I'm sure if she read this blog, she would be very surprised to see that she is the first person I'm writing about. (other than my kids!)
But she is one of the most important people in my life! Always has been!
I'm guessing, she would be surprised to hear that too...
Growing up in our crazy house was quite an adventure!
Even with 8 kids, my mom always worked full time! A social worker of course! She was so involved with every family that she worked with...she really cared for them and wanted to see them succeed.
And as if that's not enough work, she was the center of our home too!
I remember my mom coming home from work and immediately getting dinner started! And I'm not talking pb&j or mac&cheese! Each night was a feast of a meat & potatoes kind of meal! We almost always had dinner together, all 10 of us! I have so many memories of sitting around that kitchen table...mostly of Frank starring at himself in the mirror across from the table :)
My mom was always the last one to sit down...the last one to eat. We would all finish and leave the table, and there she would sit. Now, I realize that is when she was finally able to decompress from the day and enjoy a little quiet!
Besides having to deal with all of the running around that 8 kids in various sports and school activities requires...she somehow found the time to be on the athletic club for our school, coach our softball teams, and constantly be sitting in the stands watching our games. They even owned a pizza place on top of everything else for a few years!
She really had very little time for herself. But never complained about it. She had her card group once a month and I vaguely remember a bowling league. I think that was put aside once all of us kids were more involved with activities.
She has always put us first.
Even to this day, now that she is retired, she still seems to have a hard time putting herself first. It's just not who is she is. She has always been the most giving person. Of herself, her time, and her love.
We've had our share of tough times over the years. Sometimes I feel like, out of all the 8 kids, I have been her biggest source of stress.
It seems like the two of us are each other's harshest critic.
But I think I finally have a reason to why.
We are so much alike!
I see so much of myself in her.
I know I often get frustrated with her when she doesn't stand up for herself, or she puts herself second. In a way, I get frustrated with myself for the same things.
I just want her to be proud of herself.
Proud of all that she has accomplished.
Proud of how many peoples lives she has touched.
Proud of the friend, sister, mother, grandmother that she is.
The road has not always been an easy one. We've had our share of family drama! But through it all my mom has remained a source of strength for all of us!
From broken bones (mostly noses!), fights, college, marriages, divorces, pregnancies, miscarriages, adoption, cancer...to bon fires, sunsets (aka bouncing ball!) and remission.
She is truly the matriarch of our family!
All 33 of us!
Yep, that's just immediate family!
My dad (married for 45 years!) 8 kids, 22 grand kids, and 2 great-grand kids!
I am so proud of her, and I can only hope that one day, my daughters will feel as privlaged to have me as their mother, as I do to have her!