Mother’s birthdays can often go unnoticed by many. Even their children, spouses and loved ones can forget. I don’t think anyone intends to forget… it just happens sometimes. My mother never forgot birthdays … if she did, she was ill. A date book she gave me with a famous artist’s painting for every month of the year rests just a few feet from me with every single member of our family – immediate and more distant – marked in on their special day in Mom’s pretty hand.
Once I reached my teen years, I never missed a single birthday of Mom’s either and sent her fifty roses on her fiftieth. I never missed a Mother’s Day, Easter or Christmas either. Mom even liked to send and receive valentines cards. Any special day was cause enough to get to the card store and the post office. Probably the most mail I ever received in my life – barring rejection letters in the days when snail mail was all we had – was sent to me from my mother. Even in the times when things weren’t “growing” so well between us, I never missed any of her special days, nor she mine. One of my sisters once asked, “How can you still do that?” It’s easy, I said. I am a good daughter. I still am. I was the best daughter I knew how to be.
My mother was also the best mother she knew how to be. She was a good mother. An oft lost, loving woman who found her own way through her kids, always proud to tell any stranger who would listen her badge of well-earned life honor, “I had eight kids.”
She said this with a satisfaction and pride for which there was often no reply. But smiles and nods were all she needed. Some days.
Other days she needed our hugs more than we knew.
Today, with her birthday just hours away and her all winged in heaven now, I long for a hug from her.
Instead, I’ll share a song my musician father used to sing often. Often dubbed Hank Snow the second, my musical award-winning father, the love of my mother’s life, was singing of his own mother but it applies to all mothers. All good mothers everywhere who do the best they know how to do by their kids, this is your song in honor my mom’s birthday.
I live near the sea… ever notice how seashells resemble angel wings… even the broken ones… especially, perhaps the broken ones… bits of angel wings washing ashore reminding us to carry on and fly as high as we can.
Who knew a person could miss both receiving but especially sending ground mail so much…