Today is my mom's 82nd birthday.
It's hard to think of my mom as being 82. I think part of it is that none of us want to really think of our parents as OLD. Or that time is ticking along. After all, our parents have been with us our WHOLE LIVES up to this point, and I don't know about the rest of you, but as *I* get older I'm very aware of how precious time is (so is my mama, by the way).
I think about my mom every day, and we talk at least a few times each week. I live 5 hours away from her, and saw her just last month when we did our "early Christmas" at her house. I'm glad we did; my step dad went into hospital a few weeks after that and we had a chance for family to all be together before that happened (he's on the mend now). Mom's a tough cookie. I know she hates having to rely on others for transportation and help a lot of the time. She's legally blind but for the most part you'd never know it - she has enough sight that she cooks and cleans and does laundry and keeps us all in line (still). When we visited her idea of "not going to any bother" was having a few different kinds of pie and cookies and only one cake instead of double that amount "just in case". Because that's what moms do.
Throughout my life I'm aware that I haven't always given my mom enough credit. When she had me, she was nearly 40. She had three other kids (two were teens) and helped my dad run the farm. I was born in August - the busiest time for the farm and the huge garden she put in every year. My kids are teenagers right now. The thought of adding a baby into the mix seems impossible. TERRIFYING EVEN.
She worked hard. And when she was 56 she became a widow. Those first years were really hard without my dad. But mom, who'd worked the farm with my dad since my siblings were small (she'd been a school teacher in the 50's), got a job working part time at the post office. She volunteered at the hospital. She drove other people to appointments and was involved in the church. And then when she was in her early 60's, she lost most of her vision. She couldn't drive anymore, or work, or volunteer. And she picked herself up and started over again - at the same time as I moved thousands of km away.
|With my mom - on her wedding day!|
She always said she wasn't interested in marrying again. That there was no one like my dad, and that she didn't want to be a burden on anyone anyway, considering her eyesight and stuff. But then, over 6 years ago, she DID get married (she was 75) to her high school sweetheart - our families have been friends for decades. Who says it's ever too late for second chances, anyway?
And now that I'm raising teenagers of my own, I really, REALLY respect how much work my mom put into raising the four of us.
So happy birthday, Mama. I hope you have a wonderful day. Love you.