My Mom turns 68 today. A day celebrating Mom is a wonderful thing. She deserves it. She’s fantastic.
I’m sitting here 2300 miles away from her, it’s 9:00 in the morning my time, and here the sun is out and the sky is blue. It’s a gorgeous beginning to this day, her birthday, and I wish Mom was sitting here with me, sipping a cup of coffee, looking at the beautiful outdoors, and talking about what fun things we might do together today. That’s how it is. I miss her.
Up until several months ago I lived, all of my life, no more than 3 hours away from her. I loved living in Oregon, was actually born there, and had never left. Didn’t really want to live anywhere else actually. Travel yes, move somewhere else… why? It’s gorgeous there, the people are fantastic, and it fits me. So there I stayed. The bonus of that was that I was close to Mom, to my brother, to family in general. Close to friends I love as well. And that, well that is what it’s all about. Family, friends, love. Which, in the end, is why I ended up moving so far away. Family, and love. Seems, for now anyway, we couldn’t have it all in one place. And that’s OK. This has been and continues to be an adventure. Adventures in life are good. I’m not complaining. What I am doing, sort of lamenting, is missing my Mom.
Mom… how to describe her. She’s fantastic, as I said. Though that doesn’t really get to the meat of who she is. She smiles a lot, loves to laugh, is playful, full of energy, and she doesn’t often turn down an adventure. She encourages without being suffocating, sometimes tells you what she thinks in a rush if there’s passion behind it, challenges herself to be better physically, and is honest about who she is, what she thinks, and what she expects. Mom has integrity. She says what she means and expects you to do the same. She won’t tolerate liars, cheats, or people who try to get one over on her or the people she loves. She can be a bear, yet she is quietly strong. When Mom is around everything seems as though it will be OK. It’s as if she wills it to be and it is so. This has been the case my whole life. When Mom is around you want to do better, be better, you don’t want to disappoint. Her presence makes you want to be a better person because of the person she is. Mom is always there to help, to support, to get the job done. It seems, most times, like she could do anything. I think, seriously, that she probably could.
And yes, like anyone, she does have her faults, before you go and think I’m nominating her for sainthood or something. She’s hard on herself. Too hard. She sometimes puts the wishes of others before herself at the expense of what she really wants. She’s sometimes incredibly shy. But she is kind, and sweet, and full of love. She’s welcoming to people, warm. She accepts, never judges, and defends. When I came out to her one of the first things she said to me, after “I love you” and basically so what, is that she wanted to be the one to call many of the family members to tell them. She wanted to do this not so she could be the one in the know or whatever, she wanted to do it so that she could tell them, and then let them know that she was just fine with it and that, with her tone I’m sure, they should be too. That’s my Mom. Defending, supporting. She loves deeply, isn’t afraid to cry, and is emotional. I love this about her. As I love so many things about her.
Mom is uber talented. In my lifetime she’s played instruments, gardened in a Better Homes and Gardens kind of way, drawn, photographed, sung well, and whistled a whistle that makes my heart soar. Mom’s whistle is amazing. I miss her whistle. She can build anything, use most every tool, and drive a tractor.
I am lucky to have the Mom everyone wants. I’m lucky to have the Mom all my friends, all my life, have envied, liked to be around, and loved. I’m lucky to have that Mom. I know how lucky I am. I would say, without hesitation, that, along with my honey, Mom is the best person I know. The best. Karen and Mom are a lot a like, which I guess would make sense that they are the best people I know. Mom is a person I strive to be like. She’s a person I’ve always looked up to. Always admired.
Happy birthday Mom. I love you more than I could ever express and I am so very proud to be your daughter.