Well today is mom's birthday, she is now 63 years old. I don't know where the time has gone. Seems like yesterday we were little kids and mom and dad were young and vibrant. The three of us kids never wanted for anything because mom and dad did the best they could in providing for us. That isn't about material things either, they weren't important, I'm talking about the parenting. They were always there for us, even when they made us do things we didn't want to do. They did it because they loved us. We had good parents who cared about us and loved us very much.
Mom is a good person...no...she's a great person. She'll tell you she wasn't always like that, but trust me, she's always been like that. She's always been a caring soul. Ask her mother, her sister, and her best friend of nearly 50 years. I know that mom went through tough times getting married at 19 and having three kids by the age of 23. We were good kids but still three is a handful. She put up with a lot. But if you asked her if she'd do it all over again with all of us, she would say that she would.
Mom and I didn't always have the best relationship when I was younger but as we all know there's no manual on exactly how one should parent, so you have to play it by ear. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't. I think mom was hard on me because she saw so much of herself in me. In fact I think she used to tell me that, only when your mom tells you that when you're a kid, you just don't buy it. Not till you are nearly 40 years old anyway! She wanted me to make choices different than she did, not that she regretted her choices, but most parents want their kids to have it just a little better than they did. Mom had a great upbringing with two parents who loved her dearly and took very good care of their girls. But I think mom wanted us kids to get out into the world and experience it first before settling down. See, she didn't do that, she went right from her parents home to marriage.
One of my favorite moments of my life is when mom used to sit at her typewriter, the old Olivetti that great uncle Doug gave her because he knew she loved to write. Dad made mom a desk in their bedroom right in front of a window between the two closets. And there she would sit, with her cigarette burning on one side and a hot cup of coffee on the other. Mom loved to sit there and pour her thoughts out on paper and she did a lot of it. She spent a lot of time there and I knew when she was sitting there, she was happy.
I have a lot of favorite moments with mom, it would take a book to talk about them all. Dad too, he was some kind of guy.
I wish I could tell you how much I love my mom, but I don't know that words could adequately describe it. And maybe that's ok because I am sure she knows. I know sometimes mom has regrets about the fights she and I had when I was a kid, but I always tell her "mom, it's ok, you did the best you could" and I say it not merely to make her feel better, but because I really mean it. Looking back, mom and dad did the best they could with we three kids.
Dad's been gone now for three months and it still hurts every day to know that he's gone and never coming back. But we have mom here, she's healthy and she's doing the best she can to make it without him. If I thought I couldn't imagine a life without pa here, I can only tell you that the thought of my mom no longer being here is even worse. Mom loves us kids, all three equally, but she has a different relationship with each one of us. That's because each of the three of us has distinctly different personality traits and characteristics. We're a lot alike but very different too. Mom sees different things in each of us, I would guess most parents do. Mom and I have a special relationship I can't explain. It isn't better than what she has with Kim and Dave, it's just different. I think that as we got older, we bonded more because we really are a lot alike, and I mean A LOT ALIKE! The more we hang out together and talk the more we realize it. It's something I am very proud of.
I moved back home from 1994-2001 and lived with my parents for seven years and I have to tell you it was some of the best times of my life, being there with them as I moved from my 20's into my 30's. We had a special bond and shared great times there I fondly remember always. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss those days, I sure do. But...mom is only a few minutes away and I can see her anytime. And I know she's not planning on leaving us for quite some time.
Mom is really special, and to know her is to love her. You can't help but like her, she's just a nice person. I wish I could keep her here forever. I know I can't, but I tell you one thing, I love her more than she could ever know and I am thankful for every day of my life I have had on this earth because of her---and dad. I am who I am because of them. I owe them everything, especially my life.
This is the first birthday in 43 years that dad hasn't been here to give mom a birthday hug and kiss, I know she's feeling a little sad. But I also know she is happy that she has her life, her kids, her mother, sister and many others who love her. May this be a new start to the second half of what I pray is a very long and happy life.
I love you ma!