Merry Christmas and a lifetime of Thank-full-ness to my mother.
My mom is my best friend and the person I count on the most in this world. I know that no matter what I write here, it will not do her justice.
My mom never told me to be quiet or to go play. She filled my life with books and when I started to love theatre, she was right there, dragging my dad along. When I discovered "West Side Story" (one of her favorite movies), she bought a copy for $89.95 for Christmas the next year. She had to haggle with the video store owner because this was WAY back in like 1982 or 1982...people DIDN'T BUY videos. He was perplexed - why would you pay that much money for a video when you can rent it? My mom understood - she would end up paying double that in rental fees, if I had my way.
She let me steal her Peter, Paul and Mary Live in Concert album and didn't say anything when the Original Broadway Cast of "Annie" blasted through my bedroom door. When I was in the 8th grade, my mom likes to say, "Jean went to her room for a year. When she came out, she was a butterfly." I did go to my room, but not in the moody, gothic way that Darlene did on "Roseanne" or the typical ways that teenagers do...I went to my room to listen to music, read and play solitaire (with real cards...not on a computer). I came down for dinner and I talked to the family - just not as much as before.
My mom and I will have these crazy conversations that start at 11pm and go well into the night and we can never track back what we were talking about in the beginning...it just *happens*.
My mom never made me feel like I couldn't do things because I was a girl. She supported me in journalism and drama (dropping me off at school at 6am and picking me up at 11pm sometimes). She still comes to see me interpret plays regularly.
When my dad died, I wondered if she would lose some of her purpose. She had kept him alive for a year with her "witch doctor" ways - herbs and vitamins and alternative care that she found more for all of us than for herself. I know for sure that my father would have been LOST without her.
I remember when I was younger, my mom and I were the conversationalists at the dinner table...if we didn't talk, my dad wanted to know why. She and I are like two peas in a pod. Jabber jabber jabber, but she listens. I like to think I do, too. She is curious about EVERYTHING and reads tons of books - politics, religion, non-fiction, fiction, you name it. She always has and I remember going to the library regularly. She always understood my voracious need for the written word. Now, I miss that ability. I think I have let too many thing take over my time.
My mom is a great cook and a great storyteller.
Mom, thank you for all that you give and do. I owe you so much and I am so grateful for you every day. It is hard for me to even articulate how much I love you. Thank you for being you.
Veriel, Mom, me - July 2006