Today, had she survived her death, my mom would have been 82 years old. She did not, however, survive said death and so she is, like Osama Bin Laden, still dead. It has been 963 days, according to this day counting app on my phone, since mom passed, and I miss her like hell, but my mom gave me her sense of humor, among other gifts (like shoe whoredom, perfect rhythm and alcoholism. Thanks, mom!). She would agree that it's time to stop mourning already and start laughing and making inappropriate jokes again.
My earliest memories of mom are of her both smiling and frowning. She smiled at her husband and kids A LOT! But her silent worrying about her kids made Garp (title character in "The World According To Garp". Read it. It's a book.) look disinterested. She almost never voiced her concerns, I like to think mostly out of respect for our own self-induced neuroses. She used to say all the time, "I love ALL my kids. But what's even better is I LIKE you all, too!" Mom was by no means perfect, but she always had our backs. For instance, when one of my younger brothers was in the 2nd grade, his concerned teacher summoned my mom to an after school conference regarding his "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" essay. What my brother wanted to be was "A Drug Dealer". Mom actually defended his choice and said as long as he was happy that would be OK by her. That brother grew up to eventually be "A Drug Addict", but he never did realize his childhood dream of being The Pusher Man. It's all good. He's now a clean and sober artist, musician, writer, husband and father of 5. HAHAHA! Now it's his turn to get called to the teacher's conferences.
Mom's final years earned her the coveted "High Maintenance Mom of the Year" award, which my dear cousin Betty only lost after she, too (you guessed it) died. Up until the dementia settled in, mom was only 'Mid-Maintenance' (unless you were my 2 brothers who lived in Tacoma, in which case she was always 'High-Maintenance' because you had to take care of everything from screwing in light bulbs to mowing the lawn to pumping out the basement when the sewer backed up. And yes, I did say "screwing in light bulbs". You get the picture. Mom was pretty much mechanically disinclined.). But dementia has a way of changing all that. Moms (and dads) get so high-maintenance you have to pay other people thousands of dollars every month to maintain them.
That's all I have time for tonight. I have to get up very very early tomorrow. I might right more. I might not. We'll see. Anyway, happy birthday, mom! We love you and miss you!