Today is my Mom’s birthday and I can’t celebrate with her because of the pandemic that has shut down the world.
I’m on day 19. Others have been doing this for even longer. My state is on a “Stay at Home” order until April 30th. So not only will I not see my Mom on her birthday. I won’t see my parents on mine either. There are bigger, much more awful problems in the world right now than not seeing family on birthdays but in times of struggle family is who I turn to. It feels completely alien to not be with them during this.
Not being able to just go to my Mom’s whenever is especially hard on me. I was able to see her briefly yesterday but it wasn’t the same. We both worried about unintentionally getting each other sick. My Mom is my best friend. We’ve had our rough patches like when I was a shitty teenager but she managed not to kill me. She’s always been there for me. She chose to be brave and bring me into this world when many women in her situation would have taken a much different path.
Mom was 18 when I was born but she didn’t let that stop her from graduating high school and then going on to graduate from college. She sacrificed so much to make sure that I was taken care of. She definitely had help along the way, but I know that even with help it wasn’t an easy road. That’s the way my Mom is though. When she chooses to love someone she does it with her entire heart. I’ve talked before about how my Dad shows love but Mom is very different. She says she loves you all the time. It doesn’t stop there though.
She’s a problem solver. You call her upset and she’s going to try and find a solution. She’s there to cheer you on when you need it whether you are her kid, her spouse, her friend, or some stranger that she sees struggling. She’s sassy and extra and I love her for it. She’s been known to take something simple and make it into something completely over the top and perfect.
She is a woman of many talents. She can cook pretty much anything. You don’t dare leave her house hungry. Her gumbo is famous (passed down from my great-grandmother of course) and her peach pie is out of this world. She makes pasta, bread, and pretzels. She quilts, makes clothes, and embroiders. She has a garden. She journals. She occasionally scrapbooks and, of course, is great at it. In her younger years she painted and cross-stitched. I have yet to see her pick up a hobby that she was bad at it. If she was bad at something she’d just master it and then move on anyway. She rarely uses these skills for herself though, she’s always doing things for other people. A quilt for me, a pie for my Bonus Dad, a specially decorated care package for my brother, dresses for the girls. The list goes on. She is the epitome of showing love through acts of service and quality time.
When I talk about her like that she sounds like a little old southern belle. She’s not fragile or old though. She’s loud and opinionated. As my Bonus Dad lovingly calls it, she’s a “mouthy b***h.” She’s never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what’s right. She’s the bravest woman I know. I wouldn’t be who I am without her.
Happy Birthday Mom! And screw you COVID-19!