Remember when you’d spend hours upon hours making breath-taking wedding cakes in the tiny little Alabama kitchen with me and my sister playing at your feet? How when a cake didn’t turn out right, instead of tossing it into the trash you’d give it to us so we could spend hours on end making messy roses and crazy frosting patterns that you deemed were a masterpiece? Yes, you did that. And it was good. And I remember the way you smiled at me.
Remember when, after the divorce, we were struggling and living on patio furniture in the living room and you decided to go back to college while working full time and taking care of four kids? How when you’d lock your bedroom door and we’d hear you crying from the other side, and we’d have cinnamon toast for dinner? Then, when you graduated. When you walked the stage and took that diploma in your hand and owned every minute of every struggle so that you could better your life, our lives? Yes, you did that. And it was good. And I remember how inspired I was.
Remember when, after we were estranged for so many years, you came to visit me and we stood in my living room in Iowa and didn’t know where to start? How you took a deep breath, looked me right in the eye and admitted that sometimes as a mom you didn’t feel worthy? Yes, you did that. And it was good. And I remember how I was so relieved because I felt the same way too as a mom and how we decided to love each other anyway.
Remember when I was a self absorbed brat who blamed everyone around her for her pain? How I now call you everyday, sometimes twice a day, even though I’m 40 something and a Grandma myself because I can’t go a single day without hearing your voice? How your sense of humor, prayers, and gentle reassurance that I am loved comforts me. Your patience did that. And it is good. And I remember, everyday, how much I value what you, as a woman, have gone through and how you, as my mother, have loved me.
Remember when we, one day, decided that the past wasn’t going to overpower the future and that we were super women hero’s who could defy all the odds and be best friends in the end?
Remember when I wrote a birthday letter to you and put it online and embarrassed the Sh&t out of you?
I love you mama. Happy Birthday.
Thanks for being exactly, wonderfully, amazingly you.