Today would have been my Mom’s 85th birthday. If she were alive, we’d have scheduled another big blowout like we did on her 80th birthday. Or maybe snagged her off to Vegas or something. But we can’t. She’s having her birthday in heaven today. She’s been with the Father almost three years now.
So many things have changed since she passed, but the loss of her still feels as fresh as yesterday. If Mom were still here with us, she'd be loving that new great-grandbaby Mackenzie (out of all those grandsons, we finally have a little girl!). She'd be cheering all her grandsons on to excellence, as always, in school and in everything they attempted. She'd probably even break her own rule about never stepping foot in a bar in order to see Elder Son play and sing. She'd be going with us to field trials to watch Zack run.
My brother Scott and I both miss our Mom so much. When I leave to go out to a frac job early, early in the morning, I still cue up my bluetooth to call her. It is a habit many years in the making. She and I would have the best catch-up phone conversations early in the morning.
She and Scott would always have lunch together on Wednesdays - living in the same town made it easy for them. She so loved that time with Scott. In many ways, Mom was one of Scott's best friends. They did business deals together. They worked crossword puzzles together. Our Mom was sharp and smart. Mom and Scott had a special relationship that was really awesome to observe. She and I had a great relationship, as well - but I loved seeing the bond between them.
Scott and I miss her wisdom – and her sense of humor. She had a wicked sense of humor - but she was never mean with it. But we have all laughed so hard together, we cried - and when she was really tickled, Mom would snort. That would kick the laughter up again, all over. (And she would say "Jaaaaaaaane!" if she were here to read this for me telling that snort part...because real ladies don't snort!)
I know ESPN misses my Mom's never-ending patronage. I always teased her that ESPN would do the eulogy at her funeral, but it didn't happen. Tiger's early golf successes were all about my Mom. She willed him to do well, through that TV screen. He doesn't know it, but we do.
She followed the careers of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Absolutely loved Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. - Mom teased that XM Radio made "Frank's Place" just for her.
And, Lord, Mom loved Elvis, Elton John, the Beatles. I can remember all of us dancing together to the Beatles on the linoleum floor in the den - the first night they were shown on the Ed Sullivan show. I think Scott had on footed cartoon pajamas - I remember him sliding across the floor. Mom loved to dance, and she could do a mean twist.
Mom taught us songs like "Mairzy Doats" and "RAGG DOLL" while driving down Interstate 20 to East Texas to visit all our relatives. Mom loved music - but she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. She would tell anyone that - but, somehow, she could tell when I made a mistake while practicing the piano. She would yell at me from the den, "Start over! Play it again!" She always loved listening to Scott and I sing together.
We miss her strong independent streak - and the way she cared for others both in and outside her family.
We miss her love…her absolute, never-ending, unconditional love. No matter what stupid things we did, or said - Mom loved us. She corrected us, encouraged us, cheered and fought for us - because she loved us. And we never, ever doubted her love. And we never will.
Mom? Happy birthday. Thanks for being "where we come from."
We love you. We'll see you soon.