Happy Awesome Birthday Mom – A Love Letter

“I know that despite whatever stupid thing I do, I’d be able to go to my mom and she’d still love me. I honestly believe that” ― Nellie Christine, RID
I generally do not write about my mother, unless it is in reference to her family ancestors, the Rightmeiers.  Writing about the connection I have with my dad through:
  • aviation
  • my mechanical bent
  • and writing

…is happens a bit more often.  This has nothing to do with a preference for my dad over my mom but purely out of respect for her privacy.  Mom is still alive and well.  Dad passed on in March 2000.  I endeavor to be respectful of all of my family, living or not, but privacy for those still living is another matter.

Awesome Birthday – A  Love Letter

I am making an exception by repeating this post.  My mother’s birthday is in the month of February and I want to honor her.  This year she turns 85 and is as beautiful as ever.  She is alert, strong and active.  I am grateful to have her attributes woven into mine.
If I got my sense of adventure from Dad, Mom taught me how to prepare and plan.  Mom imparted to me great organization skills which have served me well from housekeeping to  air traffic control. She instilled in me a sense of beauty and the ability to bring it into reality – on a budget.
Daddy was a visionary, mom made it happen.

A Trip To Remember And A Daily Love Letter

A trip we took to Seattle for a family wedding comes to mind.  My father was to walk his youngest sister down the aisle.  I was five or six, my next sister around two and my youngest at the time a baby.
We were driving.  Two days up, two days back and a few days on site for the wedding.  I was the ring bearer or flower girl and my younger sister the other.  Details escape me, but I do remember this:
  • Daddy built a spacer turning the back seat of the ’57 Plymouth into a twin mattress sized flat service.  This was the kid domain where we could play, ride and nap during the long trip.  A homemade SUV!
  • It also created a place  under which to store provisions.  A cooler and other ready access items for the road were packed there.
  • Mom put together food packs for our meals as well as activity sacks – two for each of us for each day.  These were wrapped like gifts and stored under the platform.  We could open them at the appointed time IF we behaved.  They served to keep up busy. They contained comic books, coloring books and games to play on the road. Remember the Burma shave signs?

A Mom’s Touch

It was mom’s attention to detail that made the trip a success – as far as I can recall. I remember anticipating like Christmas, the daily play and food packets.  They were our incentives to behave, rewards for doing so and – love letters, from Mom.
Of course I was unaware these were not just for fun but also to preserve the tip’s budget of next to nothing and the sanity of my parents traveling with three small children.  There may have been some, fussing, tears and “don’t make me stop this car” moments, but frankly, I don’t remember any.

Lists And Details

She nurtured attention to detail by making lists of chores to complete before we could go out to play on Saturday.  I still use checklists every day.  From daily tasks, to pre-flight, take-off and landing when I fly, I use the checklist discipline instilled from my mom.  In fact, I don’t remember dad using a written checklist when he flew….mom’s are smart.
She taught me to finish what you start  with excellence.  Housework was one of her teaching platforms using the “do it again” method.  For instance, dusting required:
  • removing all items from a surface before dusting
  • dusting and polishing the surface
  • dusting each item
  • only then returning the item to its proper place

and no short-cuts!

More Things I Value Because Of Mom

  • Leftovers and scraps, not just to collect (like Dad) but to turn into something useful – now.
  • Mom worked hard to corral my “swing from the trees”, “chase lighting bugs”, “tendency to wander off” energy into useful focused activities.  For the most part it has worked.
  • Daddy liked to take risks, Mom reminded us (and Him) that risk must be approached with eyes open and with respect.  Sometimes I listened, sometimes I ended up at the emergency room getting stitched up or plaster casted, but I learned the value in assessing risk.  A good thing for an air traffic controller and pilot.
  • She taught me the value of truth and obedience and enlisted my reluctant father in the enforcement of consequences.  I was a fairly quick learner.
Both Mom and Dad saw a spiritual hunger in me, but Mom made sure we were ready to go to church and got us there on time.  Daddy said “us girls” always looked nice because mom made sure we did!  It was not without planning, effort and the ability to herd – bet she got that from her farm upbringing!
So have an Awesome Birthday Mom.  I love you and am grateful for your life and for the many years to come.
Who will you be sending a love letter to this month?  Aw come on – don’t be bashful!  Comment below and be sure to subscribe.

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