Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life's Blessings - Mom!

My mom is my hero.

Simply put, she makes me smile, makes me laugh and makes me very proud to be her daughter. I hope I am half the woman she is as I sail through this life.

Mom got her RD (Registered Dietician) in the Army before I was born and then took off 14 years to raise kids. Later she earned her MA and then her PhD while supporting three kids as a single mom. She took care of aging parents at the same time as she was their only child. How did she ever do it all? She was certainly a Super Woman in my book.

Mom went on to be a professor of Food Science and Nutrition for the University of Arizona for 20 years and still proudly roots for her Wildcats from the 40 yard line at football games and from her living room for her basketball boys! I always thought she spoke a foreign language while growing up, just to find out she was speaking "nutrition"! I still remember funny food experiments, helping with blind taste studies, and helping her grade papers. She is a published cookbook author and still gets residuals. I love finding her cookbook in stores and standing next to it!!

Mom loved to paint and create when we were young. I remember "painting" alongside her during summer visits to her parents home, creating baker's clay projects on rainy days in the Pacific Northwest, and trying ceramics. I imagine three little ones were enough of a handful but she always made me feel that there was plenty of time for me. She was my Girl Scout leader, the cookie mom, and great at list making. Summer mornings always had a to-do list by our breakfast plate. No playing until the list was done! It worked for her!

I always remember mom with a book. She faithfully took us to the library and gave me confidence when she allowed me to have an "adult card" when I was 10!! I felt so grown-up! When I was in high school and mom was a single parent I remember coming home to see her studying across her bed - textbooks on one side and her "getaway" books on the other. She'd study for a while and then read for her relaxation to rest her eyes (and mind!)

Mom carefully thought out every decision and included us in many of them. No wonder I always wanted to go to her and talk things out when I was first married. I had so much more faith in her and her decision making skills than in my own. She was terrific at managing money and careful with keeping secrets and confidences.

Mom is not perfect...she does not tell jokes well at all and can hardly understand a Gary Larson cartoon to save her life, she has a tender heart for birds yet cannot abide the ground squirrels that attack her flowers, and she saves everything in her office. Darn it, that's where we get that clutter gene!!

This last weekend mom and her husband, Bob, renewed their wedding vows on Valentine's Day. It was a last minute celebration and we surprised them both by jetting down and attending. I was so glad that we did when I saw her face - utter surprise. It was worth the trip. She's worth every bit of it!!

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