Friday, March 11, 2011

Rant #461: Ode to My Mom

Today is my mother's birthday, but it's not just any birthday, it's her 80th celebration.

My mother was born in 1931, and she is the oldest of two children. Her brother lives on the West Coast and is nine years younger than my mother.

My mother was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but she grew up in the Kensington part of the borough, on Ocean Parkway. My grandparents lived on Ocean Parkway for decades, and into my 30s, I visited my grandmother often until she passed away in the 1990s. My grandfather died in the early 1970s.

Anyway, my parents got married in 1956, I came into the world a little more than a year later, my sister was born in 1959, and the rest is history.

With my and my sister's kids, my mom and my dad are grandparents five times over, with four boys and one girl.

My mother has been my Rock of Gibraltar for my entire life. She was there when I was little, and she is still there today. Through all the ups and downs, she has always been a source of strength for me.

I wasn't a perfect kid, and my mother let me know it on more than one occasion. But through it all, her upbringing made me a better person, and helped shape me as both a person and as a parent myself.

Actually, you wouldn't believe that my mother is 80 years old, or should I say young. She certainly doesn't look her age, and she has more get up and go than most people half her age.

One of the photos I included here is of my mother in about 1964 or 1965. Yes, look at that hair! The other is from this year. Sure, the hair has changed, but she is still the same person today at 80 that she was when she was in her early 30s.

She has always been a person that is always seemingly in constant motion. I remember growing up to the whirring of the vacuum cleaner at 4 or 5 in the morning during my youth. Although she doesn't get up that early to clean anymore, she, like me, isn't the greatest sleeper, and doesn't need that many hours of sleep per night, so she continues to wake up early.

She is the type of person you can count on to do a multitude of tasks and favors, if she can possibly do them.

Sure, at 80 she has various aches and pains and things she has to take care of, but all in all, my mother is in great health, and I believe she has many, many years left on this earth.

So here's to my mom. She deserves it on her special day.

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