Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

June 8, 1925 was a very important day in my life.  I wasn't actually born then - that is my mother's birth date.  You can see the significance for me, right?  I'd like to share with you a little about the woman my mother was.

She grew up on a farm in a small town in Maine during the Depression years, and life on the farm gave her a great love of nature. 

During her teen years, she watched her two older brothers leave to serve in World War II, and she graduated high school two years before the end of the war. 

She didn't talk much about her early life, so I don't know a lot of the details.  After finishing school, she worked different jobs before going to work for the phone company.  During this time she met my father, who was in the Air Force and stationed in Maine.  When his service was completed, he moved back South to work for a trucking company (he was originally from Virginia).  She followed him to Winston-Salem in 1952, and they were married in 1956.

In the 1960s, she saw the assassinations of President Kennedy in 1963 and Senator Kennedy in 1968.  Together we watched the first man walk on the moon, and played badminton and kickball in the back yard.  Some of our best times were outdoors, and I got my love of nature from her.

She was a smart, talented and creative woman, but she never nurtured her talents.  Everything was put aside for me.  I was her focus.  She was completely selfless to the point of going without so others didn't have to.

I still have the Halloween treat bag she painted for me.  It is one of my treasures.  I used it as an example to make Halloween bags of my own a few years ago.  Sometimes it is the little things that mean the most as we get older.

One year we spent long hours making Christmas decorations from styrofoam shapes, beads, glue and old Christmas cards.  That was such fun, and we decorated our tree with them.  I even used them as a history project in school.

My high school graduation fell on her birthday, and I thought that was cool.  I also thought I was grown.  It took a while for me to realize how wrong I was.

She watched with much trepidation as I grew up, got my license, got a job, and eventually moved into an apartment.  I was still her little girl, and that never changed.

When I married, she acquired a son whom she loved.  She and Daddy always referred to us as "the kids", and continued to do for us even though we both had jobs and our own home.

There are many times when I still wish I could ask her something, tell her what I've been doing or just have her over and cook for her, like she did for me for so many years. Many of our conversations centered around food.

There never comes a time when you stop being your mother's child.  That bond is always there.  She taught me values and to treat others with kindness and respect, and filled my head with knowledge you don't get from books and school (common sense).

I am proud to be her daughter, and even more proud to have been her friend.  If I ever manage to be half the woman my mother was, I will consider that I have succeeded in life.

Happy Birthday Mom.  I miss you!


  1. Linda, what a lovely tribute to your Mom. I remember her being always kind and loving to me and completely understand how much you must miss her. And you're right, it is, in the end, the little things that tend to mean the most.

  2. Linda, this is such a beautiful and moving post! Happy birthday to your mom...I'm sure she'll be as proud of you as you are of her...

  3. Aw... This post really makes me miss my own mom who died when I was just 23. Even in her short life, she managed to instill strength and confidence in me that has served me well for my lifetime.

    I miss her.

  4. Linda, thank you for sharing your mother's life with us. She sounds like she was a truly remarkable unselfish woman who obviously raised a fantastic daughter. I can only try to understand how much you must miss her.

    So true that the little things are much more important than they seem at the time.

  5. Linda,

    I loved this post and how every word reflected your love and appreciation of your mom. It touched me in many ways.

    I didn't have this kind of relationship with my mom and I think it's wonderful that you did. She certainly raised a very special woman:~)

  6. Hi Linda .. oddly it's my father's birthday today .. but to Mums .. my Mum commented early on that she should be looking after me and couldn't any more - still brings tears to my eyes ...

    We had wonderful times as kids and as adults .. but that independence of no children/grandchildren kept us apart - so I'm grateful to have had these past few years of being able to rationalise life .. and work a few things through .. that I still do as I read things, or thoughts work they're way through. I have to work things out myself as I can't ask my mother too much as I don't want to upset her .. it's better for her - as emotion is one thing that sadly she wants to have but something stroked doesn't allow - so I need to be careful for her sake.

    Thanks so much for posting this .. your mother sounds a totally selfless Mama and has certainly imbued her daughter with her love, as well as that of her husband, your father .. wonderful post - Hilary

  7. Connie- Hi, so glad to see you here. She was indeed very special, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.

    Tulika Verma- Thanks, I hope she will be, too.

    Jayne- I hope I didn't make you too sad. I don't know what I'd have done if I'd lost my mother at that age.

    Talon- She was, and I miss her every day. We need to treasure all the little things in our lives; they will someday be the most valued.

    Sara- It was easy and hard to write at the same time. There was so much more to her than just being a mother, and so much I will never know.

    Hilary- It is also my father-in-law's birthday. He was born in 1926. He is in town this week for his grandson's graduation. I am sorry that you cannot share certain things and feelings with your mother. I understand, though, the importance of keeping things on an even keel. Mom, and indeed, both my parents, were wonderful.

  8. She sounds like a wonderful woman. I'm sorry she's gone. I lost my mom six years ago in August, and I still pick up the phone to call her at least once a week. They are always with you, arent' they?

  9. What a lovely tribute to your mother Linda. I'm sure she's just as proud of you, as you are of her.

  10. Linda- They are always with us indeed, watching over us somehow. It's sad that they are no longer here for the day-to-day stuff.

    Nicky- Thanks, I hope she is.

  11. Awwwwwww....Linda, what a beautiful loving tribute to your Mom. I'm sure she's smiling down on you.

  12. Well written birthday wishes to your mom! Sounds like a great woman! And I am confident you are catching up with her, based on her teaching and sharing with you, actions in life!


  13. Don- Hi, and thank you. She was wonderful, and a lot to live up to. Been trying to get around to surf as as I can.

  14. meleah rebeccah- Thank you. I'm sure she is too.

  15. I'm glad I stumbled upon this. Wish I had seen it when it was posted. Your mom was a special lady and the only grandmother figure I ever knew. I'd like to know why I seem to grieve more for my own mother each day. I remember Sally bringing wonderful homemade bread and Christmas goodies to my house. I remember her giving us a stick of gum but rolling it up first. I think it is time I came and visited you! Memory lane would do me good. Thanks for sharing this
    thoughtful post.

  16. I'm glad you found this, and I'm glad you have such fond memories of Mom. Our mothers never leave us you know. Physically, yes, but they are always there.

    And visits from you are always welcome, virtual or in person. Love you!


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