Today is Sunday, September 28, 2014. I know you are already aware of that fact so why am I reminding you? Because today is a day like no other. And after reading this, I hope you celebrate your day like no other when it arrives.
Eighty seven years ago a baby girl was born. She was the first of five children, four of whom lived, one whom died after being scalded with hot water. Including this child, four were girls and one was a boy…the baby of the family. Her mother was considered a ‘stay at home’ mom and her dad worked for the electric company. The family lived in a small two bedroom home, in the suburbs. Eventually, a dormer was added for the girls to share.
This baby girl was given a name, in that day and age, that was very popular. The meaning of her name is ‘Shining Light.’ Interestingly enough, her name is also a small town in Arkansas.
However, if this baby girl had not been born, I would not be alive today. For this baby girl, many years later, became my mom. The first clear memory I have of my mom is cuddling in her arms, when I was sick, as she slowly rocked me. Growing up, I remember sitting on the kitchen counter, as she cooked dinner, talking about my day. The most intense memory I have is when I arrived home, after a day in school, to find her sitting on the couch with this funny look on her face. I asked her if she was okay. She replied yes. Later that night, after my dad got home, they made the announcement my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The year was 1978. I was a freshman in high school. Thirty four years later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ironically, the same kind my mom had been diagnosed with. During my surgeries and my recovery, my mom was the rock who called me every day just to ‘check on me.’ Both of us made the decision to have mastectomies with reconstructive surgery, she lost her right breast, I lost my left. Today I jokingly tell her if you put us both together, we make a full breasted woman!!!
Through the last couple of years, I have witnessed changes in my mom as age pushes its way in. I have also recognized and relished the ways we are alike. Both of us began growing into our skins when we reached 40. Both of us have learned to speak up instead of being taken advantage of. Both of us possess lives grounded in faith. Her favorite is the Virgin Mary, mine is Jesus. She prays religiously every night before going to bed, praying for everyone she can think of, whether alive or dead. My prayer consists of talking with God or saying, “God, you know what is in my heart and soul. Please help me accept your will. Amen.” Often times, I become so peaceful, I end up falling asleep before finishing my ‘conversations.’
She began her career working in an office, then moved to becoming a full time stay at home mom. I began my career teaching, then a stay at home mom, then back to teaching and then working in an office. She has been married over 55 years to the same man, my dad of course! I divorced after almost 27 years of marriage. Both of us are ‘givers’ and almost always think of others before ourselves. Although, we are both realizing there are days we need to come first to keep our sanity! Both of us have a deep love for our families and each other. Both of us have spit fire personalities, love to laugh out loud and enjoy life. Both of us helped care for her mother, a woman who also was a spit fire, loved to laugh out loud, enjoyed life and was a fabulous cook! Both of us also have different views on things but are able to voice these views comfortably knowing the other person is accepting.
I thank God, for everyday I have to hear her voice whether in person or over the phone, to hug her, to love her, to help her, to be a shoulder, to lean on her shoulder, to get to know her, and to share her life.
Yes, today is a day like no other. And, on this day I wish my mom a HUGE Happy Birthday!!!! I will be driving over later today to deliver some homemade bean soup, a birthday card and cake. Her present is in the works as I volunteered to clean her house from top to bottom 😉 I hope, as time quickly moves forward, we are able to enjoy as many days like no other for a while longer.
LOVE YOU MOM!!!