Happy Birthday, Mom. A lot of times we get so lost in our grief that we don’t sit and think about all that someone meant to us. Today my mom would have been 61, she passed away when she was 44. I was just 24 when it happened. You can read about it here. But this post isn’t about her death, it is about her life. It is my way of saying Happy Birthday Mom, I miss you.
I don’t know about you, but when I was young, I didn’t realize that everything my parents did impacted my thoughts, dreams… my reality. My reality and childhood was quite different than most, which made me the very unique, independent, intelligent woman that I am today.
My love of traveling came from my mother. She road tripped quite frequently through the US always searching for something. I often wonder if she ever found it. I believe this is where my wanderlust stems from. We would pull over and see the roadside attractions and she would share the knowledge of what happened there with me and my brother, Ricky. We were voracious learners.
My creativity came from my mother. She was an amazing pencil and ink artist. When she had colored pencils in her hands she had the most beautiful smile that lit up her entire face. She was in another world. She was so incredibly talented. I often see that same look when I see my brother with a camera in his hands. His photography looks like pieces of art. So amazing! My gift of writing stems from this same creative source.
My mother loved to cook. Now my gift of cooking came from both my parents, they both know their way around a kitchen! My mom showed me how to make chicken tacos and enchiladas. I remember I would go see her on weekends while I was at college at the University of Arizona. She would make a big Sunday dinner and then send me back to the dorms with a ton of leftovers. When I had my first business, she would make sure I stopped working and ate lunch and dinner. A lot of the happiest memories I have of my mom are when we would talk while she was cooking.
I miss my Mom. She led a hard life though. It was difficult to see her go through so much and not be able to lift her out of her life. I tried. My brother tried. But she lived her life walking her own path to the beat of her own drum. Much like me, I suppose. I get that too from her.
So today I remember her smile, her jumping up and down like a little kid when she was excited and her laughter that filled the room. I also remember her counting to 10 over and over again when she was upset. Or how she said Mercy whenever a long-haired man drove by on a Harley.
My mother’s two favorite birds were the owl and the Bald Eagle. I have been blessed to see many Bald Eagles while here in Alaska. Each time I do I think of her. So when I saw three Bald Eagles hunting in the Kenai River, I had to pull over. It was a mama and her two yearlings and she was teaching them to hunt for salmon. It was the first time I had ever seen more than one eagle together, let alone three. I like to think of it as my mom, my brother, and me.
Happy Birthday, Mom. We miss you.