|Mom probably circa 1947|
(One of my favorite pictures of my mother. She had a tough childhood but she looks very innocent and happy here. The photo was probably taken by my grandfather, who was an amateur photographer.)
My mother had a big heart and was happiest when she was hosting some get-together in her home. There were five of us growing up in that house and every occasion was peppered with a host of girl/boy friends, later followed by spouses and kids, relatives and family friends. I like to think that hospitality is one of my better qualities and that, if it's possible, I inherited it from my mother. (Or at the very least, learned by example.) Since I now live in the same house that she raised her family in, I feel a special connection with her when I host a get-together. When my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, they did a big formal dinner but they also had a huge celebration in their backyard. The same backyard in which Countrymouse and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. For us (and for my parents, I suspect), we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than gathered around the people we love in our home. I only wish she could have been there to share the day with us.
|Dad and Mom 25th Anniversary 1984|
(I love this photo of my parents. They look genuinely happy. And I love how tightly my dad is squeezing my mom's arm. Too sweet.)
I suppose most mother-daughter relationship suffer some strain and stress over the years. (Since I only have sons, I get to dodge that bullet on the mother end of things.) For as many not-so-perfect memories I have of my mother, I have scads more good ones. I'm thankful for that. I am also thankful to have spent 45 years with this wonderful woman and to be the woman she helped shape.
|Goofing around with Mom and my sisters. Family reunion 2007.|
(Sorry about the "Johnny Cash" pose. (I tried to make it nice.) We were being silly. Alcohol was involved. Enough said.)
So tonight, I will spend time with people I love and raise a glass to my mom and celebrate all that she was and all that she continues to be for those people whose lives she touched. And I will remember this...