This is not the kind of thing that a lot of moms do, so this picture I feel perfectly captures the kind of woman that she is. She made a lot of bold decisions and tough choices, and while I’m not quite as brave (and circumstances have not tested me as severely as they did her), I still try to push myself now and then. I thought it was my thirst for adventure, but it may just be that I am my mother’s daughter.
Then there’s me. Sometimes—not often, but it happens—I still feel like the little girl trying to wear her mother’s clothes (I’m wearing her scarf in this photo, by the way) and follow in her footsteps. While we are vastly different—because she has let me be—the older I get, the more similarities I notice between us, just like in these two pictures.
More importantly, the older I get, the more I understand her. (Although she still drives me crazy sometimes.) My mom was widowed early, less than 10 years after she married my dad; after being married for just four years, I have only begun to understand just what she lost and what a herculean accomplishment it was to have rebuilt her life after that, with her family on her shoulders no less.
Not only did she rebuild her life, but she made a good life for us too. And because she did, I am able to, among many other things, indulge my wanderlust, pursue new and different things, stand tall and smile brightly—just as I am in this picture.
So, it’s her birthday, but she is the gift. Again—happy birthday, Mom and I love you!