Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reflections on My Mom at 40

She seemed so tall and beautiful, long dark hair and big brown eyes. We were at our home in Tucson, Arizona and my dad was all atwitter, but trying to keep it on the down low...we were having a surprise party for Mom! A party at Casa Molina, my mom's favorite restaurant. She knew something was up when we four got dressed without complaining and waited quietly to go to dinner. I wish I had a copy of the picture of my sisters, brother and I all dressed up. We were so excited, proud of our Mom, ready to eat the delicious cheese crisps that Casa Molina served (hey, we were kids, food mattered).

Casa Molina was packed with so many friends, many of whom who had come from out of town to celebrate with my mom. What a party it was! Drinks flowed (of course). Frank Borelli brought a rubber chicken to remind Mom of a trip they'd taken to the Dominican Republic. I can see cute Peggy Babby smiling. But mostly,  I remember her beaming, my beautiful Mom, so happy to be enveloped in friends and family, dark eyes shining and that wonderful laugh that could light up a room.

Today I am thinking of my Mom at 40, what a youthful and vibrant woman she was, even though she had four small children and a lot going on. My heart hurts a bit thinking of all that lies ahead for her in the near future and how she would suffer loss and sadness with grace and determination.  I am thinking of what an amazing rock she was during incredibly difficult times not only for our family, but also for anyone who had lost a husband or a child, needed advice, wanted to talk. I am thinking of her friends (her sister, her Tucson buddies, her sorority sisters, her neighborhood friends) who became a lifetime source of laughter and strength. But I am mostly thinking of her legacy, what an amazing woman and example she was to my sisters and myself.

Here's to you, Mom. We miss you terribly. Thanks for showing us the way.

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