A long, long, LONG time ago...well not that long, but quite a while ago, one of the most beautiful ladies was born! MY MOTHER!
If you know my mother then you know that her beauty goes way deeper than the natural eye. She is beautiful in spirit and in deed. She is one of the most giving people I know, and has a heart that is full of love and kindness towards others.
I have seen my mother buy Christmas for people she had never met before, she'd only heard of them through friends that they were having a hard time, and she would make sure they had plenty. I've seen her take groceries to families who were in need, and not just any groceries. No, she'd make sure she bought the 'good stuff' that people enjoy eating. I asked her once why she thought she had to buy them snacks and cookies and chips and not just stick to things that made big meals and the staples. Her reply was simple..."Carol, the staples will feed their natural bodies, but all these extra goodies feed their soul and makes them feel better about what they are going through." I didn't ask any more questions, but just pulled out some money to help her pay for the 'good stuff'.
I've seen her rush to the store and buy people new clothes to wear to their loved ones funeral because she knew they didn't have dress clothes and knew they didn't have the money to buy them. She didn't want them to have to worry about such a simple thing and wanted them to feel as dressed up as possible on a day that it would mean a lot to them. I've watched her go the extra mile and even iron the clothes for them.
I've seen her stand strong in situations that I knew was breaking her heart, and be the strength that her family or friend needed. I've watched her be brave and stand at her father's bedside, with a smile on her face, until he passed from this life. I've watched her take care of all the details of her nephews funeral after he was murdered. I knew her heart was breaking and yet she made sure she took care of all the little details that her sister wanted yet couldn't bear to handle. I've always been amazed at how she never forgets to take flowers or wreaths to their graves on every single holiday and birthday...she hasn't forgot one date.
I've watched her care for her mother in these last stages of Alzheimer's Disease. I've watched her heart break in the silence and safety of her home, yet never one time does she wavier from the task at hand. I've watched her hold back tears when her mother asks her a dozen times what her name is and what she is doing at her house. I've watched her smile when she tells her mom over and over, "Momma, I'm Elsie...your daughter. You don't remember me right now, but that's okay. I love you Momma...we'll get you through this."
She's done all this with the grace of an angel and never one time with a complaint coming from her lips. I've made the remark to my mother and expressed anger and disappointment that some of the people who call her a friend and who have received so much from her in the past haven't been there for her during this time. She only corrects me and says, "Carol, I haven't asked them for help, so don't be so ugly and upset. If I call on my friends they will be there. I know they will, I'm just doing what I love to do and know to do."
Honestly, I don't know if I will ever have that kind of grace about me. I've complained and cried to mom many times this past week alone about how I hate what's happening and I've whined about this disease that's taking my grandmother from us over and over. Yet, I haven't heard one negative word from her...not a word. Matter of fact, when I talk to her on the phone, I can hear the smile in her voice when she speaks of what she has done with her mom that day.
So, now you know why I say today is a special day...today's the day that an angel was born and brought into this world not just for me and my family, but for many others also. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Oh, and it wasn't that LONG ago...only about 56 years ago. But I won't tell anyone how old you are, Mom. Your secret is safe with me!