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She could have been a doctor, but she’s just my mom – (repost)

Author’s note: I originally posted this last year on my mom’s birthday. It’s her birthday again today and it deserves to be read again. I couldn’t have rewritten it any better.

Love you Mom.

 

 

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(2014)

It’s my mom’s birthday today. She is 73. Sorry mom. I suppose divulging your age is the first rule of lady code I just broke.

Well, I say wear your age proudly. Because when you’ve lived 73 years and seen what my mom has seen, I think you just throw your hangups about age out the window.

My mom is my compass. She’s my lighthouse in the dark. She is my mom and that’s my everything.

I am probably one of the luckiest humans to have such a woman in their life that breathes into her hope, inspiration and security.

My mom doesn’t have it easy. She takes care of my sister, who is disabled. Mom has had her own bout of hardships. Three joint replacement surgeries, a life saving surgery when her intestine was blocked and she could have died. OH, and she’s a cancer survivor. So, there’s that.

Also, when you’re born in Frankfurt in 1941 you are surrounded by a world at war. To think this little being and many others like her, came in to this world under Germany’s darkest years. But if there’s a light one can not extinguish even during this dark period, it was my mom coming forth. Little Uta. I think she was born speaking and solving problems, but that’s just my admiration for her. I know she was a regular little girl, a person with her own hopes and dreams before she was my mom. It’s hard for us as children to picture our parents as people. I mean, you’re telling me they had lives before they devoted it all to us? Indeed. This is a hard fact for my own children to accept sometimes. When you wear the badge of ‘MOM’ it’s hard to be seen as anything else.

Sure like other children, I have fond memories of the way my mom smelled (Chanel No 5 during the 70s) and the smells of her kitchen too. We would have her homemade pizza every Saturday night. We watched the Muppet Show from our kitchen table my dad built. Kermit was smaller then on the 18 inch color television that wasn’t even remote control yet.

But I also have memories of my mom when I was in high school and college. The morning after a late night out, she would sit on my bed while I would sip a cup of tea she brought me. I’d share details of the night like I would share to a girl friend. I would preface certain stories with, “Okay, you’re not my mom right now, what I’m going to tell you.” And she would listen without raising an eyebrow. She didn’t judge or scoff. Let’s be real though. I was a pretty square kid. I didn’t really drink, I never did drugs, I was usually home by midnight, and my male conquests were theater boys I would crush on from afar only to find out they were gay. Translation- I didn’t get much action in college!

So there really wasn’t a whole lot for her to judge me on anyway. BUT, I still felt comfortable sharing all my funny stories, crazy happenings when there were some, and girl to girl details only other women get.

I remember one time either in my early adult years or when I was still in high school, my mom and I were having a heart to heart. In one of her somewhat bleak moments, she said to me with tears in her eyes, “You know, I could have been a lot of things. Maybe a doctor. Maybe a scientist. But I’m just a mom.”

It broke my heart. How could this woman not be satisfied with anything more than being my mom?! Had she been a career woman and not stayed home with her kids, what would life have been like? Selfishly, I was glad this was all she was. My mom. Our mom.

But I told her that she is more than ‘Just a Mom’. She is patience, and trust, nurture and light. She helps the downtrodden, she advocates for the helpless. She friends the homeless and the addicts. She counsels the stranger she strikes up conversation with.

She is an amazing woman that is more than just a mom. But a person who betters this world just by living in it. She raised me and my brother and sister. She looks after my dad and is his partner of 55 years. She reads and swallows up information by the libraries. She is one of the smartest people I know. She can cook up a pie crust and help you with your 401(k) paperwork. I don’t know how this woman does it.

Did I mention she moved here from Germany when she was 17 after marrying my dad? They had my brother a few years later and within less than 10 years had their own two children and fostered troubled children. Mixed race children in the 60s! They took a road trip with their black foster daughter and their own two children down to Atlanta. The guts they had. This is how my parents live. By example.

So yeah. You turn 73 with 3 grown kids of your own, 4 grandchildren, a husband you’ve been married to for 55 years; you wear that age proudly.

And mom,  if you ever think you’re ‘just a mom’ and there was something else you could have been, think for a minute the lives you’ve touched. The ripple effect of what your living has created. How there should be more people like you that are as selfless, reliable and loving. I have never been more proud of you to just be my mom.

Happy birthday.

 

She could have been a doctory but she's just my mom by Frugalista Blog

My mom in the 1950s.

Just another post election blog

I wasn’t going to write about the outcome of the election. But then after all the stuff on Facebook and the news channels afterwards, this girl couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

A sampling of what was all over the interwebs on election night-

Yes, there was celebration. There were tears. There was jubilation for the re-election of President Obama. There was disappointment, frustration, dismay.

But really? The end of the world? It is clear how polarized our country is. Folks still think we are being ruled by some communist Muslim who was born in Kenya. Thanks Donald Trump for beating that dead horse.

People commenting on how stupid half the country is. People saying Romney can fuck off now.

Have we forgotten that America isn’t about how Republican you are? Or how God-fearing you are. It isn’t about Ohio, or the Latino vote. It’s about everyone getting to say their mind. Sure the electoral college is weird and confusing. It feels useless sometimes. BUT, I like knowing that I contributed in the popular vote. That I had an input in my local elections. Those can be decided sometimes by just a few thousand votes.

People died for our right to vote. Women were tortured and starved for my right to vote. Black people died to vote. They were beaten on their way to polls. White people were beaten for helping them.

We are better than that now. But don’t slay each other electronically. We do not need to degrade each other over Facebook or Twitter.

I am not a lesser person because of who I voted for. I’m not stupid for liking one candidate over another.

I’m tired of feeling uneasy to express how I feel, to wonder what scrutiny or hailstorm of comments will ensue after I’ve expressed my opinion. Usually by folks taking something out of context, something personally that was meant as a generalization or as an experience I had.

Don’t you think that someone’s opinions were formed by their struggles, by their burdens? Do you know their story? Maybe it’s more similar to your own than you think.

Why be so quick to judge?

Politics is tiresome. It can be frustrating. But in the end, it is a process that got us here. Elections matter.

I believe that we are going to be okay. I do have hope. I do see change. It’s slow. It takes time.

Romney said he believes in America. And I do too. I believe in it whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican.

I know that a party affiliation doesn’t prove your belief in America or God, more or less than anything else.

Let’s shake hands and get to work.

That’s just my hippy dippy optimism for now. I hope you can join me. Kum ba ya.

Namaste.

Reasons to Live Friday #7

When I started this list it was after a friend took her own life. I couldn’t imagine any reasons bad enough to end living in this world. Obviously pain and depression are powerful things. And I’m always in a quandary as to how those things can overpower the good. To outweigh not being here for the children, my mom, my husband, friends, etc.  So I’m making a conscientious effort to always focus on the good. To always remember that MY BAD is still better than someone ELSE’S bad and that nothing is so much that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This week my reason for living is- the things you look forward to. You know how kids are forever looking forward to Christmas or their birthdays? Well, I like stuff like that too. I’m always looking forward to SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Whether it’s going to the beautician for my hair did. Ha! I said beautician! I go to a salon with a DJ and there’s an espresso bar and my guy has orange hair and is a fan of Anime. FAR from the beauty parlors of our mother’s or grandmother’s! Which is probably why I love it even more. Who knew how much fun it would be talking to a 25 year old straight guy who loves my take on suburbia, I love his perspective on the club scene and Comic-con crowd. Ooh, I just looked at the calendar and I get to go on Tuesday for a trim and a root touch up! yay!

See! Already- something to look forward to.

I’m freakin’ excited for my daughter’s play that is this weekend. Emma has the theater bug like yours truly. She is in INTO THE WOODS at one of our community theaters for young actors and I know I will just beam with delight when she is on stage. I am truly excited for my kids’ accomplishments. I’m their biggest fan and she always is my favorite entertainer. I mean, we know she brings the funny, right?

Tonight is opening night and I couldn’t be a more proud mama! I’ll get a big bouquet of flowers and clap so loudly. I’ll let you know how it goes.

NEXT weekend is McSweetie’s birthday so there’s all kinds of things to look forward to. I don’t have his present yet. Oh, who am I kidding- I’M his present! hee hee

So there’s my slice of Friday gratitude. Maybe things are hard, job, life, kids….any of those things. But there’s always something to look forward to. Always.