Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmas and surrogate moms out there.
My mom passed away over 27 years ago now, and I can't believe it's been so long. I've now lived longer without her than I did with her. Yet I still miss her and think of her nearly every day. We never forget our moms. My mom was married young and a mother young. She grew up on a ranch in Wyoming and moved out to California with her family as a teenager. She was whip smart too. At the age of 15 she passed the early entrance exam to go to UCLA, but she never got to capitalize on that dream. Instead she worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time to help her family pay the mortgage. Later, when she was married, she worked just as hard at being a wife and mother. She was funny, gregarious and adventurous and my childhood was filled with many memorable moments. My mom was also a big DIY'er. Everything from stripping and refinishing furniture, to macrame, to crochet, to tole painting and even building the upstairs addition on our house! She could, and did, do it all! The one thing my mom did not do is knit. I learned that skill on my own as an exchange student in Denmark. What I did learn from her though was the art of telling a story, how to put fun into everyday events and a passion for creating.
Although I lost my mom early in life, I have been blessed with many beautiful women who have filled in those mothering shoes for me.
My stepmom, Wilma, is caring and nurturing and spunky in a different way than my mom was, quieter, but just as strong. She is out there saving trees and running 10k's in her 70's. She has stepped into the mother role in my life with joy and love, and has made my dad's life wonderful too. She is always supportive and champions many great causes. I admire and love her.
My mother-in-law is another strong, beautiful woman. She is sweet and caring and gracious and stylish. I love spending time with her discussing books and knitting. We both love the same authors, the same yarn, the same recipes. She was welcoming and open from the first time I met her, and her generous spirit inspires me to be the same way.
My husband's grandmother was another of my moms. She was my biggest fan and always interested in what I was doing. She had a love of life that encompassed just about everything, and she was a spunky lady too. I'll always remember the time we took her to Las Vegas in her 90's and she took herself into the Poker parlor on her motorized scooter to play poker with the Las Vegas sharks! Granny is sorely missed.
My own grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life. She was a woman who, like my mom, could do anything she set her mind to. She was an excellent cook, and seamstress, and she was always involved in charity work. I remember when I was 7 she took me to the thrift shop, where she volunteered, and bought me a doll for my birthday. She presented it to me naked, along with a set of patterns she had made for clothes for the doll. Then she sat down and showed me how to measure the doll and draft my own patterns for trousers, skirts and blouses with set in sleeves, gathers, collars and buttonholes. It was one of the greatest gifts anyone gave me, because she gave me the tools to create anything I wanted. She sewed most of her own clothes, and many of mine, and scraps always went to me to dress my doll. We must have been pretty cute walking through town with grandma, grandchild and doll all dressed alike. I still feel her influence every day.
I am so lucky to have had all these great women in my life and I wish joy and love to those that are still with me and those that have departed. Thank you for making my life richer, I love you all.