by Laurinda Wheeler
Each year, as my mom’s birthday approaches, I think of the young woman who gave birth to me. She was just 19 years old when she had me. I think of the details that I do know of her life at that time and I ponder the things she must’ve felt, dreamed of and longed for. I think of the things that may have brought her feelings of fear and doubt, maybe there were even feelings of regret. I think of the life that she has lived; where her journey has taken her so far and the strength that has kept her pushing forward and upward.
Sadly, I don’t have a specific memory of any birthday celebrations for my mom. We never had a party, and I don’t even remember having a cake for her on her special day.
I have a distant memory of going shopping in search of the perfect angora sweater; those were her favorite back then, but I don’t recall giving it to her.
I do have a vague recollection of, what I assume was, her getting ready to go out for a special birthday dinner with my dad, and I can see the red dress that my mom was wearing.
Although mom’s dress was red instead of blue, it was similar to the one in this picture; it had buttons from the neck down to the bottom of the skirt and a matching belt. I always believed it to be one of her special dresses.
I can almost still smell her perfume. Intimate. I remember that I felt hesitant to call it by name; I was afraid that it was a bad word for a young girl to use! I loved the feel of the rounded glass in my hands; in my adult mind’s eye, I would now use the word “sensual” to describe the feeling of that bottle in my young hands, as I softly and slowly ran my fingers over it. The image of the couple intertwined on the front of the bottle only added to that taboo feeling that consumed me when I was allowed to handle mom’s perfume.
I don’t know if that little glimpse of memory is even correctly connected to my mom’s birthday, but that is where the image has rested.
On this day, her day; I realize what an amazing woman and mother (and now grandma!) she has been and grown to become in the 32 years that I have known her. She continues to surprise and amaze me every day with all that she does. She not only chases her hopes and dreams, but she is well on her way to accomplishing them all; plus a whole lot more than I am sure she ever could have imagined!
Happy Birthday Mom!
Thank you for being you. I love you.
Laurinda has three beautiful step-children, and is currently staying at home with her beautiful two-year-old daughter! She has been inspired by her mom to get back to her writing. Laurinda blogs at Seasons of Life.