|Mom's Birthday 2011|
My mother shares with all of us a love of games. My mother is competitive, and she's tough to beat. My father quit playing Chinese checkers with her for a while because she always won. Jim used to ask me why I even bothered playing cards with my mother because she beat me 95 out of 100 times. Mom played all kinds of games with us, and I remember her and the neighbor lady jumping rope with us. We had neighborhood volleyball games with a permanent net in our backyard. Mom and I share a love for Jeopardy, but my grandmother and one of mom's sisters were also faithful watchers. And, our secret vice is the Game Show Network. We even analyze the skills of the celebrities. We're fans of Dick Clark's Pyramid shows, Password in any format, the Match Game, and Family Feud, particularly with Richard Dawson. Mom inherited a love of pinochle from her mother, shared it with Dad, and taught all of us to play. My youngest sister learned to play pinochle at five. Now, all of Mom's grandkids play. Thanks, Mom, for teaching us to enjoy games.
My grandfather graduated from Ohio State, and Mom loves Ohio State football and basketball. Actually, she loves all college football and basketball. She's the most knowledgeable one in the family about those sports, and Jim used to have me call Mom if we had a trivia question. She made Ohio State block O flags for all of us, and she made Jim & me a Duke flag. I call my mom at half-time of the Ohio State games to analyze the first half with her. We all share Mom's love of sports, and we all proudly fly our Ohio State flags. Thanks, Mom, for sharing that love of sports with us. Oh, and my birthday gift to Mom? It was an Ohio State Swarovski Crystal Block O necklace.
Mom gives all of us the gift of her time. She was always there for us, and still is. She took the time to write a letter to me every day of my freshman year in college. Now, she SKYPEs with her granddaughter who teaches in South Korea, and sends care packages to the grandkids in college. She attended her grandkids' soccer, volleyball, track and tennis matches (I'm sure I'm missing some sport). She attended Academic Challenge matches, band concerts, plays. She's spent time at the fairs with daughters and grandchildren. She was here in Glendale the day after Jim died, with an open-ended ticket to stay as long as I needed her. She was here again for my first Christmas alone. Thanks, Mom, for the gift of your time.
If you're a friend of my mother's, you have a friend for life. She gets together monthly for lunch with classmates, when she graduated over fifty years ago. (I can say that since I'm fifty-five, so it's no secret that Mom graduated over fifty years ago.) She's known her best friend since sixth grade. They talk on the phone almost every day. Mom stays in touch with a friend she has since I was one. She's in the same card club she joined when I was six. And, when she and I made that road trip to San Diego, we visited a friend Mom has known since the year before I was born. At the same time she keeps those friends, she has made new friends at Curves, at the hospital gift shop where she volunteers, at the symphony and theater where she once volunteered. When I think of Mom, I think of a friend.
And, she shares a gift of laughter with all of us. Sometimes I talk to my mom or my sisters on the phone, and can't tell you what we talked about for an hour, other than books. But, we laughed a lot. Thanks, Mom, for that gift of laughter.
My sisters and I have a mother who shares laughter, a love of reading and games, a passion for college sports, a gift for friendship. Most of all, she shares her time and her love with us. Thank you, Mom. We love you.