Happy Birthday, Mom

April 19, 1932, 89 years ago, my mother was born in a small coastal town in Newfoundland, Canada. We had her on this earth for close to 81 years. She will be in my heart forever.

She was funny and smart and a wizard with all green, growing things. And none of those things did she think were true–except maybe the last one.

She “finished” her education in the seventh grade, to go help earn money for the family. So in her mind, that made her dumb. But I watched her do complicated math equations in her head–without pencil and paper–in order to come up with the best layouts for her landscaping designs, or to better layout a sewing pattern, or for some kind of household budgeting.

She drew up the most elaborate landscaping designs for every single home in which we ever lived. She could take a completely dead stick and grow an amazing shrub from it. (A skill I never learned.)

She could reuse a piece of aluminum foil more times than anyone else ever.

She made the absolute best peanut butter cookies. Because they were filled to the brim with peanut butter and love.

She sang the stupidest little ditties, making up crazy words and phrases just to get my kids to laugh, and then would sing them until the entire house couldn’t take any more…and then she’d sing just a little bit longer. 😉

She could sew almost anything. Another skill I never learned and didn’t fully appreciate while growing up. Kids always want the latest, greatest, not the handmade, homemade, even when it fit like tailor-made–which it was.

There isn’t a day goes by, in these past eight years since she’s been gone, when I don’t think about her, wish I could call her, wish I could get just one more hug. I know that she’s singing silly ditties with the angels now, not struggling to breathe or having stomach pains, but I miss her more than any words could say and more than I had any idea that I would.

She was my best friend. She knew more things about me than I knew about myself–and loved me, anyway. There is no way to do justice to the relationship we shared or the love I feel for her still. Just know that on this day, I remember my mom.

If you still have yours, call her. If you can, go hug her neck. Take her out to lunch. Spend the day chatting about everything and nothing. Learn who she is, what makes her tick, why she does the things she does the way she does them. Spend time with her and treasure each moment dearly. They are priceless gifts to savor, those moments with your mom, when you’re no longer a kid and no longer “need” a mother. That’s when mothers are the most important to us–because they are our friends, our confidantes, our sounding-boards. Never underestimate the gift that is a mother.

I love you, Mom. Miss you so much.

Our last photo together–March 2013.
Our coastal road trip–2012.
Outside Graceland–1983.
The best mom in the universe, for me–1965.

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