A LETTER TO MY MOTHER
Sixty is fast approaching, and I seem to be waxing philosophic. There is something about hitting a round number that sets the mind in motion; that stirs memories; sparks self-evaluation. A person facing the end of another decade has a tendency to look at herself, her life, and her mirror (God! Where did all that gray hair come from??)
My mind traveled back in time and wandered through the years our family was growing. I thought a lot about my sisters and brothers, how we each developed and what kinds of lives we lead today.
Through it all there is one inescapable conclusion – it is all your fault.
That’s right. Your fault. Think about it. You bore seven children who could not be more different from each other if you had sat down and planned it. Somehow you managed to view each child as an individual and never expected any of them to be like any of the others. As a result, you unleashed upon an unsuspecting world the following motley crew:
A free-spirited environmentalist from the western states.
An animal and karate loving regulator with dreams of writing.
A fighter who knows her way around government bureaucracies and never takes no for an answer.
A politically oriented math teacher.
A multilingual teacher with fierce independence who is raising her daughter the same way.
A sweet and gentle husband and father with an incredible knowledge of sports.
An organizer with a great eye for interior design.
Your sons and daughters are all contributing members of society, each in his or her unique way. They are law-abiding people who are busy raising the next generation. They work; they play; they make the world a better place.
And the world has no one but you to blame.
I am reminded everyday just how much of my life is because of you. When I stopped traffic with my car so a mama duck and her babies could cross a road in a shopping area – you were there. When I encouraged my son to become a last minute entry in a karate competition, confident he could perform on short notice – you were there. When he placed first, you were cheering with me. You were there when I stayed late at work rather than watch the clock; and when I insisted I had to leave to be with my son.
I listen to music and play a little piano. You are looking over my shoulder. I read novels every chance I get. You are in every page. The people in my office think I can write and sing (go figure!). What talent I may have came from you. Many years ago, when I was deciding whether to take karate, you were in the back of my mind saying, “Oh, yes you can!”
Seven children taking seven different paths in life. Each with our own ups and downs, our children, our talents, our accomplishments. We will continue to strive, to learn and to do whatever it takes to make things better for ourselves and others.
And it is all your fault.