Friday, May 27, 2011


May, 1986

"Love Letters": a series of love letters to the people in my life who have made a big difference in my world, published on their birthdays.

For my mother.

Today is my mother's birthday.

Last night I began the ritual of “love letter writing”: I luxuriated in flipping through old photo albums, my brain carefully compartmentalizing memories, archiving favorite images and trying to piece together in my mind the stories I would tell. Even as my mind raced 100 mph (even as I way lying in bed and sleep eluded me… a 100 mph mind can do that, you know), I was loving it…Loving the process…


I've known since the inception of "Love Letters" that this would be a letter I would labor over—one that would take a long time to write, but I've really been looking forward to it, as well. Still, my mother has been perhaps the biggest influence in my life, and when I remember that, I am (quite frankly) intimidated. How can I ever write something that fully conveys what she means to me? I take comfort in the fact that while my words might fail, my love will not.

... She taught me that.

May, 1989

My mother was the first woman I ever thought was beautiful. She was my role-model, and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Even though I didn’t fully grasp it when I was small, she embodied for me everything I aspired to be: strength & individuality, compassion & grace. My mother was and is creative… absolutely fantastic with children. Some of my favorite childhood memories include teddy bear picnics and teddy bear weddings ... we had such a good time together! She was patient & quick to rejoice in small triumphs, and she is a wonderful listener. She always made it so easy and enjoyable to share life (& secrets!) with her.

My mother tread the fine line between mother & friend with an ease and grace that I hope I can emulate some day. Starting in high school, I began to be conscious of the way to could talk to her like an equal, and even today, I consider her one of my best friends. Nobody knows me like my mother does (for better or worse ;) ... When I think of the word "mother" my heart immediately thinks of home, and the profound comfort found there. ...And I know this is because of her. She made our house a home.

Girl Scout Mother / Daughter Gala, circa 1993

I think that above and beyond everything else, my mother gave me the courage & strength to love. And I am so grateful. Specifically, she taught me how to embrace who I was, and she helped me to build a strong foundation of self respect.

My mother is an incredible woman. She is my best example of chasing your dreams and going where your heart leads you. She has multiple degrees: a BA in History, and Master's degrees in Library Science and Communication. She has traveled all over the country (CO, CA, FL, VA, PA, IL, NY, MA ....and more, I know!) She has traveled the world (::at least to:: England, Germany & Jamaica with my father for their honeymoon). She met my father, the great love of her life, in 1975, and they were married in 1978. Together they participated in TOSRV, bicycling over 100 miles together!

She has a passion for life that is readily apparent to anyone who meets her, and a never-ending desire to learn. She has taught me, by the way she lives, to take risks, travel often, get outside daily, and live life on your own time-table. Because of her, I heave learned to hold my head high, and take pride in the life that I am making for myself, every day.

Light the Night Walk, October 2005

We are really two of a kind, she & I .... and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am honored to be my mother's daughter. We share curly hair, a passion for reading & libraries, and a (perhaps too) healthy love for wheat thins. We both have a need for quiet devotion time at the beginning of each day. We both love long, summer evening walks and huge bowls of chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream. We love snuggling kitties and word-find puzzles & we both drink our coffee black. ♥

September 2009

She has showed me, by example, how to be a wife. How to provide for spiritual needs as well as tangible needs (like cooking & cleaning!) How, when you give 110% of your heart to your family you never feel empty. How to live in harmony & partnership with your husband, and to be respectful even when times get rough. My parents love is my example, and as I continue to learn & grow, the more I understand and appreciate this.

Happy birthday, Mommy. I love you.

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. ~Marion C. Garretty