Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Ode to an Amazing Woman

My mom turns 50 year old today! Happy Birthday Mom! She just left last night from a visit here for an extended birthday weekend. We had SO MUCH fun!
For her birthday, I put together a scrapbook of the 50 greatest things about her and had people from the family send in their comments. It was very touching to read what everyone had to say. There was definitely a theme around her selflessness, dedication to her family, empathy, love of children, optimistic attitude toward life...and her HUGE heart. Her life is truly one to celebrate!
I am going to take a personal moment about why my mom is so great. First of all while most people groan about their 30, 40 and 50th birthdays... I have always heard my mom say "My life just keeps getting better"... she never feels old or acts old.
My mom had me at sixteen years of age. That is far less shocking than the childhood she had already endured. She married my dad and he joined the military...moving us from Ohio to Washington state. Three years later my brother was born... and my dad left, returning to Ohio.
We were across the United States, my mom was 19 with two children and nobody to turn to. No job and no education. But we made it. She worked hard, she got her GED and has since taken college courses in Early Education. Our life did not get easier for a long long time. But I remember my childhood as most children...filled with laughter and love.
My mom taught me a few things during my growing years. She told me over and over again my life did not have to be like hers. I could do anything I wanted. She never complained about my dad to me. She never acted like a victim.
She had to go on state aid for a short period of time. I will always remember it because I was 5 and she told me that she did not like how people talked to her when she went to pick up her check. She felt they looked down on her. The problem was that if she worked she could not afford childcare. So she got a job as waitress and often brought us with her. We loved it! We played Ms Pacman and ate maraschino cherries. The restaurant she worked at had tons and tons of old books as decor. I think that is where I developed my love for books.. I started reading anything I could get my hands on.
I believed my mom when she told me I could be anything I wanted. I wanted to be the first woman President, then a lawyer, a psychologist and a writer. I went to college and started on my career.
This year I realized something. What I want to be most is a mom just like her.
Happy Birthday to my mom and my best friend! I love you!