It's my mom's birthday today and since I'm a good daughter, I won't publicly state how old she is. I don't know if it matters anymore. We spend the first 1/4 of our lives bragging about how old we are (Owen will be the first to tell he you he's "ten and a HALF!"), the next 1/2 of our lives trying to hide our age (I'm well into that stage right now!) and then we eventually come full circle and tell everyone who will listen how old we are. I still remember how proud my grandma was to tell people she was 90, 91, 92.... She loved to hear people tell her how great she looked! So my mom is probably nearing that stage, but I want to be respectful in case she's not quite there yet.
I'm feeling very sad today because I can't give her the one thing I know she'd like for her birthday: a call from my brother. He's with her, though, I know. He always will be.
Despite this year's tragic events, my mom has led a pretty blessed life. Sure, she's had her share of hardships, but she taught me to take those in stride because she always does. She's one of the strongest people I know.
This is my favorite picture of her:
I'm not sure how I ended up with it, but I'm glad I did. She played the piccolo in her high school band. I remember her telling me that she cried while playing Pomp and Circumstance at her graduation ceremony. She loved high school and was voted "Most Flirtatious" in her senior class. (Not at all surprising to anyone, even now.)
I look at this picture and see a young girl, full of hopes and dreams for her future. I wonder if it turned out anything like she thought it would. She was married to my dad for 34 years, raised four kids, had a career at Ford Motor Company and is now retired and enjoying her 7 grandchildren. I'd say she's led a pretty full life. She'd most likely say the same.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!