Isn't she beautiful? This is my mother at the zoo when we were visiting my parents in Florida last year. Ask anyone who has met my mother and they will go on "Oh, she is sooooooo nice." or "Oh, Joan? She is your mother? What a wonderful lady." Indeed. She is. But she is so much more than just a nice lady.
The youngest of four children, she has the 'overachieving', type A, straight A's personality of a first born child, but with more compassion and kindness. She is determined. She is a fighter. She is a breast cancer survivor. Admittedly not the most coordinated person, when she didn't achieve her goal of getting on the cheerleading squad (back in the day of a good old fashioned cheerleading squad . . . my father was the quarterback) she practiced and practiced and tried and retried until finally one year, she made it. And (from what I understand) she was fabulous. She and I both have the tendency to work ourselves to the bone, then collapse. This woman knows a thing or two about hard work. Lazy, she ain't.
One of my favorite things in all of this world is to cook with my mom and my sister-in-law Tanya -- all together, over a glass of wine. We chat and concoct and sip and have rich conversation, good laughs and make great food (if I do say so myself). Mom got the three of us aprons to wear for these occasions. Aren't they fun?
First and foremost my mom loves her family. She is warm and affectionate and spreads her love around evenly. Everyone feels well loved.
She is a good, thoughtful friend and will do most anything for someone in need.
All of her Grandchildren love her so.
My mother is also a nut. Just like me. Both my parents are nuts, actually. For a Halloween party we were all going to, my parents spent all day concocting these outfits for the bash. They had purchased the helmets somewhere or another and then made the costumes to 'go with'. They got out the sewing machine and stitched their capes. They cut leather straps for their 'sandals'. Presto, they are Roman Soldiers!
It is from my mother that I get my creativity. She made many of my clothes when I was little, and I loved them. She made Halloween costumes -- like a furry Grover and an Uncle Sam for my brother, a cheerleader and a witch for me. Once my brother and I were The Campbell Soup Kids. This was back in the day before everyone just drove to iParty and bought something made in China.
My mother is also very competitive. She takes it easy on her grandchildren, but for everyone else, look out! From golf to take two if she goes down, she'll go down fighting. Passed down from her mother, a big game player and competitor, my mom and her siblings love to play games, to tease and quip with each other. Get Mom and her siblings together and everyone is teasing and trying to outdo one another. Good clean fun.
She's glamorous. She always wanted us to feel proud of her, proud that she was our mother. Mom, we are more than proud. We are privileged.
Isn't she lovely?
How many people can look this good riding a camel?
Mom is always ready for a party. She's always coming up with ideas for things to do and picking up the phone to gather us all together. When her children and her grandchildren are all together, she is the happiest woman on earth. See?
Dear Momma, I love you so. I am so proud to have you as my mom, and so thankful for each day I have with you. I love that you taught me determination and drive, the importance of family above all and investing in making a home. Thank you for my creativity and love of projects. Thank you for giving me the confidence to 'go for it' and give even crazy things a try. Thank you for caring for us and worrying about us and protecting us, but still allowing us the freedom to take risks too. Perhaps in heaven we will both be more patient and relaxed, but for now while we are given life on this earth we will embrace life and live it to the fullest! Amen?