Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Girl Part 2

The birthday girl from my last post....this cute little brown eyed my mom.

My mom was born in St. Paul on January 9th. She was the middle child of 5 kids....sort of.

I say sort of because my mom was the youngest of 3 until she was 7 years old...then a brother came along....and then 7 years after that another brother was born. Her sister is two years older, her brother one year older. This is a school picture of my mom from grade school...I'm not sure of the grade.

My mom's family took a big trip to California in the late 1940's. This picture is in South Dakota at Wall Drug. They still have those creepy statues there to have your photo taken with. :-)

My mom's family...taken in St. Paul at Christmas time. Back row was Joan, Jerry and Janet (my mom). Front row was Jack, Vi (mom's mom), Jim, and Frank (mom's dad).

This is my mom's graduation picture. Wasn't she pretty?

My mom met my dad while visiting her grandparents in the country. City girl marries country boy. My mom was quick to let us be a part of things on and around the farm. Here we are checking the bucket to see how much sap had dripped from the maple tree.

Our family picture from the church directory....mid 60's. I think I was in the 3rd grade. Loved my mom's big hair. I always so proud thinking that she was as beautiful as a movie star.

And she was! When we were growing up she always had something fun for us to do, whether it was taking us swimming or to the park to swing. Looking back, I think she had as much fun going to those places as we did!

She gave us a fun, carefree childhood...what a gift. Her gifts have continued with her grandchildren. My folks were pretty young when grand daughter Stephanie entered the family...they embraced her completely and haven't let go!

She's was there for me for my wedding, making sure everything was wonderful. She's been there for me in my marriage, welcoming Eric into the family with open arms and an open heart.

My mom worked in the local chiropractic office for about 25 years. She retired around the time Brian was born.

Stephanie was the first grandchild, Billy was the last. She loves them all the same. Now she's looking forward to her first great grandchild when Stephanie has her baby next month.

My mom was quick to go along with some of my dad's crazy ideas. Here they had rented a buggy on Mackinac Island on a whim while they were vacationing with my brothers family. My brother's family rented bikes to ride around the island. Imagine their surprise coming up on this clomping down the road!

My mom has many talents, painting being one of them...but her biggest gift has been loving her each of us a soft place to land if we ever need it.

There's a Greg Brown song that reminds me of my's called "You Are A Flower." Here is a little bit of it....
Your smile makes me smile
I can always see your face
You help me make it through every day
You're with me every place
You left so much here with us
Your love is all around
Your children's children will smile that same smile
and say "oh look what I have found"
My mom and dad had a truly special relationship. They were partners, they balanced each other, they made each other laugh. An honest and loving marriage...what better gift is there to give to each other...and to your children?

One Christmas my mom knitted scarves for all of the girls. She knits, she paints, she gives.

My mom and dad went to Paris and Amsterdam with Eric's mom and dad a few years ago. A dream come true for my mom.

My mom loves flowers and her garden....weeding not so much. Maybe I can help her with that next spring.

We threw a 50th wedding anniversary party for my mom and dad. One of those things that was a lot of work, but I'm sure glad that we were able to do it for them.

This picture was taken about a month before my dad died. It's been so hard for all of us, but especially for my mom. I know that it sounds cliche', but they really did complete each other.

The good news is that my mom is doing a little bit better every day. She went on a trip with us to Washington DC last summer. A chance for everyone to smile.

When we visited for her birthday last weekend she had Brian help her with something on her stereo. She played a waltz for him and all of a sudden a dance broke out.

I'm not sure which one enjoyed it more. Family fun, love and laughter.... may have been her birthday, but she's the one that keeps giving us the greatest gift of all.

Her heart. Happy Birthday Mom...we love you more than we can say.

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