Today is my mother’s birthday. Halloween baby!
Ain’t she cute? Despite being tough as nails, she’s just as sweet as she looks. If you were to visit the house, she would be sure to make some special food dish (likely from an animal she has personally killed or from a plant she personally grew), stock a beer you’d like, and generally make you feel at home. In college, I could not announce I was going home for a weekend without at least a few of my friends asking if they could tag along to go see my mom. She’s generous to a fault, almost, and loved by everybody she encounters.
My mother is most at home in the wilderness. Back when our family had little money, she saved on food bills by hunting game and butchering it with father’s help. I was raised on deer, fish, squirrel, you name it.
She is very accepting when you fail, as long as you’re trying. For somebody with a huge perfectionist streak, like me, this quality in my mother often provides a very necessary bit of reassurance. She’s proud of me so long as I’m trying, and disappointed whenever I’m not – success is not the barometer with her, and it’s why I try every day to make her proud.
She also trusts those close to her implicitly. This has been the framework for my relationship with her, such that I can talk about sex, experimentation with drugs, and virtually anything as passively as if I was discussing the weather. She’s my best friend, and I trust her advice far more than my own judgment to this day.
She raised two strong, confident, smart kids, who she worries about far more than she should. I had some very, very difficult times over this last year, which I tried to hide from my parents because I didn’t want them to worry. Mom could smell it though, and she called a few times a week to keep checking on me and to remind me I was loved.
She is as patient as a great oak tree. When I became a Christian in my teens she never disowned me despite some of the horrible things I said about gays and non-believers. She trusted I had the intelligence to figure out my missteps and kept me close while I was working on it. She forgave the second stupid things escaped my mouth.
She is the glue for our family, and we have the most amazing family because of it. She used to have a blog herself. A cursory exploration of its entries will show how much she talks about her family. She really has made us her world, and she is ours in return.
She is so indescribably wonderful. She really deserved a much better kid than what she got for most of my life. Even though I know she is the quickest to forgive for the transgressions of my youth, I’m doing my best to make up for that now. My strength, my wits, my compassion, they all come in forms of both nature and nurture from her. I am a cosmic lottery winner several times over to luck out and wind up with parents like mine. And for all she’s given me, I know she wants nothing in return but for me to be happy – even if that meant shining shoes for a living. I love you, mom. I put your lessons, wisdom, and guidance to work every day trying to make this world a better place. You’ve made me what I am, and you keep me grounded.
She is my best friend. She is my role model. And I know she reads this blog, so if I’ve ever touched your life in any way, leave her a comment here and thank her. I would have been an utter failure in life without my mother. She made me what I am.
I love you, mom.