Last summer, around Father’s Day and my dad’s 70th birthday, I wrote about the legacy my dad has built (and is building) in our family. Well, my mom is co-constructor in that legacy building, so in honor of Mother’s Day, this time around I’d like to share my birthday tribute to my mom.
How has your mom impacted your life? I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of you, and I expect everyone who knows you, is “selfless.” The definition of selfless reads: “concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.” All of us at some point have to act in selfless ways, it is part of being a grown up, but you truly exemplify the meaning of the word; being selfless, and not simply acting selflessly.
I’m sure there were many other things you could have done with your young adult years than stay home with me and Dennis, but I’m grateful that you did. You gave us a happy home with the freedom to run from home to home in the neighborhood with our friends, knowing you were there as our home base. You made our home friendly and comfortable, and also reminded us that while we were home enjoying childhood stuff, Dad was hard at work for us and how important it was for us to make sure he knew how special he was and how much we appreciated him when he got home. I remember you taking the time to put rollers in your hair and dress up before his arrival each night.
You gave up your time to help in our classrooms, lead my Girl Scout troop, drive us to our activities- including taking us to Cinema 10 to see Grease probably ten times one summer. As we got older, our friends called you “mom,” because you made each and every one of them feel welcome in our home.
You have always been ready to drop what you are doing to help me, to listen to me, to be with me, even when it meant flying on a little propeller airplane to upper Michigan to be with me and our new baby. I appreciate your listening ear, your strong shoulders, and your sage advice. Even now, at 48, when I don’t know what to do, my first inclination is to ask mom.
I love how you always know when I need encouragement, and how you show up with perfect and unexpected gifts to boost my spirits at the most unexpected times. That you know I won’t buy certain things for myself so you do it for me.
But you are much more than your selfless nature. You are fun and funny, and make us all laugh. You remind me that being efficient is not always the best way; that sometimes you need to live a little and buy something that’s not on sale, or spend time with people even though it’s not in the day’s plan.
You have a quiet strength that belies the tragedies you have experienced in life; no one just meeting you would ever know what you have overcome and continue to overcome daily. You get up and keep going even though there must be plenty of days you don’t want to. Thank you for that example.
Thank you Mom, for loving all of us, whether part of the natural family tree, or grafted on later. For opening your home and your heart to our friends, our expanding family, our children’s friends, and countless others.
I love you Mom.