Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom and Daughter
Mom and Daughter

Today is my sweet mama’s birthday. We’re separated by thousands of miles. I wish I could see her.

But, since I can’t, I just wanted to take a chance to say how much I love her. How grateful I am for her.

She taught me how to cook, and passed on the Southern love of hospitality, the satisfaction of seeing friends and family walk away quite happy, stomachs full.  Mom is known for having all her children lolling on the couch after a full meal, unable to move, and then offering pieces of chocolate, popcorn, or some other treat, because she wants to make sure we’re not going without. She encouraged and enabled every cookbook acquisition, and new cooking-method addiction.

She opened that first piano book for me when I was 8 years old, and told me to have at it. I grew up listening to her play as church pianist, wanting to do it just like her. As a grown woman, I sometimes smile as I’m playing for my own church, because a run or a chord will sound “just like mom”. It’s a deep happiness.

She gave me two fantastic brothers. We fought (as much as we were actually allowed to fight!) and argued and had problems and spent times where we didn’t like each other all that much. But we’re family, and family makes it. And now, they’re my friends. I would trust them with anything. I’m thankful my mom taught us how to care for each other. In the end, it worked.

She taught me and my brothers at home because she wanted more for us than the status quot. She succeeded in giving us so much more than average. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I did NOT get my sewing skills from her. That gene absolutely skipped a generation! But that meant I got to be her in-house seamstress. It was nice.

My mom does not run or exercise. When I text her my latest running time and how long and far I went, she replies back, “Was somebody chasing you??”

Have I mentioned that she makes me laugh?

I also did not get my fierce independent spirit from her. I am strong-willed where she is malleable. I am a fighter for my place in the world, while she sacrifices her own desires for the benefit of others.  We are quite different people, my mama and I. The differences that use to divide us have now made us a strong team.

I cherish all the times we spent outside together. We absolutely share a love for gardening, plants, flowers, and the birds that flock to her ever-full feeders. I miss that so much. It’s been years now. We still both text pictures of flowers to each other.

I got my love of natural things from her. Good eating habits. Care about health, vitamins, alternative remedies, and not being afraid to deny your taste buds for the sake of your future health. She nurtured an inquisitive mind.

She supported me in my path and practice. She was so patient with the birthdays I missed, walking out on my own party, leaving the big dinner on Christmas Eve, days and nights at a stretch where I was never home.

I drove her to tears sometimes. Ok, often. But it’s from her that I learned to love unconditionally. There was never a thing so big that her mother-love couldn’t reach across it.

From her I learned that relationships are more important than self. That no sacrifice is too great when it is for those you love.

I love how she leans on me, and that we are confidantes now where we never had before. I’m grateful to be able to give back to her, and support her in hard times.

She taught me to love God and his Word. Those words sound trite, but it’s through her own actions that I found out that God is changeless, strong, worthy, loving, and the best friend a person can have.

I love my mom. I just wanted the world to know why.

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