where I was or what I was doing she loved me, she loved me completely.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!
Proverbs 31:29-31 (NIV)
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.