She always wanted to be a mom.
She worked in a horrid garment factory for a man who cheated her out of honestly earned wages after Dad left.
She managed to keep us fed and clothed nonetheless, refusing food stamps even though she qualified.
She worked to improve her lot and finally get out of the factory and into an office after 9 years. I was never so proud and happy for her even though I was still in high school.
She transformed a falling down dump of a house into a livable home with love and her own two hands that were skilled in carpentry.
She sewed clothes for my brother and me from things the factory would have thrown away. She made quilts for us and for more people than I can remember.
She taught herself guitar and about 5 years ago decided she wanted to learn to play the harp. She has now played harp professionally a few times.
She is the technology guru of the family. She still wants to build her own computer someday.
She had enough grace to forgive her parents their faults as parents so my brother and I could have 2 fine grandparents.
She maintained a close and loving relationship with our paternal grandparents until they died 15 years after she'd been divorced from their son. That gave us two more wonderful grandparents.
When my brother and I were small she had us 'adopt' some folks who needed grandchildren even though we had 4 terrific grandparents. She knew the folks needed some to love and be loved.
Now that we are grown and she has 3 grandchildren, she has 'adopted' some other grandchildren because there's still plenty of love to go around for those that need a little extra loving.
She taught me how to make the world's best funny cake. (That's a Pennsylvania German dessert, and if you don't believe me, ask Susie how good it is).
Even when her own mother was dying, she was thinking how best to arrange things for the ease of others. (Have the service on a weekend so her brother in CA wouldn't have to miss so much work. Have it at the chapel in her retirement village so if there are friends who can't drive they can still attend.)
She has taught me never to stop living, learning, or loving.
Thanks, Mom. I love you.
Happy Mother's Day.