My mom is so special we get to celebrate her two days in a row. Here's Mom as a beautiful, doe-eyed bride, 42 years ago next month. My dad once said of my mother: "Anybody who doesn't like your mom has a problem." He's right. It's their loss. She's quick to laugh with you, quick to cry with you, happy when you're happy and happiest when she's feeding a large group. She's the only one I still want when I'm sick.
She taught her three children the importance of proper grammar, the value of good choices, and how to make a good red gravy. (Add sugar if it smells too acidic.) I remember her reading novels, working crosswords, riding her horse, and making Halloween costumes and scores of Christmas cookies. She would lay them on wax paper in shirt boxes and stack them on the dining room table. Pizelles, Italian Knots, Pecan Tassies, they were like little works of art.
I have benefited countless times from my mother's love and discipline, my earliest memory involving a book report on Tecumseh in fifth grade. I procrastinated. She came to the rescue, scolding me for waiting until the last minute, but sitting up with me, helping and proofreading until I'd finished. I learned my lesson.
I used to sit and watch her put on her make-up. I loved the smell of her perfume as she readied herself for a night out with Dad. My mother can open a seemingly empty refrigerator and make a marvelous meal, potatoes and eggs, spaghetti and peas, Athenian pasta -- she's an alchemist that can turn canned goods gourmet. It's never a bad time to call her, she's always happy to hear from you.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Keep swing dancing with Daddy and the years may never catch you.