Mom, a photo by bluemama on Flickr.
My mom at 10 years old.
i am very close to my mom; we talk on the phone almost every day. Not surprisingly, a lot of who i am is thanks to her. She's an amazing woman - strong, passionate, generous, funny, creative... She built a deck behind her house a couple of years ago - she was 62 at the time. In fact, when my brothers and i were kids, we knew when you heard power tools amping up at 6 am, it wasn't dad, it was mom.
My mom has had her share of challenges in life - one being put into Catholic boarding school at age 8 - but those challenges made her strong, and i don't know anyone who can get one over on my mom. She'll fight tooth and nail for those she loves, too. i remember once, as i was in the midst of chemo at age 15, we went to the mall. i had forgone the wig i had been wearing (it was itchy and uncomfortable, and to me, looked ridiculous) and had decided to no longer hide my baldness. As we walked through the entrance, another customer stopped, turned and blatantly stared at me. My mom reacted instantly by saying, "Why don't you take a picture? It lasts longer."
i had both my parents full support while going through chemo, but as my parents were divorced and i lived with mom at the time, she was the one who took me to every appointment and treatment. She'd brag to the other nurses and patients how strong she thought i was, how i never complained about all the sticking and poking and sickness. (i never thought myself strong at that time, just felt i was doing what i had to; i was sort of in a numbed daze most of the time.) She was the one who took care of my daily needs through all of that, and i can never thank her enough for the selflessness she showed me, when certainly she was going through a difficult time herself, with her oldest child having cancer.
My mom has had many adventures, too. Her and my dad lived in a schoolbus for part of the 60's, moving between San Francisco and Washington state, and before that, sans schoolbus, Alaska. My mom was born in New York City, yet at 18 (sorry if i'm off on the age a little, mom) she moved to Wrangell, Alaska, a very small town at the time where all supplies had to be flown in. She may have been a city girl, but she baked, crocheted, fished, all of it, and wasn't afraid to get dirty.
i greatly admire my mom's strength of will, her refusal to be pushed around, her generous and giving nature, and so much more. At 64, my mom has more life and vibrancy than many 25 year olds i know. And she looks fantastic; i swear, barely a wrinkle, if any. She could easily pass for 45. Good news for me!
Mom, i love you more than i can ever say, but hopefully you know.