Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, a-day-late, Sandra Louise Hemphill-Chapman

Or in other words...Happy Belated Birthday Mom! I know I am a day late...and a day late for the most important woman in my life. Unforgivable? No way. It's a mom thing.

I have always loved my mom.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I was in high school. She made Halloween costumes, put wet washcloths on my forehead when I was sick, ran the school carnival, & baked everything homemade. I didn't know that cakes and brownies could come from a box. I never tasted Hamburger Helper until college. Yet-I still didn't 'get' it. I loved my mom and she loved me. Easy right...she was just doing her job! Not so much -

Becoming a mother myself changed the relationship I had with my own mom in an instant. Understanding that change has been a slow process...but that instant was clear and defined.

Until I was a mom I didn't believe - "This hurts me worse than it will hurt you." Given after a punishment I deserved.

I now 'get' how my mom could not like someone because they hurt my feelings or were unkind.

I aspire to be as calm and matter-of-fact when I have to answer tough questions about the changing body.

I yearn to protect my girls from the same hurts that my mom wanted to protect me from.

I love and live - "Go outside and play until I call you to dinner."

I have girl friends that are as important to me as the 'Bridge-Ladies' were to my mom. They are a life-line on days when your kids have you spiraling out of control.

I know fear too... I know the fear of the unknown, I know fear of hurts we can not stop, of broken things we know can't be fixed, I know of pain, but I also know of healing, but the most important thing I know is unconditional love. That is the gift of a mother and her child. It is a gift that I was blessed to have been given and a gift that I know how to pass on because of the great role model I have to follow.

Mom I love you!

Now, because I am in Eastern Montana, where Internet access is limited, I will not be able to post a picture of my mom on her birthday. This indeed could be considered a gift, right? Never fear.... I will now digress to fun filled facts about my mom, for which she will want to kill me, but never-the-less, will love me the same.

My mom grew up in San Diego and used to drive friends across the Mexico border where the drinking age was lower.

My mom used to hitchhike from San Diego to LA. (Can you even imagine that now-a-days?)

My mom was wanted by the FBI-doesn't that sound cool? (She was in a car that was drag racing and wrecked...she left the scene...hoping to avoid getting in trouble...didn't work, obviously).

My mom was a flight attendant and was featured in a glamour magazine, but had to quit because she got engaged to my dad. (You weren't allowed to be married as a flight attendant.) There may have been other magazines too...I'm not sure. Mom?

My mom and dad met on a blind date...were engaged in three months...and have been married for 42 years. (I hope I'm right...I may be off a year or two.)

My mom had smoked since she was 18 but quit when Taryn was born. For this alone, I believe I am most proud and thankful. It wasn't easy, but I know that was the most important gift she could have given us. I worried lots about smoking killing her.

My mom loves words. She loves crossword puzzles, she has written many a rhyme for birthday cards and anniversaries. She also uses words when she is UNHAPPY... she can formulate her argument, revise and perfect them, she doesn't always send them, but it helps her vent. You don't want to be on the end of one of those. :-) She has now taken to e-mailing companies if they have wronged her.

She loves to walk and geocache. She needed a hobby...I found her one...and now dad has to pay the price when they are on trips. Being a fellow-cacher...I think it's great!

You want to be near a bathroom if you are going to tell her a funny joke. She wet her pants once (or maybe twice) and Grace will never let her forget it.

She does things she used to make fun of her mother for doing. I'm sure I will follow in those footsteps, so maybe I should leave that alone.

My mom has been there for me after nine hospital events...
  • my birth-June 1970
  • hit by a car-1977
  • appendix out-1978
  • tonsils out-1991
  • Taryn's birth-1997
  • kidney stones out-1998
  • Grace's birth-2000
  • Reagan's birth-2002
  • thyroid out-2007

Happy Birthday Mom. I'm looking forward to many more blog-able memories. You are my model for whom I try to mold myself into.


Mom said...

I guess I could be embarrased about the wetting but then I figured that most of your readers are women and most of them have children. That means at some future point they too might have the same problem. I could probably really scare them by divulging other consequences of age and multiple pregnancies but I'll resist and just let them discover those on their own. Anyway thanks for the birthday blog and I do forgive you for being late. Love you!

Lindsay said...

Now we know how you turned out as amazing as you did Anne! :)

Great post! Your mom sounds like an amazing lady... and you're following close behind.

A Cop, A Teacher, and Two Princesses said...

I have been waiting for this one knowing it would make me cry in a good way. What a wonderful tribute!!! It wouldn't be the same without some of that wonderful humor that you and your mother share.

You still haven't hung the bell you talked about to call the girls for dinner???