I miss my stepmom. Today would have been her 71st birthday, and for some reason she has been on my mind more than usual lately.
I miss her even-tempered outlook, how she took everything in stride – even cancer and open-heart surgery. I miss her non-judgmental attitude, how she accepted everyone despite their flaws. I miss her generous spirit and patience. I miss her gumbo. I miss her love of capers and flavored iced tea. I miss her unflagging devotion to causes – church, teaching, volunteering. I miss her love of Audie Murphy and the Land Before Time movies. I miss her love of babies, whether in the church nursery or in the family – she cherished them all. I miss her crochet skills – the woman could crochet in her sleep and always had a project going, usually a baby afghan. I miss her competitiveness – it wasn’t overtly displayed but she loved to play dominoes, or win the door prizes at conventions, or teach one more year to hold the district record before she retired. I miss how she fussed at my dad – which was often – yet only once in 42 years of marriage did she actually utter a curse word. I miss how she honored her family and held on to traditions, recipes and history. I miss how she attended the same church faithfully for 50+ years, yet never forced her ideology on anyone. I miss how she loved listening to oldies music. I miss how she loved getting pedicures. I miss the times she held my babies and helped me recover from c-sections and made sure everything was taken care of. I miss how she brought people together, and made friends wherever she went.
I will miss her at my son’s graduation next year. I will miss her at my daughter’s wedding. I will miss her at the birth of their children because I know how thrilled she would have been for great-grandbabies. I will continue to miss her in little ways every day, and with greater heartache on holidays and birthdays, like today.
I hope she’s having an amazing birthday in Heaven, surrounded by family and friends, and hopefully Audie Murphy too.
I miss you Mom. Happiest Birthday.