Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moms Are Marvelous

Look at my cute mom, otherwise known as the "birthday girl." Hope you're having a great one so far, Mom! 

My mother (Darlene) is 82 years young today. She will probably be annoyed with me for posting her age when she reads this, but the truth is that I am just plain proud of how lovely she looks. Of course, she has always been lovely; in fact, she was a model in her youth, yet beauty was not her only asset. She also won a scholarship to Stanford, where she had planned to study medicine until meeting my very persuasive dad and agreeing to marry him.

As a mother, she used her considerable intelligence and talent to teach her children. We learned, at her hand, about everything: from playing the violin to understanding human physiology, from writing a poem to balancing a check book, from singing in three-part harmony to giving a good talk at church. Basically, she taught us all she knew, and she knew a lot. 

In fact, Mom was a natural teacher, and she only had two failures in imparting her knowledge to me. The first? Sewing. And the second? Baking bread. I'm afraid my lack of not only aptitude but interest in these areas proved too much for even her skills. Which is not to say that she didn't try. She even bought me my own sewing machine! 

We all love our moms, but here are some of the reasons I love mine:

1. her interest in anything and everything that happens to me (then caring about the various things even more than I do)

2. her beautiful violin music, the soundtrack of my childhood (even more beautiful - her fortitude when arthritis stilled her fingers and quieted her bow)

3. her devotion, made manifest in the creation of beautiful clothes for yours truly (who was not always cheerful about standing still while she measured the hem with a yardstick, mouth replete with straight pins)

4. her culinary abilities...amazing food, cooked with love (oh the oatmeal bread, the parkerhouse rolls, the pumpkin pie, the flapjacks, swedish pancakes and flaky pie-crust cookies)

5. her reverence for pregnancy and motherhood (both her own and mine)

6. her love of words, shared with me in the form of reading and writing (and rhythm and rhyming)

7. her love of learning (insatiable curiosity about the world)

8. her taste in books, music, and decor (similar to mine)

9. her selfless generosity as a mother and grandparent (including time and resources)

10. her easy acceptance of all those who marry into our family (if you love her kids/grandkids, she loves you)

11. her not-so-modestly expressed pride in all of us (frequently undeserved, but always appreciated)

12. her position as my on-call prayer (that is, mom is second only to the temple on my "go-to" list.)

One last thing. When my children were young, Mom lived five minutes away. I wonder if I've thanked her enough for the constant support she lent me, every time I asked for it...without fail...and often at the drop of a hat. My youngest boys had really severe asthma, and I was often stuck in the house for weeks at a time. Without my mom, the only time I would have gotten out was to make the more-than-occasional visit to the emergency room for treatment. Never once did she fail to accommodate her schedule to mine, and when they were really sick, she was the only person besides me that the kids would even go to (and willingness was a big issue, because crying made their asthma even worse). I seriously don't know what I would have done without her. And she didn't make me feel beholden, or like she was doing me a favor. She just loved my kids, happy or sad, well or ill, charming or cranky. (Thanks, Mom.) My friends were always flat-out jealous!

The truth is, she has been a wonderful mother to me in more ways than I can even begin to list here. (Though I made another pretty good attempt in this previous post.) And she is one heck of a grandma, too! 

You're a great lady, Mom, and WE ALL LOVE YOU!


PS. See you in May!


Fiauna said...

What a lovely tribute to your mother. She must have done something right. I hope she has a wonderful birthday.

KC Mom said...

What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to your Mom! Happy Birthday to her!

em said...

sue, YOU'RE so marvelous!!!

karen said...

Your mom sounds wonderful! What would we do without our moms?? I hope her birthday is a very happy one - she looks like someone who knows how to have a good time!

Heather Anderson said...

She is pretty amazing!

jen said...

That was wonderful, as usual. My computer crashed yesterday, right as I was reading your post. I was so happy when it was working today, and up pops your mom's smiling face!

Natalie said...

Your mother is so beautiful! That picture is precious.

Another wonderful tribute. I wish I could meet you both in real life.

Happy Birthday Dear Mother of Sue!
You are lovely, and have raised a lovely daughter as well!

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