Beautiful. Courageous. Willful. Strong. Steady.
Those are just a few of the words that I have used to describe my mother over the years. That's her up there in the picture. She's on the left of her mom and little sister. Born to a military father in Toronto, Canada in 1953, my mother is one of the most amazing people I know. She is the eldest of 3 girls and gave birth to two girls of her own. Because of my mom, I am the person I am today, like it or not. The good, the bad, and the ugly.....we learned how to deal with it all because of the way my mom dealt with life.
(That's mom at Circus World.)
In the late 80s, my mom suddenly found herself a single mom. I have known many people to end up in this position who don't cope very well. Granted, I don't remember much of those years, but from my perspective it was ok. We were ok. My mom looked after me, worked, went to school and held things together as best she could. Then she met a man who would take us away.
She was so in love. He was a smooth British man in the Air Force who knew all the right things to say and he said them. I have pictures of my mom sitting in a field full of flowers and she looks so happy. I have always loved seeing my mom smile. She married that Englishman and we lived all over Europe. By the time I was 11, I had a baby sister and got to see my mom do all the things she must have done with me, and more. She was gorgeous when she was pregnant. She was rather the size of a barge heffalump cow gloriously pregnant woman with a large baby inside her, but she seemed to take it all in stride as was her way.
My mom helped me learn so much. I love to read. I remember that if I couldn't immediately get an answer from mom or find her, chances were she was curled up with a book somewhere. I swear the woman would have lived in a bookstore given half a chance. Some of my best memories involve just sitting around with my mom - reading.
As I got older, and became that hormonal, bitchy, moody, horrible teenager that I dread having in my own house, my mom dealt with me. Sure, I spent many a weekend grounded. I had privileges removed, friends turned away from the door and tv viewing time suspended. I screamed, I yelled - she screamed, she yelled. We drove each other crazy.
My mother trusted me, and had that trust broken. She loved me and had that love thrown back in her face so many times that any normal person would have thrown up their hands in frustration and walked away, but she continued to love me. For years, I never understood it. Then I had my own children.
When I was scared, my mom was there to comfort and protect me. When I got my heartbroken by yet another boyfriend, she was there to offer sage advice and tell me it would all be ok in the end. In recent years, as I watched my stepfather walk away, I wished that I could do the same for her, or at least on the same level.
I am sure that over the last 29 years I have disappointed my mother in many ways. The day I laid my head on her lap and cried and she found out I'd pierced my ears again. The day I wrote her a letter to tell her i'd lost my virginity months before. The day my "friend" stole stuff from a house I was babysitting at, when they weren't meant to be there in the first place. (Yes, I'm a moron).
I've disappointed her, I've hurt her, I've screwed things up time and time again and my mom still loves me.
She is one of the strongest people I know and is a daily inspiration to me in the way she deals with life. Sure, we have had our screaming matches ups and downs, but I cannot imagine my life without my mother. When I need advice, I ask my mom. When I need someone to tell me I'm an idiot, I go to my mom. When I need someone to tell me whether I'm right or wrong, my mom's the person.
Amazing. Inspirational. Role-model. My hero.
Those are a few more words for my mother. I'm sure it would come as no surprise to learn that I've had some other choice words for her over the years either, but I'm pretty sure she's had some choice ones for me too.
It's my mom's birthday today. Technically she's 55 but while she has the wisdom that comes from the experiences she's had over the last 55 years, she still has the heart of a young girl. And the face too. My mom is beautiful.
We don't always see eye to eye but one thing is for sure - if I can be half the woman, half the mother that my mom is, I will be happy.
Happy Birthday Mom! I miss you all the way over there in New Zealand and I love you so much.