Mommy & Me – 1965

Today is my mom’s birthday. I’m not entirely sure how old she would’ve been – she passed away 17  years ago – 5 weeks after my wedding. And October 5th is, and always will be, her birthday.

My mom was great. Always willing to hug you and give you a big dose of mommy lovin’ even when you weren’t exactly in the mood for it. She kept us fed with kick-ass food, and I only wish I had half of her recipes, especially her spaghetti sauce.

Although she wasn’t big on letting us climb trees or go exploring where good little girls ought not to be venturing (that’s what dad was for), she was always ready to take us shopping for new school clothes or those jeans you just had to have even though dad griped that there was no money for them.

She made lots of stuff too. Not only did she sew a ton of our clothes when we were kids (another skill I wish I had picked up from her), she did all sorts of crafty things like embroidery and crocheting. If she could make it rather than buy it, she did. I have a little of that in me. Thank God for the internet or I’d never know how to crochet. But I gave up on embroidery when I stitched my Holly Hobby sampler to my pants leg.  Twice.

I remember one birthday of my mother’s specifically. It was when I was around 22. I was out of college, living at home, and totally involved with my job, my friends, and my boyfriend. Her birthday came and went without a word from me. The following morning, I said, “oh, by the way happy birthday!” and went to hug her, and she shrugged me off, clearly upset that I had pretty much blown it off.

Talk about feeling bummed out. And ashamed. My mom was the type who put you on her shit-list and boy oh, boy did you feel it. After work that day I went out and bought her a present. I took my time and chose a fancy black sweater/sweatshirt thing with a funky geometric pattern on it.

Hey, it was the 80’s.

I presented it to her that evening with my sincerest apologies. She opened it, threw it aside and exclaimed, “I have nothing that goes with that.”

I was a little crushed, but I had a feeling she was still trying to punish me for being such a douchey daughter. It was a month or so later that she wore it to go spend a night out with friends. 2 weeks later she wore it again. And again. And again.

Turns out she loved it – just like she loved me. I never broker her chops about claiming she didn’t like it either.

I really miss her. I dream about her every once in a while, and it’s nice to see her again. And as I revisit her on her birthday I hope she’s watching me  – and I bet she’s wearing that bad 80’s sweater.

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