Today is my mom's birthday.
She is 70 today.
I had planned on being there to surprise her but my plans changed and I cannot be there today.
I have not seen my mom in almost 6 years. I married a military man and have been on the go for those 6 years. Plus I had two more kids and nothing like small kids to slow down your travel plans....But I digress.
My mom was born in Lousiana, where some of her "kin" still live. She grew up hard, doing without, and often never knowing luxuries. She told me once that she'd never been to a movie theater until she came to Houston, where she eventually met my dad. They were married 43 years.... I love to hear stories of her childhood, what she went through, what she missed. The stories of her aunt's prize winning biscuits (which my mom cannot recall the recipe), the story of how she came to Houston, the women she befriended, the tales my mom can tell.
My mom is the most gentle and loving person I know. Even though all parents make mistakes, my mom was always gentle. Even when I screwed up royally. I think at times she was too gentle, but how can you fault someone for being too loving? The example of her warmth and nurturing lives on today. I find myself silly goofy songs and dancing in the kitchen with my kdis, just like she did with me. I bake with my daughter regularly, just like she did with me (although I started Micaela MUCH earlier in the kitchen).
One of my sisters recently suggested that my absence from my mother's 70th birthday will be nothing but disrespect, that I am not honoring the woman that my mother is. I honor her every day in how much love I shower on my children. I honor her in being the best mom *I* can be. I love my mom so much that it pains me to not see her. My family fractured when my father died and it's never been the same since. I talked to my mom and have finally convinced her to let my fly her here, to meet my family, to get to know my kids and my life. She doesn't know me anymore and I can't wait to show the woman I have become. It saddens me that my sisters are not a part of my life, but they never really were around much, so I just pray about that as much as I can.
The picture I have featured today is my favorite picture of my mom and I. We were in her backyard, she was gardening and I was taking pictures of her (Even then, I loved a camera!) And I held the camera out in front of us and we laughed together and took that picture. I still remember that.
I can't wait to laugh with my Mom again.....