My mom and I have a tradition of seeing each other on each of my birthdays. We only missed one year, where she and my dad came to see me but had to leave a day before my birthday because I was working as a third-shift chemist in the worst city in the Union.
So my mom drove an hour, picked up my daughter, and three generations of women had lunch at my workplace. My mom couldn’t possibly know how much this means to me. The tradition is wonderful, but the neat part to me is all of the effort to pick up Ainsley and to drive to a place she’s never driven. Mom doesn’t like to be lost but she braved the trip so I could see her and have a wonderful lunch. She even stood at the fundraising table for Light the Night with us and drummed up donations.
Mom fancies herself to be a simple person with not much to offer. What I see is a vibrant, intelligent, compassionate person who gives so much of herself to people she loves and to strangers too. She volunteers to help teach children to read and it’s not just an hour a week for her. She carries these children in her prayers all week. She’s also intelligent and insightful. I am very good at pattern recognition, but I’m only half as smart as she is at it- she can play bridge like no one else.
As I sat with Ainsley and Mom, I had one of those moments where everything else falls away. I was totally in the moment, laughing with my mom and my daughter and enjoying a meal. It was a simple lunch with no fanfare but it was perfect.
So thanks, Mom, for teaching me by your example, and giving me your compassion and giving me my life. I love you!