Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

H A P P Y B i R T H D a Y M O M !!!

A few words about my Mom ~ Marilyn ~ born October 20th a few moons ago....

We have been best friends since the beginning of time. I can't recall ever having a fight with her. We are solid as a rock. She's the *one* person who knows me perfectly, knows every nuance of my character, knows all my flaws and shortcomings, knows what I mean when I don't have the words. She is also the one who sees all the best in me, who celebrates me most, who has always trusted and told me - from a very early age - that I am capable of anything. I cannot ever repay all she has given me.

All the mother's day cards in the world are not enough to say what needs saying about my Mom.

As a child, I found my Mom to be *perfect* as kids do - she was a source of absolute love and support! She adored me, loved me unconditionally, helped me through my troubles (lots of crying about school), took me with her everywhere, talked to me, listened to me like an adult, gave me everything I needed and wanted (physically and spiritually). I don't recall her ever disciplining me - she just knew that I knew what I was doing.

As a little kid, I remember lying on the sofa watching tv with her, cuddled up (my favorite spot). I would make us folded-over sandwiches and bring them to her, sleep next to her in bed, read with her, help make (and eat) cookies with her, try on her clothes and jewelry, watch her get ready to go out, admire how pretty she looked, wrap presents with her for hours, decorate the house and tree for Christmas with her, hang out laundry with her, pack Avon orders with her, drive around in the car for hours delivering Avon orders with her (I met a lot of neat people and cats and dogs) while listening to music and singing out loud, visit family with her for endless hours of talking. As an only child, I spent all my time with her and around her. She was my comfort, my bosom buddy, my one true love. My life revolved around her.

As an adult, I still see my Mom as perfect. I know none of us is, but I just don't see any flaws in her. Seeing her for the woman she is, I am amazed that so much character and integrity can be wrapped up in one adorable, sweet woman. My Mom is smart, one of the brightest people I know. She's very intelligent and articulate and funny and interesting. She's a great person to have a conversation with. She's a great speller, grammarian, and writer. But more than that, she is wise. Wise about people. Wise about life. Humble, modest, quiet, witty, street-smart.
She has an amazing quality that no one I've ever met seems to have - she is unselfishly interested in other people. Old people all love her because she talks to them and listens to them and asks them questions about their families and health. She is the most interesting and interested women I know. Besides caring for my disabled father (who was a turkey for most of their marriage), she spends a great deal of time caring for her elderly mother. She also devotes her life to her sisters and brother, all of whom she loves unconditionally. They talk on the phone and see one another often and are very close.

For almost 25 years, she has been running the show at a busy municipal office. She works for several men (all elected officials - go figure) who are uneducated, illiterate poopheads who think women should be happy earning less than men while doing 5 times more work. She quietly manages these jerks - I don't know how -

She is the town guru. She is loved and respected by everyone she knows who (a) have good taste and (b) know anything about anything. She is on committees galore, where people love her, simply put. She knows everyone. She won an Award of Merit for Leadership, given by the province to very few people every year, after many discerning folks rallied for her! She knows everything there is to know about municipal affairs, accounting, budgets, bylaws, building permits, taxation, payroll, urban planning and development, finding money that isn't there, water quality, photocopiers, event planning, banking, buying trucks, irate taxpayers, municipal acts, regulations, reigning in spending and stupidity by counsellors and mayors, old ladies arguing over fences. She knows a lot about stupid men who talk too much and say too little.

Most of all, she's a diplomat. A lady. The UN would be honored to have her. She isn't well-paid for all she does, but she's the type of person who won't use the postage meter in her office when she sends me a letter - she uses her own stamp. She doesn't take advantage. She is the most fair person I know. When she could make a scathing remark about someone who's an arrogant ass, the most she might say is "he thinks highly of himself" or something otherwise fair and patient. She is kind. She goes out of her way. She sees the best in people, even my Dad and one of her sisters who rages too much. She is good. She is loving. Everyone goes to her when they want something done. She will drop everything when I phone, despite being exhausted and having had 10 phone calls that night, sometimes about work (but they have begun to learn - don't call her at home!).

She knows more than 99% of the people she spends her days around, but she doesn't have a speck of ego. She is respected, known to be knowledgable. She doesn't judge people. She is friends with fancy, educated, rich people and people who don't have jobs (nor teeth). They are all equal in her eyes. She has high regard for education and loves clever, articulate people. She makes me laugh. She loves music. She loves the CBC (I get this from her) and Law & Order-type crime shows (I got this too) and Canadian Idol.

She likes nice clothes and dressing well and seems to iron a lot, but like I, she knows that you can't judge a woman by her clothes and her material wealth - it's what's inside that matters. She's a great cook, especially turkeys and birthday cakes with seven-minute frosting. She's the only woman I know without a drop of envy in her - and I really mean that. She gives gifts to people - everyone, the paper gal, the guy who mows her lawn. She is thoughtful and loves cards - I got my love for Hallmark moments from her. She likes her tea, loves movies, is a night owl. She loves to sleep in (like me). She keeps a clean house and there is always milk in the fridge (and at least half a tank of gas in the car). She doesn't drive on slippery roads. She is sensible. She is the type of person who sends $10 to all those charities that send you calendars and key tags and mailing labels at Christmas. She loves to donate to the World Wildlife Federation. And she buys whatever people are selling, especially if they look like they need the money. I got this affliction as well. : )

Her cat, Pookey - how could I forget - is her pride and joy. Besides raising me, she raised several cats and dogs over the years. And she is the type of good mother who scoops the poop in the litter box every day. And leaves the radio on for the cat. She strives to exercise enough, and she walks and walks, to keep her cholesterol down, and eats healthily (which is hard in a small town where all the restaurants feature fish & chips and they look at you funny when you order a salad). She had a heart attack at 49, from faulty genes and a share of stress, but she recovered and repaired and toiled onwards. She puts one foot in front of the other and marches on. I am so thankful that she didn't strand me on this planet without her. She is sensitive and delicate, but she is also the bravest, strongest woman I know.

She gives and gives. She takes little in return.

I can't think of the right words to sum her up, really, but these are all examples of her glory. I can't articulate her very well, for how do you sum up a work of art? But I can say that if anyone says I am like my mother, it is the greatest compliment I can ever receive. I don't even mind having her o-so-baby-fine hair. But in our next life, if nothing else, we both hope to have thick hair.

My Mom is loved more than she knows. There are probably a lot of great Moms in the world, but as a woman and a mother to me, she is rare and perfect beyond belief. I am honored to be her daughter.


  1. matteo 8110:32 am

    Your mom looks really super.
    I'm sorry she has been so underappeciated by some men.
    Is it possible that the stress she had to bear is somehow passed on to you and venting itself through your headaches?
    If this is true I wish you a quiet living.

  2. My dear Terri, what a beautiful tribute to your Mom, a most deserving person. Of course it started me remembering countless sleepovers and the many kindnesses your Mom has shown to me. Regardless of who we are or what we do in life, it is the people we love and those who love us back - those who challenge our perceptions about ourselves and the world, that bring about a cycle of conscious growth. May we all strive to be such women of character.

    Happy B-day Marilyn.
    Thank you for sharing this post.