Monday, March 12

Happy birthday, Mom

My mom with a beached pink whale in 2005.

Today is my mom's 51st birthday. I'm not sure if she's at the point yet where she's reluctant to tell people her age, but I hope not; I think she should be proud of her years and her experiences and her wisdom. She has always been reluctant to color the grey in her hair, and for a long time (okay, like, three years when I was in high school and obsessed with hair dye) I encouraged her to just go for it and dump toxic chemicals onto her buoyantly curly locks and send them back in time to when she had long, fluffy, dark auburn hair that only the late '70s were able to foster.

But now that I am a few years older and SO much wiser (snort) I have come full circle and I'm actually completely on board with her conviction to not dye her salt-n-pepper strands. They are beautiful, and they have been earned. Some of them no doubt come from stupid things I've said or done. But the rest? Each one began its life on the tail of a struggle in her life — a struggle against the deaths of her parents, the stress of work, the simple biological processes of aging, the frustration of having grown children making bad decisions. Each strand is a testament to the tough times she's pulled through, and the triumph of making it through one more day, more wise and beautiful than before.

My mom has taught me so much over the years. I've learned the importance of keeping boxes of tissues strategically placed throughout one's place of work or home. I've learned more about the inner workings of nursing homes and hospitals than I ever figured I'd know. I have learned that it is possible for the universe to let the same person hit three different deer at three different times in the same car. And I know that my interest in spelling and words and meaning comes directly from my mom's interest in such stuff. The woman is a wiz at Bookworm (seriously, her longest word is 20 letters or something and her high score is in the trillions) and she writes biting, hilariously appropriate letters to companies and people that/who do our family wrong.

My fingernails are my mom's, and my mouth, and my smile, my chin, my too-polite phone voice, my loping run, my dark sense of humor, and my hardest laugh — the one that brings tears. We joke about how we both have "Fran Moments," when we say or do silly things that are amusing to no one but us. But that's another thing my mom gave me — the ability to laugh at my own myriad quirks.

I hope she gets at least 51 more years out of this life.

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Anonymous john h said...

happy b'day to your mom. She is beautiful. I love the gray. My wife has wonderful gray streaks peppering her hair and I love it.

PS. Your mom's daughter is no beached whale is quite nice-looking herself. I've been there, seen it...

Mon Mar 12, 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Lynnster said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. Happy Birthday, Lindsay's mom! :)

Mon Mar 12, 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...


Mon Mar 12, 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks, y'all. I'll pass on your birthday wishes to her.

Fri Mar 16, 09:10:00 AM  

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