Mother would have celebrated her 95th birthday today. She’s been much on my mind lately.
A phone call yesterday, the voice asking how my day is going. For a moment time disappeared and I thought it was mom. The voice and question were hers. I’d never before mistaken Aurora’s voice for mom’s. Perhaps only because I’ve been thinking of and missing her a great deal lately. 15 years ago my brothers from Arizona, my sister from the coast and I gathered to spend mom’s last birthday with her. She was extremely disappointed not to get her birthday wish: to celebrate her birthday in heaven. One month late, on Mother’s Day, she was granted that wish. There is so much in my life that I wish I could share with her. She was an encourager, a good listener, accepting of people where they were in life with good sound advice to help them move beyond the hurdles, practical, and greatly loved nature and all that is beautiful.
It’s a great sadness that our grandkids don’t have the privilege of her love. She married for the first time in her 30s to a man she loved the rest of her life. She was 40 when she gave birth to me, the youngest of four children in six years. My parents never seemed older than most of my friend’s parents. They both aged gracefully while maintaining a youthful outlook with a love for people, life and keeping eyes fixed firmly on God. Once I hit the teen years I understood the huge advantage we had over our friends: parents who’d already figured out that most teenaged turbulences are simply minor bumps in the road and nothing to get steamed at. Mom had worked with inner city kids during her college years in downtown Chicago in the mid-30’s. Those street kids taught her how to deal with unruly people without losing her cool or composure. She was the epitome of patience even in the face of hard trials and heartache. Only three times in my memory did she get very angry and let us have an earful before shutting her mouth in anguish for erupting at us. We deserved each outburst. Teenage pettiness and arguing with siblings during times when she was extremely tired and under a great deal of stress. I wanted to crawl off to my room, (under the car seat the last time) in shame for being so selfish and mean that I’d caused mom this grief.