Happy Birthday, Dianny’s Mom!

Mom birthday

April 21st is what I consider the Patriot Retort version of a National Holiday.

It’s my Mom’s birthday!

And I always take time on every twenty-first of April to wish my Mom a very happy birthday.

My mom was born in Germany. She met a young American solider named Jim Russell and they fell in love.

They wanted to marry, but Jim was under 21. So the army required a notarized letter of permission from his Dad to marry my Mom. I have the original notarized letter. It’s one of my prized possessions.

So in January 1957, Jim and Betty were married.

Mom and Dad wedding

And when Jim returned to the states, his new wife made the voyage with him.

They settled in Syracuse – just ten miles north of where my Dad grew up in LaFayette.

This is a picture of my Mom (R) with my Aunt Joy (L) sometime in the late 1950s. They were either heading to church or just getting home from church. Note the stylin’ gloves.

Mom and Joy

My brother was born when Mom and Jim were living in Syracuse.

Here’s a picture of Mark at the farm in LaFayette with my Mom and my Grandma Russell:

Mom mark grandma

The morning after my mother’s thirty-first birthday – in 1963 – I was born.

And by that time, we were living in a newly built house in LaFayette on property purchased from my grandfather.

Here’s my Mom and I on the morning of my baptism:

Yes, my mouth is wide open and I’m yelling.

Nothing has changed.

Less than four months after I was born, my father died of a brain aneurysm.

My Mom got a job selling Amway – often taking my brother and me with her on her delivery rounds.

I can’t imagine how hard it was for my Mom — a new citizen of a new country with two small children.

But she rose to the occasion. As she always does.

From my Mom I gained my independence, my loathing of small-talk, and my love of wit and sarcasm.

And in some of the most painful lessons of my childhood, she also instilled in me a respect for others and a strong sense of right and wrong.

As I’ve said before on my Mom’s birthdays, she is PatriotRetort.com’s biggest fan — even though she doesn’t go near a computer. Every week I print up copies of every post so she can sit her living room chair and read through them.

And Mom always says the same thing to me, “I don’t know how you come up with all that stuff to write about. I don’t know where you got this skill.”

That’s easy, Mom. I got it from you – from the way you raised me, instructed me, prayed for me and encouraged me.

Everything I have become is because of you.

Today Mom turns eighty-six and I am still learning from her.

So happy birthday, Mom.

From your loving daughter,


Please feel free to leave birthday wishes for my Mom in the comments. Though she never goes near a computer, I guarantee you, my Dad will bring out his laptop and let her read your birthday greetings.

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15 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Dianny’s Mom!

  • April 21, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Happy birthday, Betty! And here’s wishing you many more! My granddaughter shares a birthday with you!

  • April 21, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Happy birthday, Mrs. Russell, and congratulations on raising such a wonderful, intelligent daughter.

  • April 21, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Happy birthday, Betty! You are truly an inspiration to us!

  • April 21, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Happy Birthday Betty! Thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. You two are so blessed to have each other. May God bless you abundantly!

  • April 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Have a very Happy Birthday, Betty! Here’s to celebrating many more! Also, great job with Dianny. 😉 I’d like to be able to write like her when I grow up.

  • April 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    A great story. Could you imagine today’s young people going through or surviving what that generation did? You are very lucky, I lost my mom when I was in my 20’s and I miss her everyday.

  • April 21, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Happy Birthday. You’re like my grandmother, who raised me for my childhood.

  • April 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Happy birthday Betty! Congratulations on a well lived life. Keep on keeping on!

  • April 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    A great story of your mom. I got teary.

    ? ?? ?
    75 and still a patriot.

  • April 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Happy birthday to a beautiful woman. You raised a hell of a good daughter. God bless you.

  • April 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Happy Birthday to the Mother of one of my favorites. Dianny is truly blessed to have you, as I am with my 92-10/12 Mom. Love the pictures, especially the first one posted. So beautiful. Thank you for bringing her to us.

  • April 21, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Tausen Dank, Frau Russell.
    Ubd herzlichen gluckwsch zum Geburtstag!

    Your editor sprecha Duetch! I can’t spell in any lingo but Spanish; so it helped a lot
    Meina Dutch ist zer gute nicht!

  • April 22, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Happy Birthday Betty. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so that means you must be an amazing woman. Oh, and I can do math, Dianny. If you were born, “The morning after my mother’s thirty-first birthday – in 1963”, that makes today your birthday. So happy birthday to you . I hope you know how much we appreciate you and what you do. And we suffer with you in your daily struggles against Lupis and your draw inspiration from your strength and determination in fighting the good fight. I encourage everyone who feels the same way to join me in sending a Dianny a birthday present via the tip jar to help make this an extra special day for her.

  • April 22, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Happy birthday Mom.

  • April 23, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Thanks dianny’s mom for your great example…..and my wonderful husband shares your ? and your values

Comments are closed.