I would like to wish my mother, Mary, a great big Happy Birthday today. Those of you that know me, know that I am horrible at sending out cards of any sorts. Birthday, Congratulations, Get Well Soon and so on – it doesn’t matter, I stink at sending them. Often times I will have every intention of going to get a card for someone I care about, or better yet, craft a beautiful one using various rubber stamps, paper quilling or other crafty techniques. I have actually done this upon occasion and I do enjoy it immensely.
But more times than not, I find myself empty handed on the day of the occasion with no card.
Now, obviously I could have gone out and found the perfect card for my mother and put it in the mail. She probably would have been surprised. But I thought surprising her with a personal message in the form of a letter from the publisher of the Observer would be even a bigger surprise and I hope she is tickled by the sentiment.
My mother raised me and my two siblings while working to help provide for our family.
She helped teach me to cook, sharing recipes from her mother and grandmother.
She taught me how to sew and drove me a little crazy when she made me take out every crooked stitch – even the ones that I thought didn’t matter. But she taught me the importance of doing things right even when it takes extra time and effort. Perhaps I was the one that drove her a bit crazy!
She supported my love of reading by keeping me in books throughout my childhood even when I read the entire Little House on the Prairie series in one weekend.
She helped me learn about our ancestry and can just about recite the family history all the way to when the great, great, great, great, great (you get the point) grands who left Ireland and came to America.
She drove me more miles than I can count to band practices, 4-H meetings, piano lessons, softball games, swim lessons and more.
I don’t think she ever missed a football game where we (the band) were playing and she and father even went to New York City with us when we marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1983.
She and my dad took me on summer trips and I have visited almost every state in the continental U.S.
After I got married, she continued to teach me life lessons.
She held my hand as I lost our first baby to a miscarriage and many years later she listened to my tears when our youngest was born and we learned that he would face life-long challenges and difficulties. She also cheered him on during some of his Special Olympic events.
She welcomed me and a fellow Navy wife when we arrived in the middle of the night with numerous pets in tow while evacuating from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and she traveled back to Charleston with us to help us clean up the mess afterwards.
She traveled halfway around the world to visit us when we lived in Italy – I think she really just wanted to see the grandkids though.
She reads the Observer every week even though she doesn’t live here but she looks for things that I have written.
So, Happy Birthday Mom!
Opelika Observer