Today is my mom’s birthday.  She is celebrating the 19th anniversary of her 37th birthday…which is the age she will always be in my mind.  I’ve thought she was 37 since she was about 28!  It’s good now…it wasn’t so good then.

My mom is a strong, no nonsense kinda gal.  She was married and pregnant before she finished high school (which was completely acceptable in 1973).  She then kept it together when she became a widow at 26 (27?) with two young children.  She moved our little family across country to  be with our family in California and start new.  She found work and put a roof over our heads.  She managed to raise my brother and I up with no major catastrophes…neither of us are on drugs and neither of us have ever been arrested!  I’ve seen worse results under better circumstances.  Today, with hard work and dedication, she does a job that most people need a Master’s Degree to do (she knows more than most of those Master Degree holders do, too!).  I am proud of what she has accomplished and it gives me the hope that someday I may make a difference in someone’s life, too.

I’m not sure how she did it.  How she kept me completely unaware of the druggie neighbors and hoodlum friends around us.  Maybe because I absolutely, without a doubt knew she would KILL me if I ever walked a crooked line.  I’m still very a little afraid of her.  She always did her best so that we didn’t want for anything or need for anything.  She was protective, but gave us freedom to grow into the adults and parents that we are today.  She is still always there for me…whether I think I need her there or not.

And now, here we are all grown up.  I can honestly say that she is my best friend, and today is her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom.  I love you.