Isn’t she beautiful? This is my Mommy, in 1962. (Yes, I called her Mommy!) This is her graduation portrait, she was 17. Wow, how times have changed since the black and white, saddle shoe days of the early 1960s. My Mommy never knew computers or the internet. But she knew how to love life.
A single mom with two kids, Mommy never complained about what she didn’t have. Health problems were a common part of her adult life, yet she never sought pity. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until after Mommy died that I realized one of her doctors was an oncologist. People who don’t have cancer don’t see oncologists, do they? I never knew whether she did or did not have cancer. I think that was what she wanted. For me not to know.
As I’ve mentioned before, Mommy died in 1991, when I was 21. She had a stroke and was hospitalized for her last weeks. It’s been 19 years and I’m still brought to tears writing this. I miss her dearly, especially on Mother’s Day.
For all Mommy has missed, for her, her life was full. She lived in Munich, Germany and traveled around Europe as a young woman. She lived to see the Berlin Wall come down. The same wall she stood at 25 years before it came down, and wondered if Germany would ever see how wrong it was to divide people. Mommy went to concerts, Tom Jones was her favorite. She also met movie stars (we lived in the LA-area for awhile) and ate at The Brown Derby, yet she was never starstruck. The stars in her life were me and my brother. And the best dinners were eaten around the kitchen table.
Mommy laughed a lot and loved everything about life – family, friends, movies, singing. You name it, she’d find a way to have fun. She was involved in everything both my brother and I did whether it be scouts, religious groups, school activities. I get my kindness and volunteerism from her. And I especially miss her not being here to join me in living life.
I became a mom in December 2002. This is me with my sweet precious 3-month-old BabyGirl. My friend KathiJo hosted a Baby Shower Tea for me after BabyGirl was born, because of the Jewish tradition regarding celebration of baby before birth. Becoming a mom was one of the most amazing days of my life. On that day I fully understood the love my Mommy felt for me, regardless of what else was going on in the world.
This is my 8th Mother’s Day. Eight! Wow! Before I became a mom I was told to cherish the early years because they truly do go by fast. “Time Flies” is not just a cliché when it comes to motherhood. Each day I snuggle BabyGirl before putting her to bed and I’m taken back to those early days when she was so tiny I thought I’d break her. Except now, she’s draped all over me as she wants to cuddle up just like she was a tiny baby. And it melts my heart every time.
And just as my mommy corrupted my musical sense with her songs of the 40s and 50s, I’m doing my best to introduce BabyGirl to the awesome classics of the 1980s! My mommy admitted to her lack of music understanding. Growing up recorded music wasn’t a big part of her life. She didn’t get a phonograph in her house until she was well in to her teens, and even then she and her friends much preferred live music. And, because of my Mommy’s weird and eclectic sense of music my sense and perspective on music is just like hers – weird and eclectic.
Trying to put fun in to every day is a priority. It’s something I learned from my Mommy. I work at it. It doesn’t come easy to me, but I’m working on it. There are breakfast for dinner nights and crazy dance parties in the middle of the day. I act silly or may odd voices, even reading to her in various (very bad) accents. And her laugh wraps around my heart like a big hug.
Some days I don’t want to think about BabyGirl growing up. But, it’s happening right before my eyes. No matter how hard I try to keep her little, I see her growing into a beautiful young lady. As a mom, our children are our legacy. As a mom of one, I’m tasked with showing her the world not only through my eyes but also her own. I’m a mom because of her. I am her cheerleader, her confidant, her cooking instructor, laundress, and housekeeper. I’m a teacher and a coach. My duties as mom include being a nutritionist and secretary, chauffeur and motivational speaker. I am a life coach and a nurse.
One day, I hope to be her best friend.
I wish each and every mom a very Happy Mother’s Day. What are you doing to celebrate or remember Mom? I’m sure there is a beautiful home made card waiting for me — probably before my duties as chauffeur begin for the day.