Today would be my mother's 74th birthday...I don't think she would have liked having her birthday tied to what most Americans now call, "9/11".
So, instead of blogging about our country today, I am choosing to remember my mother's birthday, her life, and her death. The following is a letter I wrote on behalf of my sister and me for the local, hometown paper where my mother lived for over 40 years. It was published alongside her obituary in February, 1997:
This week has been such a difficult one for your daughters. It has been filled with tremendous sadness surrounding the suddenness of your death, mixed with the celebration of the new life of your grandson, Matthew. There simply are no words to describe the intensity of our varying emotions.
As your daughters, we have loved you through many of your life experiences and we continue to love you in this final transition.
We remember our childhoods with you, with great fondness. You were a warm-hearted mother who always put your family first on your many lists. You instilled in us important values about life and giving to others. We learned these values, not so much by your spoken words, but through your actions.
There was never a time that our friends were unwelcome in your home--no matter how many guests arrived with us. You always found abundance in your kitchen and we remember the joy you found in cooking for your family and for others in the community. It is with bitter-sweet sadness that we will remember you cooking breakfast for us the morning you died.
You were always a very private woman, who said little, but felt much. At times you seemed driven to do the absolute best that you could, and the products of you labors reflected this. You smiled often and giggled a sweet laugh whenever you felt like it. You taught us to see the humor in even the most difficult times. Because of this, we know that you would want us to celebrate your life--to cry, to laugh, to remember you, and to let you go.
As your daughters, we are comforted and blessed to have had this time with you. And now, we humbly send you back from where you came, knowing that you will never be far away from our hearts.
Peace to you, mother.
Happy birthday, mom...wherever you are...