Oh man, smart-assedly joke about my Pinkie being taken away too early (truth be told, 16 would have been to early) and hackles are raised, buttons are pushed and suddenly I'm the daughter from hell.
Ya'll (read MY SISTERS) are taking me waaay to seriously; I'm just giving mom shit because, well, it's fun.
Ok, everybody, let me tell you about my mother:
She used to dance around the kitchen doing this special dance called the Pogue-shuffle. She sang, all the time, everyhere, in the kitchen, in the car. It's because of her that I worship Doris Day, Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. She was born and raised, during the Depression, on a farm in southern Idaho. When she was 19, she packed up and moved to California, by herself. Soon after, she met my father on a blind date, and married him 6 WEEKS LATER. Soon after that, he was deployed to Korea. When he returned, she and my father and their toddler son lived in a TENT in a place that rained something like 335 days a year. Many moves and a couple more kids later, she found herself in god-forsaken Winnemucca Nevada, in a SHACK crawling with bugs. She used to lay awake at night fantasizing about hopping on the train she could hear, and running away. I can't even imagine how much strength it took not to. My father became a Game Warden and she gently and lovingly cared for any wild animal that our dad brought home, from fawn to raccoon, PLUS raising 4 children essentially BY HERSELF. By then we lived in a very small cabin in the woods 50 miles from the nearest city and any sort of support network. Without anti-depressant and without becoming a raging alcoholic, which is certainly more than I can say and I'm only raising one. With help. She taught us to sew (although I never caught on) and knit and she made the most amazing home-made clothing for us AND our dolls, including, the coolest thing EVER: matching dresses for me and my favorite doll, lavendar with white trim.
And that's just all before I was 10 years old. I could write a BOOK about my mother's courage, strength and ability to hold herself (and her family) together when our father, her husband of 30 years, was murdered. Our mother is smart, funny, gorgeous and fiercly loyal and loving and protective of every one of us. Her generosity knows NO BOUNDS; she has paid for college educations, down payments for homes, bailed more than one of us out of debt on countless occassions. If she hears of a need, be it in her own family or someone else's that she read about in the newspaper, she finds a way to fill it. Her children, granchildren and great-granchildren respect, admire and love her more than we can ever say.
Despite the fact that she refused to let me carry my pink blanket to 7th grade.
I LOVE YOU MOM.