Sunday, January 11, 2009
Happy 59th Birthday Mom
My Mom's birthday is tomorrow. She has always been the rock of the family, even when met with resistance from us at times. Ya know, that typical tough love stuff that you need in order to straighten up and fly right. I remember those ghastly teenage years where I would sneak out of the house and my parents nailing my window shut, to the days where I would ask her to drive me somewhere and tell her to park miles away as to not be seen with my Mom. I know all of this is part of growing up and independence, but it wasn't until I had my own children that I realized how hard it is to let them grow up and be themselves, and more importantly, not to take these things personal.
My Mom is one of the most caring and loving individuals I know. Our needs as a family always came before her own. She was a stay at home Mom who did do daycare out of the home for only a few cents per hour. She did it so that we could have other children to play with, not to make a profit. Looking back, she does recall how ridiculous it was to charge like 25 cents an hour. I remember she waking up at 5:30 every morning to get things ready for the day before the daycare children would come.
My Mom was also the type of mother that you could rely on and that would make sure that her children had stability and routine. One thing was to make sure that us children had the right Catholic upbringing by putting us into Catholic School and never missing Sunday Mass for anything. She also made sure that supper was ready shortly after we returned from school, did our laundry and cleaned our rooms. My Mom coming from a family of fifteen with so many chores to be done daily, told herself that when she had children, that would change. I told her that I do appreciate the fact that she did everything for us, but going off to college proved difficult when you do not know how to wash dishes, cook, or do a load of laundry. I painstakingly learned however, but expect my kids to help out more than I was asked to do.
If we had a bad day at school, she was always there to listen and comfort us. No matter what, my Mom was always there, even when I thought I didn't see her. She doted on us from morning to night, worried about us falling off our bikes, being bullied, being disappointed when we saw what the real world was like.
It was when I went off to college that my Mom decided to finish college and get her degree in nursing. I remember as a kid, she telling me the story of how she tried to take care of worms (slicing them and operating on them) letting them know that what they had was not too serious an illness. After selflessly taking care of us for the majority of her young years, I was very proud when she was the valedictorian of her nursing class. My Mom, being one that has never liked the spotlight, had trouble seeing herself in that role, but what she didn't realize was that the role was made for her. She has always been a great leader, role model, and caregiver. This career was tailor made for her. Seeing her care for the elderly at the nursing home in the Alzheimer's wing is something to witness. She surely has found her calling, and they love her, and she them. Although she doesn't get the pay or near the recognition she deserves, she does it because she has a passion for helping and healing.
My Mom has been there for the birth of my two children giving me the strength I needed in the delivery room to make it through. In fact, she made sure that she would be ready to jump in the car as soon as she received the call (mind you the car was packed a month in advance) and drive 4 hours through rain, sleet, snow, or blizzards to make sure she was there by my side. She, herself, suffering complications and near death experiences in that delivery room, could feel my suffering with me and made sure she would be there. The joy she had on her face when she saw my healthy babies was beyond words and something I hope to share with my own daughter some day. Bringing a life into the world is one of the most amazing experiences anyone could have the privilege to do. Now I share that badge with my Mom.
My Mom has a way of making really anything special. She cares so deeply for her grandchildren Coretta, Geno, Jack, and Emilia and would go to any lengths to help them or to see them happy. Again unselfishly and with great grace she does what a grandparent should do. Play an active role in their life. I couldn't ask for a better Grandmother to her grandchildren. In fact, a simple need as missing stove top from the mouth of my daughter had her spending almost 40 dollars to mail 5 boxes of it over to Switzerland.
Mom, tomorrow on your birthday, I want you to take care of yourself for once and realize how greatly we love, cherish, and miss you! Happy Birthday!! Thanks for being our bridge over troubled waters! Below I have created a movie for you to watch, just click on the link: Grandma Earnest's Birthday Video
Here are some videos I found on life in the 1950s and commercials from the 1960s:
Life in the 1950s
1960s Folgers Commercials