October 8, 2007
Hello Mother...Happy Birthday.
I've been thinking about you alot. You would have been 80 years old today. Correction...you should have been 80 years old today. All the kids and grand kids and great grand kids should have come to your house this weekend and celebrated you. Celebrated your life, your spirit, all the love you have given us and all the love you still had to give. We each would have given you one of the simple gifts you had on your list of "things you want" for your Birthday; new towels for the kitchen, a new bottle of Jean Nate', perhaps a new egg timer. One that's loud so you could hear it better. These were the things you'd ask for. And you would be as excited to get these gifts as you would a diamond ring. And that's what made you even more special to us. It wasn't the gift that was important, it was just having us all around so you could look at us. Once in awhile we'd surprise you and actually get you a diamond bracelet, or a new TV...after all, how many kitchen towels does one woman need.
But this year there was no gathering at the old homestead. No celebration, no gifts. Just an overwhelming sense of loss, sadness, emptiness. Your first Birthday not spent here with us. I miss you terribly Mother. People say to me that you are still there with me. That you see everything I do. I do hope that is true but it doesn't feel like enough. I miss your hugs, I miss your smiling eyes. I miss telling you about work, or the kids, or things we are doing in the house. You were always so excited for me and Elyse. You were always so encouraging and happy for us. I miss the smell of your house when you were there. I miss coming to see you and just standing in the doorway of the den and watching you read your book because you didn't hear me come in. I miss taking you to shows in NY, there are so many new things out that I know you would have loved. I just miss everything about you. I'm sad that my children won't grow up with you in their lives. Olivia talks about you still, but I'm not sure what she really remembers. In her prayers each night, she thanks Jesus for you; that makes me happy. But I wish that Olivia, Jake and Emma could have known you more. I'll try to pass on to them what I've learned from you.
I found your autobiography that you wrote when you were a senior in high school. You wrote of your ancestors, your youth, your school years, hobbies, pets, etc. The last chapter is your "Philosophy of Life" you wrote:
"Life can be as pleasant or as unpleasant as one cares to make it. Everything depends on the individual; whether one looks on the bright side and tries to make the best of things he has, or whether one is always sulky and only thinks of the unpleasant things, are usually shown in his facial expression.
Love and happiness are in my mind the two most important things in life. Due to the present conditions my future is a little uncertain but I plan to be a nurse for a while and then marry and raise a family. Money is one of the less important things in my philosophy. Of course a certain amount is needed but I feel if there is love and happiness in the family, money is only a minor detail".
I can say without question you lived your philosophy. Your cheerful outlook, happy eyes and love for family were true to course. You raised a beautiful family and we are all so grateful to have had you for a mother. My Birthday gift to you this year Mother, is to continue your legacy and live out your philosophy in my own life to the best of my ability. Times have changed a bit, but the basics remain the same. By the way, in case you don't remember...you got an "A" on that project.
Happy Birthday Mother...and many more.
Your Loving Daughter,