Day 268: Happy Birthday Mom

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The September birthday month continued with a celebration today of the matriarch of the family, my mom. It was a small party…my mom and stepdad, my sister Linda and me, at one of my mom’s favorite restaurants, Golden Corral, located at 2415 S Range Line in Joplin. But we partied big with an all you can eat buffet, wonderful conversation, and an abundance of laughter.

It’s always fun when any members of my family get together. We just know how to make the most of that time, whether we are dining, playing or partying. Birthdays are especially meaningful. It is a time to honor and celebrate the one marking the passage of another year. And for me, a time of reflection on the life of that person.

I am so grateful for my mom! So many of my best traits are a refection of her. She raised my sisters and me to be strong, independent women with “can do” attitudes. My mom is one of the strongest women I know. I’ve watched her throughout my life, more than she realizes.

From the example of her life I’ve learned resourcefulness and how to accomplish much, sometimes with little more than determination and creativity. I’ve learned to go after what I want and to enjoy what I do have, along the way. Mom has owned and operated several businesses, including a video store and a pizza restaurant. My children loved how their Mimi had the biggest selection of movies imaginable when they visited! I learned how much hard work goes into being the boss and how important customer service is. I also learned to make a mean pizza with my mom’s secret recipes!

My desire to travel has to flow from my mom to me. She’s a seasoned traveler, visiting all 50 of the states in the US, and many countries around the world. I have a ways to go to catch up with this adventurous lady! She gardens, sews, creates amazing treasures from ordinary items, makes her own laundry soap. She has a soft heart for abandoned dogs, teaches toddlers in Sunday School, bakes treats when family visits. I participate in Zumba because she encouraged me to join her in class. She understands how to live life to the fullest and I so humbly follow in her footsteps, seeking the same.

Most of her life, my mom has been a teacher, to her daughters and to others, an artist, a writer. She was a storyteller first. We three girls would lie awake in our beds at night, after lights out, and listen as my mom spun fantastic stories that sparked our own imaginations. Her grandchildren received written stories from her when they were small and she lived for a time in Yuma, AZ. Each child received stories, with themselves as the central characters, thinly disguised as other people in other lands and eras. The kids grew up yet Mom kept writing. She’s published numerous stories in well known books, such as the Chicken Soup series, and three children’s chapter books. My desire to create stories, and write, is a gift from her as well.

We laughed over some of our amusing mom stories, over dinner. I won’t share those. There are lots of humorous tales around Mom because she doesn’t mind laughing, especially at herself. Just mention a certain bachelorette party that my mom attended and rather enjoyed and my whole family will dissolve into laughter. She created good memories that evening.

Actually, she’s created good memories all my life, with an energy that can make me tired, and a mother’s love that knows no bounds. I am who I am, because of her, and that deep love. I am thankful, and challenged to keep living large. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you so much!

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