I remember writing those words on her birthday cards years ago. I am thrilled to be able to do so today.
Today is my mom’s 75th birthday.
Oddly enough, as I was having my morning coffee, I came across this quiz. And, as most of you know, I am addicted to taking these dang things. Being that it is my mom’s birthday, I just had to know – How Similar Are You to Your Mom?
Answer – total opposites.
I am not sure if I agree or not. As a teen or younger woman, I’d be fist-pumping “Yeah! I’m not like her!” But as a midlife woman, I think I am more inclined to be disappointed in the results.
Because Mom is such a great mom, is my being opposite saying I am not such a great mom? Or person?
There are a lot of things for which we don’t agree. But there are so many qualities about her that I admire and cherish:
Strength: This woman has had more than her share of grief. She has experienced profound loss across the board, but none so profound as the loss of my infant sister, passing away in her arms. Enter the quiz results, and being “opposite,” for strength is true: I am not that strong. I don’t think I could have survived this, and pray to God I will never, ever, ever, have to. Thank God she did, and that she continues to have amazing strength.
Beauty: My mother is beautiful. And I am not just saying that because she is my mom. She was blessed with great looks and a beautiful personality. She is kind and patient with all – an area of this quiz which “opposite” is sometimes correct, and reminds me to focus on kindness and patience.
Graceful: Okay, this is where the quiz is truly showing its accuracy. Where as she would glide into a room and not draw attention to herself…no. not. I. The one who trips up the steps? Me, her daughter. The one who will drop dinner into her lap? Me, not Mom. The one who tells jokes at the ER and the doctor’s office? Me. (In my defense, it helps lighten the burden of the moment – not sure if mom appreciated me asking her physician to write her a medicinal marijuana prescription, but, hey, whatever works, right?!)
Caregiver: Again, we’re opposites. If you ever are sick, my mom is the woman you want caring for you. Many people didn’t even know my father was an Alzheimer’s patient. He was always well-groomed and dressed appropriately; she made sure he ate; and caring for him certainly wasn’t easy on her. She was more concerned with his dignity than her own well-being – a point I couldn’t always understand, because I worried about her. And she never was afraid of stomach viruses, as I am. In fact, when my husband was deployed many years ago, she came over and cared for three barfing patients – our oldest two children and me. She didn’t cover her face with a mask (like me) and she didn’t leave chicken soup on the front stoop (like me). She lovingly cared for my dad, and her own parents, keeping them in their home environments as long as possible. They were blessed. Mom missed her calling as a nurse – lucky for us.
Chief Cook: There are no words to express her amazing talents in the kitchen. Enough said.
Language: Again, the test is accurate. We’re opposites. I was probably in my late teens before I heard her swear, other than the occasional “damn.” Me, there are times I’d make a trucker blush, even though the faint memory of her placing soap on my tongue is still there (Cashmere Bouquet – gross!). Always a lady is my mom, and though I coached her that slipping an occasional “f-bomb” is a great way to relieve stress, I don’t think that word has ever crossed her lips.
Artist: Here’s an area where we are both similar – we love art. She paints, draws, sews, you name it. We both love to create. I stick with words and patterns, she has come up with her own. When we go to art fairs, we rarely buy anything, because we know we can make it on our own…yet, we never do. 😉
Perfectionist: Another area the test is spot-on …She is a perfectionist. If she is making you something, baking you something, or gifting you something, it will be perfect. Period. Me, I feel lucky if I get something done. But as I get a little older, and my time isn’t as fractured as it was with little ones in the house, I may be striving for perfection, too.
Faith: She is faithful to God, her family and her friends. I hope my faith is as strong as hers.
But the greatest of these is love: Because I have such an amazing role model, I know the meaning of unconditional love. Her intuition is uncanny; she can pick up on a “something wrong vibe” with the accuracy of a bloodhound. No matter what, my mom has my back. Period. No questions asked. This is where we aren’t opposites, as she has modeled unconditional love.
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…” Proverbs 31:28 NIV
Have a beautiful birthday, Mom. Love you! Thank you! xoxo
© Lynne Cobb – 2014