So not only is it Easter, but it is also my Mom’s 87th birthday today.
And as is my custom every April 21st, I always give a shout out to my Mom.
Mom is PatriotRetort.com’s biggest fan who has never read a post on the computer. Every week I print out copies of my posts and give them to her. She sits in her living room chair and reads through them. She’d be happy if Lupus would leave me alone so I could post a dozen things a day.
But that’s not the reason I want to celebrate my Mom’s 87th birthday with you. More than anything, Mom is hands down, the most influential person in my life.
She’s my hero.
If you wonder where I get my dry wit, look no further than my Mom.
About a year and a half ago, Mom had surgery. And after she got home, she needed someone there with her at all times. So when my Dad needed to run errands or had an appointment, I drove out to my parents to “Mom Sit.”
And while I always brought my iPad so I could post to Patriot Retort, inevitably Mom and I would end up sitting in the living room just talking and laughing for hours.
She’s lived an amazing life.
Mom was born in Germany shortly before Hitler came to power. So her childhood was marred by war.
And after the war, she met a young American soldier stationed in Germany and they fell in love. My Mom and Dad were married in January 1957 and a short time later traveled back to the states aboard a transport ship – where Mom discovered she suffers from seasickness. A transatlantic voyage is probably not the best time to learn that.
They lived in Syracuse where my father worked for the highway department and my Mom worked at Learbury Clothing sewing sleeves on shirts.
In 1961 they had my brother Mark.
When my Mom was pregnant with me, they built a home on a plot of land they bought from my Grandfather.
But shortly after I was born, my father died of a brain aneurysm.
And here was my Mom – a new citizen and a young widow with two children. So she became the provider — taking jobs here and there. She sold Amway products, often taking my brother and me along with her when she made her deliveries.
And one time, when my Dad’s sister Joy went undercover to ferret out a thief at SU’s cafeteria (she was friends with a private detective), my Mom worked with her in the cafeteria while they tried to find the culprit. In her daily reports to the private detective, instead of signing her name, Aunt Joy would sign them “99” (in honor of Barbara Feldon’s character on “Get Smart”). To this day, I chuckle over that. It is so like my Aunt.
My Mom is courageous.
And she is also selfless.
For more than thirty years, she and my step-Dad took in foster children. They opened their home to so many kids, I’ve lost count. But it’s well over a hundred.
The first foster child we ever had back in 1977 has stayed in touch with Mom and Dad. And a few years ago when she got married, they went to her wedding. She even had my Dad walk her down the aisle alongside her birth father.
I could go on and on talking about my Mom.
So much of who I am I owe to her. My stubbornness, my wit, my rather dry sarcasm and my loathing of chit-chat – all of that and more I got from my Mom. Though I’m nowhere near as good a cook and, unlike Mom, I can’t sew a straight line let alone anything else.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mom’s 87th birthday than to share a little bit of her with you.
Happy birthday, Betty. I am so grateful to have you as my Mom.
I love you so very much.
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