Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom

Today was my mom's 70th birthday.

My mom has taught me so much about spirituality, and she still does to this day. She and my father are prayer warriors (but not in the sense of that crazy lady on Wife Swap!). I've always been able to talk to her about various aspects of our religion and prayer. She's written various coincidences (God-incidences) that have happened in her life as well as ours. If I get time later, maybe I'll squeeze one in here.

Mom has always been a thoroughly giving person. She's opened her house to all sorts of people at various times, including my brother and his kids as they awaited housing at Bolling AFB in DC. As I type, she's hosting a lady from the UK who will be joining her and my dad for a trip to the Grand Canyon. She also introduced us to a delightful lady from Cameroon who stumbled into her office years ago as a stranger in a strange land. Mom helped her get acclimated to this country. Finally, she's spent most of the last several years watching two Chinese girls adopted by a lady who never married.

As difficult as I know it must be for her at times, she has respected her children's boundaries and not meddled in our adult lives. I really appreciate that. She still expects us to call or visit, and we do so gladly. She may try to keep the lid on decorum at our family dinners, but I can tell that deep down inside, she's laughing just as hard as we are.

There have been times when Mom and I have had our difficulties, largely because our personalities are so similar. I admit that I used to enjoy pushing her buttons. But I know too that she has always wanted the best for me. Like my dad, she was a Depression-era baby, so the effects of that time were not lost on me or my sibs. We learned how not to get so tied to material things, but that family was always more important. And she got that from her upbringing in her close-knit family. It was also from Mom that I got my interest in music, which I hope not to let slip away as I get older.

Yes, Mom may have made her mistakes with me. But for every mistake, there were hundreds of things she did right. And I'm all the better for it.

Happy birthday, Mom.


SeasonedRefinement said...

I hope you sent your Mom of copy of this. I promise you, it will mean more than the most beautiful Hallmark card you can find (even the super deluxe $7.50 cards).

Every mom wonders how she has faired in her adult child's final assessment. Was I loving enough? Strong enough? Fair enough? Did I make him/her feel like they were the most important thing to me? Did I give them enough? Did I give them too much? Does he/she join those awful conversations of adult children who freely list their parents' shortcomings, or does he/she say, "Wow, what a bummer. My mom was great!"?

Let her know she passed with flying colors {even if she denies giving it a second thought, I'll bet she did}!