Today, it’s my Mum’s birthday. As I’m writing ths post, I’m looking at her picture on my desk. The one where she has her beautiful smile and a mischievous look in her eyes.
She went home in early 2000 after a brief illness. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 16 years since that happened. I feel her energy with me daily.
She was a truly wonderful mother. How she raised 4 kids in the constantly transitioning world of the military and kept her sanity, I’ll never know. There were several extended periods where she was solo as my Dad was deployed to volatile areas where she had the additional worry every military spouse does, of whether he would come home okay. Thankfully, he did.
I have many fond memories of my childhood. Our Mum was always there for us, often putting our needs ahead of hers. She was a gifted seamstress and was adept at knitting and crochet, making many of our clothes.
One of my favorite memories was giving her a ride home from bingo one night on my motorcycle. It was about a half mile from the house on the base. Initially, I walked with her, pushing my bike. After a short distance, I gave her my helmet, told her to put it on and started the bike. She got on behind me, clinging on for dear life. I rode slowly and the whole way, she kept saying “Don’t tell your father!”
One of my favorite pictures of her is where she is standing with my father and his mother, Dad in his parade uniform, Mum and Gramma in their finery. Dad is holding the MBE he just received from Queen Elizabeth.
When she passed, I had no unfinished business and nothing unsaid. The only thing I would do different if I could get a do-over, is go home to England more often.
Happy birthday, Mum. I love you.