It's the little things
Today is my mom's birthday, I can't actually tell you how old she would be because Mom was one who never told you her age and if she did, it usually wasn't the right age. Sometimes I wasn't even sure she knew how old she really was. If I had to guess, I'd say she would be around 90 today.
Mom was basically a quiet person, but she told you what was on her mind. She didn't hold back. Growing up, she always told me I was too skinny, then one day she changed it to "You're getting fat". Ouch, that hurt! I knew I had gained some weight, but I guess she thought I didn't know it, and felt it was her place to tell me. It wasn't just me she told, she told anyone if she thought they were gaining weight! Sometimes it embarrassed me when she told my friends, or people she didn't really know. I'm not sure why she felt it was her place to tell people, but she did. I don't know if she just liked to see their reactions or what--I never did figure it out.
My mom wasn't a touchy, feely, nurturing kind of mom, nor did she say "I love you", even in my younger years. When I was in my early twenties, Mom and Dad moved to Azores, Portugal for a few years. The day I had to say my goodbyes, I decided I couldn't let her leave without telling her I loved her. You should have seen her face when I said those words. It was a look of confusion and shock. She didn't say it back, but that was okay. I just wanted her to know that I did love her.
After that ,every time I talked to her on the phone ,as we got ready to hang up, I told her I loved her, and eventually she would say "I do too". Then it turned into "I love you too". I loved hearing those words. As I got older and my mom would come for a visit, and the first words out of her mouth were "You're getting fat", instead of getting mad or having hurt feelings, I started saying "I love you too, Mom". That totally confused her--she didn't know how to react to that. It made me feel better, because it was better that starting out our visit mad at her. I wish I would have learned that years earlier. It would have saved me a lot of heartache.
Mom went to be with Jesus twelve years ago, and I remember as the coroner was pulling away with her, my nephew said "Now who's going to tell us we're getting fat?" We all laughed and cried. We knew there would be a day we would miss those words. They say when someone dies, you miss the little things and even the things that once annoyed you, and it's true.
Happy birthday mom, I love and miss you!
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