A Love Letter to My Mommy on Her 91st Birthday!!!
Today is October 28th and it's my Mom's 91st birthday!!!
Let me start out by sending her birthday wishes before I start getting sentimental. Let me set the scene.
As I've written before, my poor Mother started going into labor with me on July 4th, 63 vears ago, and I wasn't delivered until 2 days later. And I'm pretty sure this wasn't the only time in my life that I caused her that much pain.
My Mom was 28 when she had me, her first child, which for her generation was almost considered ancient at the time, for having kids. Hell, in Alabama they would have started questioning her fertility if she hadn't spawned a child by the time she was 16 back in those days.
So, here I come along, a bundle of joy that I'm sure upset the little apple cart my parents had established for themselves during the late 50's.
Lucky for me, to say that I had a pretty ideal childhood would be an understatement.
To this day, my Mom always thought that I favored my Father, and in certain areas of my life, I did, but, it was my Mom that I spent almost all my time with. This was the case, especially during the years before school started, and to some extent, up until maybe 4th grade. I mean, come on, I was in 4th grade and it was in my estimation the right time to start becoming a bit more independent.
So, during the early, formative years, it was my Mother who taught me the little things, things that have stuck with me my entire life. And, for that, words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for helping to make me the person I have been throughout my life.
Little things like teaching me to tie my shoes.
How to measure how far away a storm was by counting the time between lightning, and the ensuing thunder.
Manners. Manners were paramount in our house. Please, thank you, answering when spoken to, excuse me - used whenever appropriate, and I'm sorry, when you may have done something, not so appropriate. Respecting your elders, and the Golden Rule.
It was at my Mother's hip that I learned not only to cook, but how important your loving to cook is so crucial to your success in the kitchen.
At the time I harbored a bit of a love hate relationship when my Mother would agree to chaperone some of my class trips in elementary school. I kind of resented the fact she was there because the mischievous streak in me required me to do so. I was also kinda proud that she was there, and that a lot of my classmates seemed to like her. Don't tell her I said this, as it'll ruin my reputation.
My Mom was always available to fix me up when I'd scrape my knee, and she really earned her pay when she would have to chase me around the house trying to take out the random splinter, that in my mind, occurred far more often than history would indicate. Boy, I was, and still remain, a big baby!
When it came time to doling out punishment, my Mother was always fair, and to this day I have no idea how she ever survived the brutal verbal assault I would mount once I was sent to jail (my room)! I wouldn't have done it had she offered a plea bargain up front, but after a time I noticed that it generally softened her up and resulted in a reduced sentence.
My Mom didn't drive for the first 10 years of my life, but once she got her license it probably changed my world as much as it changed hers. Suddenly, we weren't confined to home base any longer, and we seemed to go to a lot of places that I never knew existed before. Even going to the supermarket was something to look forward to.
Thanks to my parents and especially my Mother, I came from a warm, loving home. I learned so much from my Mom. and for a woman who never went to college, really seemed to know a lot of stuff.
I'm not really sure how or even why she put up with my laziness in school, but if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have become the voracious reader that I did. I knew that school bored the crap out of me, but teaching me how to read by spending hours potty training me with "Golden Books ", paid off in allowing me to educate myself in topics that I found interesting throughout my life.
For some reason, my sister always felt like m y Mother favored me, but I know that she went out of her way to dote on my Sis just a little more to make up for my the favoritism my Father showed me. I secretly knew it, but I never resented her for it because in reality, I was a pretty independent child, anyway. I could always find ways to amuse myself, and my Mom would give me just the right amount of attention to let me know she was there for me.
My Mom may not have been perfect but, she was perfect for me, and for that I am forever grateful.
So, on that note, again Mom. I wish you a Happy 91st Birthday. I can only pray that you'll have 91 more years and I’ll be around to see it, but I know that in reality neither one of us will ever see that prayer answered. So I'll be remain ever thankful for the life you've given me, and I will cherish every day that you're still here, trying as you might to still be the "Mommy" of my youth.
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