Birthdays can be difficult after a loved one dies but my choice is to not allow this day to be painful. Everyone’s birthday is special as it is the day your spirit entered this world and thus the world is forever changed because of your existence. November 7 will always be my Mom’s day.
I began this post last night and had every intention of sharing my Mom’s story with everyone. The truth is, I could write a novel about my Mom.
On November 7, 1947 at 11:00 am she was born in Richmond KY to first time parents David and Edna. The footprint above is taken from her hospital birth certificate. I have always loved the photograph below because I truly think is shows her personality. She had spunk and sass since she was little.
What do I want the world to know about my Mom?
She was someone who genuinely loved people and truly would find someone to have a conversation with wherever she went. It wasn’t unusual for her to have a lengthy conversation in the grocery store line. However, for as much as she loved people, I don’t believe many knew that she had a shy side.
|Bryan Station High School Senior Photograph|
After graduation from Bryan Station High School in Lexington KY, she initially planned to go to training to become a flight attendant. I personally think she would have been wonderful at it. She loved to travel and loved people. However, even though my grandfather had paid for the training, she became scared about leaving home and didn’t go.
|Taking off on their Honeymoon!|
It was several years after her graduation that she was introduced to my (to be) Dad. After their marriage, she became a housewife and eventually a Mom to me and three years later my brother. She was one of those individuals who always planned to be a Mom. Of course, I am biased but I think she was wonderful.
After my Dad’s death, we were fortunate enough that she didn’t have to work and she made being there for my brother and me her main purpose. I do not think anyone can understand the difficulty of being a widow at 34 to two young children. At the time, my Mom was the only single parent I knew. I know she struggled with a world and a society that wasn’t always comfortable with her situation. However, she never let it stand in her way of making sure that my brother and I had every experience we could have. We went on vacations as a family, she practiced baseball with my brother (until he began to throw so hard she couldn’t catch), she was the chauffeur to any type of tournament or practice we may have.
We were truly blessed with the life she was able to provide for us as children.
My Mom knew how to love and she was loyal to her family and to her friends. I will not lie, she could be aggravating in regards to always worrying about us. We were to always call her when we made it home and she would contact us if we didn’t do it in an appropriate time. She could tell from a phone call if I wasn’t feeling well (even when I said I was fine). After my brother and I grew up, she continued to worry about us but also started watching and worrying over my Nanny (to Nanny’s aggravation I should add).
There are so many things that my Mom taught me and so many attributes that I wish I had inherited.
Despite having rough patches in her life including being a breast cancer survivor my Mom never became disillusioned with God. She was a believer in his grace and in spirits and angels. I can not tell you the number of books she had in her home regarding angels. I would find Bible verses stuck in places as a reminder and during some difficult family times she would simply keep saying to me “We just have to pray and believe.” “God is there even when you don’t think he is.” I like to think she is one of the angels surrounding me on a daily basis.
As James will tell you, my Mom taught me a specific way to do laundry and to this day I still sort loads in a specific manner. I will say that she was even worse than I and would often do one or two items at a time. (Her clothes were in pristine condition)
She made the greatest meatloaf in the world and no one could top her deviled eggs. I always kept saying that I wanted to learn to make the eggs and we never got around to it.
I inherited my love of gardening and nature from my Mom and have been amazed at the photographs I have found of all her her flowers and tress over the years. For 30 plus years, she took care of a yard that was over an acre. As I have walked that yard over the past few months, I have often thought to myself that I don’t know how she did it. However, she never asked for help and mowed it weekly.
For the good and bad, I learned from my Mom to be self sufficient. My Mom did things around the house that were traditional male roles (because she had to). If absolutely needed, she would ask for help but she and my Nanny were amazing at what they did. They trimmed trees and bushes, painted, tore things apart and put them back together. I often feel bad about asking James to help me with things because I grew up watching women do everything. As a result, there are times when I’ve had little tolerance for women who whine about things around their house not being done. “Do it yourself” I want to scream (but I never do).
Never once in my life did I not know my Mom loved me. She was the mother who took off work in the middle of the week to drive to Louisville to be with her young daughter who was sick. She was always looking for something to make my Nanny’s life better, buying new lotion for her dry skin, buying a new kitchen gadget. She was always the first at my house when we had a party to offer help and typically one of the last to leave. We took days off of work so we could shop together and one of my best memories is from March 2012 when we both took off on a Friday and went to shops that we didn’t normally go to.
Although most people know that she loved to laugh, it might surprise people to know some of the movies she loved. My brother and I were shocked when she came home from a work conference and stated she watched Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber and loved it! It was also much more fun to watch my Mom watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation than to actually watch the movie. She truly had a fantastic laugh.
As I said, I could write a novel about this amazing women. It is difficult to say what is the most important thing about her. I do miss her but I am so glad of the time that I had with her. I think that losing my Dad at an early age made me more aware of the likelihood of losing her. I never took her for granted. We never ended a phone call or visit without saying “I love you.” For those of us fortunate enough to know her, we were blessed.
Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you for everything!
|James found this random photograph on his phone photos not long after Mom died.|