Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Momma!

A birthday celebration in her signature red!

My mother would have been 71 today.  Mom always enjoyed the presents and the cake…but not the age.  I remember on one occasion when she made the comment she was going to celebrate her 29th birthday that year…but she said it in front of her step father who was well aware that she was closer to fifty at the time.   He told her that if she was going to lie…at least make it believable.  Especially since her oldest daughter was about that age.

Mom will have been gone seven years come the day after Christmas.  Dad and I went over and bought red roses to place on her grave for her birthday.  You might say that Mom’s signature color was red.  She always wore bright red lipstick, loved red clothes, and even created a bathroom that was a tribute to the color red…so it is fitting to give Mom red roses.  Time has given me the ability to think about Mom with a smile.  I can still hear her voice in my head telling me what I should or shouldn't do.  I remember just before Mom died…she had me go and put a silk poinsettia on her mother's grave because her favorite flower was a poinsettia.  Mom and I talked at the time that even though it had been 30 years since her mother had died…she never stopped missing her or thinking about her.  I didn't realize that I would find out how true her words really were. 

Many years ago I was talking to my uncle on the telephone.  Mom was in the same room and we were both asking questions.  Uncle Claude wasn't the most vocal person when it came to communicating how he felt – he could tell the best stories, but the “I love you!” wasn't easy for him.  As we were getting off the phone, I told him that I loved him.  He got a little emotional and replied that he loved me too.  Mom was getting a little teary eyed and told me to tell him the same thing from her.  Claude being Claude…had to interject some humor.  He replied that she had better love him…he helped bring her into the world!

I knew there was a story here…that I had never heard.  “What do you mean…”I asked.  It turns out that when it was time for Grandma Cappy to give birth to Mom…her husband was out hunting.  So…Grandma had to draft her little brother to drive her to the hospital.  So, there he was – a 17 year old kid taking his big sister to the hospital.  Grandma Cappy had to leave her older daughter at home with her mother.  It isn't really as if the father was with the mother in the delivery rooat at the birth during that time period, but Grandma Cappy correctly believed that if Grandpa Richard was present at the conception, he certainly needed to be  there at the birth.  If he couldn't manage that….then there were going to be no more children. 

Mom’s last birthday was 64, which was much too young.  Mom was a wonderful musician, gifted organizer, cook, crafter, and avid computer operator.  However, I think she was most proud of being a loving and loved wife, mother and daughter.    There are many adjectives that I could use to describe my mother – intelligent, funny, wacky, stubborn, and opinionated. So today I celebrate my Mom and all the things that she was to everyone who loved her and she loved.  I understand what she told me on her mother’s birthday’s back in 2005 – that you never stop missing your mother, and I know I never will.  Happy Birthday Momma!
Mom was about 15 and getting ready for a violin recital.
Mom (Betty)  is pictured here with her mother, Cappy.