At my mother's 39th birthday party (billed as "her last birthday" on the invitations) our family hosted a gathering in the backyard of our home. Friends, family, neighbors, possibly even strangers congregated at our place for food and gab. In addition, as is wont to do in any family gathering if your surname is G-W-I-L-L-I-A-M, there was entertainment. I am certain some of it was good, possibly even great entertainment, but except for a single entry on the evening's stage, I cannot recall specifics. What I do remember with crystal clarity is my older brother, then 17 years old, who sang his own rendition of the M.O.T.H.E.R. song--long before made charming by young children's choruses the world over. He of course put a spin on it and began his serenade thusly,
M is for the Million things she gave me....
O is for the Other things she gave me....
T is for The things that she gave me....
He continued through the letters of the word in this hilariously repetitive pattern until reaching the capping point of the song.
Put them all together, they spell Mother....
And brother what A Mother she can be!"
At which point the audience of family, friends, neighbors and strangers erupted into voluminous laughter. There were some who had to wipe tears, others who were doubled over clutching their stomachs in fits of giggles. And yet, no one was laughing harder than my Mom. Her cheeks were flushed red and her eyes sparkled and danced while the laughs poured forth.
Brother, what a mother.
What a mother I have!
I know she will smile as she reads this post today. She might have even begun crying at this point, but just in case she hasn't I want to cite few things I appreciate deeply about my Mom. And I want to share some photos.
This is my Mom:
She is a lovely woman. I dare say, she has always been.My mom loves her children--six of us along with our six spouses--deeply, passionately, and forever.
She especially loves that her children gave her grandchilren. Currently she boasts 19 of them. She loves each of them without bounds and without end.
She's been married to my Dad for 46 years.
They are still crazy about each other.
My mom is so many things. A loyal friend, a fierce advocate, a talented musician, a caring, kind and loving human being. At the core of my Mom is that same young mother throwing her head back in laughter at her son's birthday foolery. She loves people; she loves life and she taught me to do the same.
A few years have passed since that "last birthday" was celebrated and in fact, today, my mom is turning 65 years old. Certainly that calls for celebration! In spite of the fact that in three days time I get to throw my arms around her and wish her welcome to Holland, I want to shout as loudly as I can today and share with her my warmest wishes for a happy, happy birthday!
M is for the many things she gave me
O means only that she's growing old
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is everything she did to help me
R is right and right she'll always be!
Put them all together they spell 'mother'. The word that means the world to me!*
I love you Mom. Happy Birthday.
Look deep in the glass