Celebrating Life

Today is the first day of spring, and I’m celebrating life. Not just my own, but those of my mom and grandma, too. Both had birthdays last week, and although both are not longer with me in body, they are always with me in spirit and memories. So, today, I’d like to share a few memories about my favorite ladies with you.

We never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day when I was a kid. I was in college before I heard of kegs and eggs or knew green beer existed (and no, I wasn’t sheltered – lol). We didn’t celebrate because (a) we aren’t Irish (not even a little bit), and (b) March 17 was my grandma’s birthday. She hated St. Patrick’s Day themed birthday items (much the same way I hate Halloween themed birthday items – and am not a big fan of the holiday, either). Sometimes, to be funny, my dad would get my grandma a St. Patrick’s Day card for her birthday and then laugh when she scoffed at it in discuss. Memories like that are fun, hu?

Not related to our anit-St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but oddly so, my mom’s birthday was March 16. She would have been 67.

I say would because she passed away a couple of years ago. Even typing that brings tears to my eyes.

I think about her everyday. She influences everything I do.

My mom was my biggest cheerleader. She was my best friend. When I discovered (via a trip to the ER) that I was highly reactive to MSG, my mom became an obsessive label reader. When I decided to go vegetarian (although I’d already moved out of the house), she excitedly made meat-free dinners to lure me back home. (It worked!) So when she rather suddenly passed away (even though she suffered from a long-term illness), I was devastated. Time helps, but it really doesn’t heal all wounds.

With the passing of my mom, and, soon after, my step-dad, I was left with very little family. My remaining blood relatives could easily fit into a compact car, and I’m not close to my step-family (or my blood relatives, which I’d like to say is due to distance, but that’s doubtful). I think that’s why I constantly encourage Mr. M to stay in contact with his family.

I hope all of you enjoy a beautiful spring day celebrating life!

Memories of My Mom

I am my mother’s only child. She gave birth to me after a long and uncomfortable pregnancy that, in its self, came as quite a surprise. She reminded me, on frequent occasion, how she spent a month in the hospital before my birth, then labored for more than a day before I finally decided to make an appearance. I was a good baby though; I didn’t even cry when she fell asleep feeding me, and I slid off of her onto the floor;-)

For most of my childhood, it was just my mom and me. We spent all of our time together outside of my going to school. We talked and shared ideas and stories; we even shared a chair when we watched TV; although I wasn’t allowed to change the channel when her soaps were on. I tried often, when I thought she was sleeping, but as soon as the sounds of cartoons, Reading Rainbow or Laverne and Shirley came out of the TV, I heard the familiar, “Turn that back. I’m not asleep; I’m just resting my eyes.” Money was always tight and material things were scarcest as I was growing up, but my mom made sure I had an abundance of love and attention. We went to my grandparent’s house every day, even if it meant asking for a ride because we didn’t have a car. We ate dinner together every night as a family – me, my mom, my grandma, and my grandpa. I was always sad to leave their house, but she promised me we would come back again the next day, and we always did.

My mom indulged my childhood whims by driving me from ice cream stand to fast food place, so I could order a specific item from each. She convinced me one Christmas Eve that a man we saw walking down the street dressed in a Santa suit was the real thing. She let me buy a pair of high heeled sandals to wear to a Girl Scout function then laughed as I sunk into the mud when I tried to walk across the wet lawn. She got sick every time I went to the doctor because she was nervous for me. She cuddled with me and held my hand when she visited me daily at my grandparent’s after she married my step-dad and moved away for a brief time. She cried when I cried. She let me drive her car to school, encouraged my desire to be a professional student, and proudly attended my graduations. She delighted in my dreams, successes, and failures, offered advice that usually went unheeded, and calmed me down when I was upset. She made friends with my friends, listened to their sorrows and joys, babysat for their children,and became their surrogate parent.

My mother was a great person. She taught me to be compassionate and generous with my time. She taught me to be respectful of others and not to judge them, especially by outward appearances. She taught me that giving to others really is better than receiving. We talked everyday, multiple times. We said good night to each other almost every night. She was my best friend.


6 responses

  1. Beautiful. Reading it brought tears to my eyes – for you, your mom and for that terrible day when I lose my own mom, whom I love with every cell in my body. Thank you for sharing these lovely memories and thoughts.

  2. I am V’s mom-in-law and she DID truly have a wonderful mother! I was lucky to meet her before she died and so I know where V got her sweet and giving personality! Reading her story about her upbringing made me nostalgic about my grandma who also had a huge influence on my life. I know V misses her mom every day but she was SO lucky to have had a mother that was so totally supportive and loving.

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