Friday, April 15, 2016

happy birthday, mom

 This picture was taken the night of my dad's high school graduation.

This one is from back then too, the honeymoon?

 That's the two of us:

 My mom is in the back, her mother in the dark dress, and HER mother in the red.  I'm wearing the stripes and Pam is the little baby child.
 My brother's baptism:

 My mom with a bunch of kids up at the lake one Memorial Day.  Looks like about 2001?

 John modeling Mom's sunglasses:

 Maria on the famous occasion of the day she sneaked off, climbed on top of the table and ate chip dip straight from the container and even had it on her FEET.

Mom, here you are holding my grandson.

 Being Little Jay's National Honor Society Mentor:

All the things we've shared, it never occurred to me how much fun we'd have being GRANDMAS together.

Who knew?   When a small grandchild cut off their own hair at a sleepover not long ago, I called you to fortify my strength to call the mother.  I love how you gasped when you heard, totally understood how appalling a moment that was.

I have heard a lot from moms and about moms and you can be pretty hard on yourself about the ways you imagine you fell short--times when you were stressed and grumpy or just really did not know what to do.  There are those few times when you sincerely wish for a do-over--which all of us have and none of us get.

The kids have said it best, how it is being one of yours:  "Grandma always has your back."

Yes.  You have upheld us all, and helped, encouraged, defended, been incredibly generous in every way imaginable.   Things go wrong and you help us up, brush us off, and say, "It's ok.  I understand. Keep going."

You give money for school, no strings attached, and yet it makes every student stand up straight and want to do well.  Who could face you, having wasted your good money?


I never have to wonder what you're going to say to me at any point because it's going to start out, "Oh, Sweetheart."    You told me one time about your own dad on the phone with one of your sisters who had been sick, and when he heard Anita's voice on the phone, the way his voice was warm with affection.

Yep.  That's you too.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, you and Pat, celebrating your birthdays, and know just how lucky we all feel to be your kids.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

love always, Val and Everybody

You and Pat, and an enormous, tame chicken--look at those long claws dangling:

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