Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy birthday, Mama (December 2006)

One of Mama's discoveries at the beach last week.
Today is my Mama's 80th birthday. This lady is someone I can't say enough good about. Any goodness in me is a direct result of having had her as my mother. She was my first and best teacher, whose patience, gentleness and sweetness have always been boundless.

My mother raised five children, making sacrifices all along the way so that every one of us could get the education life and circumstances denied her. She read to us, encouraged us, taught us how to find answers to our questions instead of just sitting around and demanding answers from other people. Through her never-wavering example, she taught us moral values, kindness toward our fellow human beings, and so much more.

From the time I was young, my Mama let me help her in the kitchen - and made it something fun to do! - first just by doing things such as pouring nuts and raisins into the cake she was making. As I grew older, she let me do more - and it was the same with all of us. She has three daughters and two sons, all of whom are pretty good cooks.

Mama also taught me to sew, and for a long time I made a lot of my own clothes, though now I think it's just as economical to buy them ready-made... not to mention the fact that I left my sewing machine (which I hadn't used in a long time) behind when I moved to France.

My mother also passed on to me her love of nature. The seashell you see above is a scallop she found at the beach last week. She taught me to love flowers, birds, seashells, animals, trees, insects, clouds, the night sky... She encouraged my natural curiosity and reinforced it. My aunt gave us a set of encyclopedias when I was a child, and on rainy or cold days, my mother would spend time with us looking through the pages of the encyclopedias, starting with the pictures and moving on to reading the articles. She always encouraged me to look for more information when I had questions - a habit that served me well as a high school library media specialist!

I could go on for hours about what a sweet, selfless, caring, intelligent, wise, and beautiful person my mother is, but at the moment, I'm going to have to tie up all the loose ends in getting ready to go home. But it's still Mama's day, and I just want to say that I know the world is a much better place for her being a part of it.

I'll close with this: "Happy Birthday, Mama! p.s. I love you!"

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