Monday, August 1, 2016

A Birthday Tribute to My Favorite Storm Trooper

I pretty much never wish anyone Happy Birthday on Facebook

Except for Harry Potter
And authors
And a couple artists
And dead people......specifically dead authors
And of course members of The Royal Family

But today, I feel compelled to send a Happy Birthday wish to a Facebook friend 
A special Facebook Friend 
Special indeed on so many levels

When I was little, she was my hero

She taught me how to make blueberry muffins and donut balls

We'd clip coupons together from the Saturday paper and then go to the grocery store together 
Some of my fondest and funniest memories with her are from Doug's Shop-n-Save in Brewer, Maine

She would let me stay up late with her watching college basketball while we folded laundry and made lunches for the next school day

She taught me how to play backgammon, a lost art

She loves baseball and Ted Williams
And she could catch a line drive barehanded and not flinch

She drips in gold jewelry but manages to make it look classy not gangsta 

She can fold a fitted sheet like nobody's business
I once witnessed her make a bed snapping the flat sheet and blanket into place at the same time in less than 15 seconds 
And when I say snapping, those in the room stood at attention when that sheet snapped in the air 
A couple of us may have even saluted 

And I don't care what the stain is or how long it has been on whatever article of clothing it is on, she can get it out 

She had long hair that she "let" us spend hours brushing and pinning up with her '70s leather hair clip and big wooden stick pin (we called in a Buffy Clip....I don't totally remember why)

She dismissed my siblings and I from school for our doctor's appointments and took us to the beach

She makes the best gingersnaps, chocolate crinkles and chocolate cheesecake you'll ever taste 

She used to make homemade pizza on Saturdays
And her rolls are way better than anything the Parker House ever produced 

She wore wooden Dr Scholl's

In the '80s, she wore bright neon colored clothes and pulled off that trend better than anyone

She loved Miami Vice, The Golden Girls and Designing Women 

She listed to Bruce Springsteen and ABBA
Also, Kenny Rogers, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte and Trini Lopez (who she will happily brag about meeting)
And that's where I get my taste in music

She can quote movie lines from Jumping Jack Flash and Beverly Hills Cop like nobody else
She likes Sidney Poitier movies
And Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films

But try watching The Notebook with her

You know that scene when they are paddling through the pond in a little boat surrounded by swans?
You know, that moment when one of them declares the other one is their hope, every dream, every reason for living?
That moment that has gone down in cinematic history as one of the most beautiful declarations of love?
She'll ruin it by yelling out Aflac in the Aflac Duck voice repeatedly

Ruins the scenic, ruins the movie but makes you laugh because it is so fitting and well timed 

Safe to say, she hates the movie The Notebook

And she's never been to Hinsdale, IL

She believed in everything I did
And she believed that I would be successful at everything I did
And she made sure I knew that

When I was a teenager, I fought with her and gave her a helluva a time (I might of kind of sorta been a jerk......I totally blame my period)

But she stood by me every step of the way
She stood by all seven of us
No matter how rotten or ungrateful we were to her, she was steadfast

Still is

She'll do just about anything for just about anyone

When I was in college, and then when I  moved away, I realized I needed her

In my 30s and 40s, I’ve realized how lucky I am to have her

She has become my friend, my confidant, my sounding board

In my 20's when I lived many miles and a time zone away, on Saturday mornings, sometimes a Sunday,  I’d make a pot of coffee, open a new pack of cigarettes and call her

We’d talk for hours and hours
Me sitting on my front stoop, she on her back deck

She’d laugh at my stories, listen to my complaining, fill me in on the family and share whatever gossip she had

She loved my friends from afar – friends she had never met but appreciated as they were a part of my life and made me laugh and were there when she could not be

She’d talk me off the ledge if I needed it, kept me honest and would gently redirect me when I needed to be
Still does 

I hated saying good bye, I hated hanging up the phone
I still do 

But I knew she would always be there, each and every time I called, she’d always answer
And she still does

She has always been my anchor, my North Star, my rock, my compass

She’s been whatever I needed whenever I needed

And she's always kept it classy 

She will forever and always be my Mum

So on Facebook, on this day, I happily and humbly wish my Mother, my favorite Storm Trooper, the Happiest of Birthdays 

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