Today is my mother’s birthday – and I am at a bit of a loss for words as to the best way to share my wishes… I feel like Mom has GIVEN more than she has ever taken. And she has taught so much not just to me, but to her grandchildren… and to those around her. When people mention Mom’s name, there is one thing that I always notice: they smile. Mom is one who gives and loves and helps and… well, she doesn’t sing, but she encourages those who do.
For the past few years, Mom has insisted on celebrating her 59th birthday, and anniversaries thereof. This year, my daughters turned eleven, so they celebrated their first palindromic birthday (one that is the same forward and backward – like my Uncle Otto or friend Hannah). They informed their grandmother that she had to celebrate the real number, as she has a palindromic birthday this year also. (I won’t mention which one, but let’s just say that her fifth one was the year the girls were born.)
Age is certainly not an issue for Mom, though – it’s not an excuse or a crutch, though she has come to appreciate age-related discounts. I hope I can aspire to my mother’s zest for life and encouragement when I reach my xxth palindromic birthday, too! Have a great day, Mom – I love you!
Two and a half years ago, I posted a blog for Mom as part of her Christmas gift. Since that site is no longer available, I’ll repost part of it below. It also gives a picture as to how she is so special in our lives!
The Gift of Mondays
Some might do a double-take after reading this title – how can Monday be seen as a good day? Karen Carpenter sang of how “Rainy days and Mondays” always get one down; the Bangles let us think of how “Just another manic Monday” made us wish for Sunday, our fun-day; the Mamas and the Papas sang depressingly of “Monday, Monday.” So why, again, is this a gift? What is it about Monday that would make it any different?
Let me tell you a story. After two little girls were born more than eight years ago, there were two very tired parents, and wonderful friends and extended family members who helped them survive the world of twin infants. When the girls were around six months old, their mother started taking an MS medication, given as a weekly injection. Not too bad, except… the said medication made the mother feel like she had the flu for the following 24 hours. Every week.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I was the MS patient. I took this medication for three years, and when I first started, my mother had an idea: my parents live under an hour away, and I could take the medication on Sunday night, with her coming each Monday morning to care for the twins and let me rest and snap back a bit. After those three years, my neurologist decided with us that I might benefit more from one of the other MS medications, so I was thrilled to switch to a different injection that may have been more frequent but didn’t cause me to “have the flu” every week. Mom offered, and I accepted her generosity of continuing to spend a day each week with our family in Upland, as her part-time job allowed her to leave Mondays free. And so it is that the girls see Monday as “Grandma day!” while I get to spend precious time with Mom most every week, as she assists with various mundane tasks, helping make my life immeasurably simpler.
This little blog post is part of Mom’s Christmas gift from me. On Monday, Christmas Eve, our family will be at my parents’ house with my brother, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews. More than anything under the tree, I appreciate the gift of Mondays, one I’ve received from my mother. Though I’m not too fond of rainy days, Mondays do not “get me down.”