My mom turned sixty years old last week. Sixty. That’s quite a landmark right there, even without the two cerebral hemorrhages she went through last year. Needless to say, I am very proud of her for never giving up, even in her darkest days. We’ve…had our difficulties, to put it mildly, but I am very grateful for her presence in my life and I hope she sticks around for at least another decade or two. (I don’t want to get greedy or I’d ask for three.)
It’s often hard to say exactly why you love someone, especially when the person in question is a relative and not a voluntary presence in your life. It’s easier to take it for granted, somehow. But let me see what I can do: I love her for all her quirkyness – the big grins and off-key singing and the fingers on each hand that are shorter because she accidentally cut them off when she worked at a butcher, a long time ago. I love how every time I come home for the weekend, she’s painted the kitchen a different color or moved the furniture around or done something else to improve the house. I love how there’s always good food in the fridge and coffee in the cupboard and often some homemade concoction or other on the table. I love how she can work clay into beautiful sculptures and that she’s taking the time to make all her kids something special that we can cherish. I love how she makes her own birthday cards and always goes the extra mile on everything even when she doesn’t have to (you should have seen the birthday parties she threw us when we were young). And I love how even though I haven’t lived at home since I left for college, and she’s changed houses since then, I always feel at home. That’s her doing, right there.
So mom, here’s to you. May you live all the days of your life, and live them with us, your family. We love you.