Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mother of Mine


Today is my mother’s birthday. She loved birthdays, so I thought I’d devote this blog to her – she would have appreciated it. Mom was a schoolteacher and really liked anything that encouraged reading. She taught fifth grade, and claimed she couldn’t go any higher than fifth grade without the kids being taller than she was. As a teacher, she was somewhat strict, but made time for fun with the kids every day. I know I love books because of her example.

My mother loved games – all kinds of games, especially card games. She played Canasta like there was nothing else in life. I can still remember she and my father, along with family friends and us kids, playing Canasta around the dining room table in the hot, humid August air late into the evening and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. My brother and I, kept up long after our bedtime, would beg to be allowed to go to sleep. “Not yet, I’m just about to meld!!!” she’d yell. She competed with every fiber of her being, and might be likely to do a shameless victory dance, but at the same time, cheered for anyone who won. Good times, those.

My mom also loved trivia. She loved it long before it was popular to love trivia. She used to have a Friday trivia contest with her class, and when Trivial Pursuit came out, she claimed they ‘stole the idea from me!’ I have to agree. I can remember her throwing out random facts at the oddest times. We’d be on our way to church, and she’d say, “did you know that elephants are pregnant for almost two years?” or we’d be barbecuing, and she’d say, “did you know that Robert E. Lee’s horse was named Traveler?” I thought it a delightful eccentricity, but my brother used to roll his eyes a lot. After her stroke, she would call me on the phone, sometimes dozens of times each day, to give me some critical ‘fact’ I needed to know. Sometimes I’d have to struggle to be pleasant, wanting to say, “you know, Mom, I have stuff to do!” but I’m so glad I didn’t ever say it. I’d give my right arm for one more call, telling me how many times per second a hummingbird beats its wings.

Even thinking about today’s date makes me smile. My mom, who was an only child, was born on March 26. Her mother’s birthday was March 27. (Some of you may remember that my mom’s parents lived with us from the time I was a baby.) My grandmother, as she got older and began ‘slipping’ a bit in her mind, got a little confused about the dates. She insisted that, since she was older than my mother, that HER birthday had to be BEFORE my mom's, so she claimed March 26 and said the 27th was mom’s day. We all thought this was hysterical, and cheerfully swapped our celebrations accordingly.

Being adopted by this remarkable woman (and her well-chosen, fun-loving spouse - love ya, Dad!) was undoubtedly one of the biggest blessings in my life. Anybody who wants to know how they handled adoption issues can read these previous posts: My Mother’s Eyes or The Chosen Baby.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. Tell Gram I said happy birthday, too.

24 comments:

kim-d said...

Awww...Happy Birthday, ME's Mom and Grandma! What a beauty she was, and it sounds like there were lots of fun times around your house. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday, doesn't it?

Elenka said...

Happy Birthday ME's Mom!! ME is the person she is because of you and that's why we are enjoying her blog. I'll bet your mom didn't like PEEPS either.
My mom's BD is the 28th.....

Laura ~Peach~ said...

what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful mom and grandma :) what wonderful memories to have and thank you for sharing your mom with us :)
Love n hugs

Andrew Scott Turner said...

Great tribute!

Do you think she's in heaven shouting at St. Pete "Not yet, I'm just about to meld!"

Or "Did you know, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings?"

su said...

Happy Birthday Moms. My Mom's birthday was the 31. She always said she was almost an April Fool!
What fond, lovely memories to share. Thank-you

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

You have been BLESSED!
Your Mom sounds FANTASTIC!
GREAT MEMORIES!!
Thanks for sharing them, it was a GREAT Tribute!! Happy Birthday to her!!

Sue said...

Yay! I am honored to share my birthday with such a fabulous woman! Maybe I need to learn how to play canasta?

claudia said...

Happy Birthday to ME's Mom and tomorrow Happy Birthday to ME's Grandmom.
I want to say thank you to both for raising such a wonderful person!
Love Ya ME!

Midwest Mommy said...

Happy Birthday to your mom! What a great lady.

Joanie said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom! That was a lovely tribute to her memory!

Alice said...

Wishing a happy birthday to your mom...I know she's looking over you now and smiling with pride!

Odette said...

Awww That's great! I love the story about your grandmother that's so cute! :O) I agree with Kim-d she was very beautiful!

Vegas Princess said...

Happy Birthday to ME's Mom! What a moving and lovely post. You Mom sounds like an incredible person, someone I am sure everyone loves to meet. I can see where you get your amazing personality from. :)

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

What a fantastic blog you have going here and what a beautiful tribute to your mother.
I read your profile information and Godspeed on your journey to finding your family and about the lives they have carried medically.
I will definately be back to visit and if you have a moment or two of your life that you'd care to waste, please visit me at my blog and say hello :)
Take good care and......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

She sure raised a remarkable woman one I'm happy to have as my friend. Happy Bday to MET's mom. :)

katy said...

She was such a beautiful person...obviously inside and out.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love this portrait of your mother in both image and prose. What a special lady! Happy Birthday to her and to your grandma. The long elephant pregnancy is one of my favorite random facts too. You are lucky to call such a woman mom.

You wrote on my blog that you are coming to Brunswick next Wednesday for lunch. I have a 11-1:30 appointment that day, but do you want to meet in town for a dog walk before or after that? We could walk along the bike path by the river. I can’t find an e-mail contact for you. You can contact me on my website through this link. Totally understand if you’re busy or would rather not.

justlori2day said...

Happy birthday ME's mom! What a beautiful devotion!!

THE COOTS CLAN BLOG MODERATOR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

happy birthday to your mom and gram!
what a sweet post!

Scriptor Senex said...

What a lovely post. I know how proud you are of your Mom and how silly that makes anyone look who thinks your search for your birth mother is in any way ungrateful.

Mrs4444 said...

Loved this post. Sounds like your mom was a real treat :)

AirmanMom said...

ME...lovely tribute to a lovely lady!
~AM

Lori said...

Beautiful!