It’s the magical time of the year, which seems to have come a bit early.
At the risk of sounding redundant or so 2018 … We need rain. We had rain, buckets of it in fact but the stretch of days it lasted just don’t seem to have been enough. Now granted I’m no meteorologist and am hardly an expert on weather, but I’ve spent enough time on this planet to know this enjoyable weather is here a wee bit too soon.
The a.m. air has maintained its briskness and the night skies have been pretty out of this world as of late. Monday night as I traveled home, I admired the sky ahead of me and thought of the column title. Then I thought of my mom.
Monday night was the eve of my mother’s 70th birthday. As I thought of our coffee date scheduled for the following morning, the column title equally played in my head.
I’m fortunate to still be able to celebrate birthdays with my mother. All too many of my girlfriends are not as fortunate, so my good fortune is not lost on me. As I drove I thought of all the birthdays the two of us have shared.
The Saturday prior to her actual birthday we celebrated her over a lovely dinner. As stories were being told and toasts being made I acknowledged my good fortune to have grown up with my mother. My mother giggled and quickly agreed, “That we did” she chimed back.
My mother was midway through her senior year when I came into her life. I attended her high school graduation and I (to this day) resent the stereotype of “young single mothers” and “children of young single mothers.”
When speaking of problems with youth and irresponsibility, my guy is always good to point out “it starts at home.” In our circumstance I would have to say that is absolutely true.
Was my mother irresponsible to find herself with a child at months shy of 18, well yes ... maybe? I mean in complete honesty she wasn’t much different than many kids at that age. She had a boyfriend, she loved him, they did “the thing” (with protection that failed). Hey young people read that again … Protection that failed – that’s real life.
But alas my mother’s “poor choice” as some would later say, resulted in my birth (yay) and an amazing relationship between two women (her and I). During the course of our 52 years together we have weathered many storms and lived our own little paradise.
Through my mother I learned what it was to be strong, yet still be a lady. I learned through my mother the wisdom of staying humble and continuing to hustle. To not sit idle and wait for opportunity but to chase it and if it doesn’t materialize then create it yourself. I also learned that even when the world seems to be against you, to hold your head high and go with grace.
Now mind you all this wisdom came from a woman who had a child while still in high school. Fortunately for me (and her) I didn’t know of the stereotypes. I didn’t know she was supposed to be lazy and living on welfare. I didn’t know she was supposed to be uneducated and loose (that was a phrase once). What I did know was that my mother spent a lot of time away from home working, her free time was spent with myself and our family laughing, loving and making memories.
My mother was my rock. Actually, that should read, my mother IS my rock. She wipes my tears when faced with disappointment, heartbreak or at the hands of the bitter/mean world. Yep. Even as an adult, my mother is the one to pick up my spirits and me hers.
So, as the sun set on my mother’s first six decades of life, I look forward to sharing the next season with her, just as I have so many others. I love my mother, I love our journey and I love every moment of each season: the storms, the rainbows, the sunshine and the fiery red sunsets. Happy Birthday.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.