Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my Mom’s 52nd birthday.

I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks.  I’ve written it and rewritten it at least a dozen times.  I’ve added photos, rearranged them, took them down, changed them, and rearranged them again.  I’ve been desperately trying to find the words that would grab her essence.  Something that would describe her.  Something that would describe who she was.  Something that would capture her.  But no matter how many times I’ve tried, I just can’t seem to do it.

My mom was not someone who could be captured in a blog post or a scrap book or in pictures.  You just had to know her.

Mom was a born rebel.  She seemed to love to follow the unbeaten path.  She seemed to have a natural attraction to breaking the rules.


Mom and her big brother, Gene. Gene died in a car accident when Mom was two years old.



Mom loved adventure.  She loved trying new things and going on new discoveries.  She never had a plan.  Plans are not adventurous.  Packing up the car with clothes for any kind of weather, a cooler full of snacks, and picking a place on the map that “calls to you” is adventure.


As a teenager, Mom practically lived at the beach.


When we lived in Seattle, we would take impromptu weekend trips.  We would pack the car with some clothes, a cooler full of drinks and snacks, and then we’d just go.  Mom would have me pick somewhere on the map and have me read the map for directions.  When we found an interesting place or got tired of driving, we would look for a camp ground and hang out for the night.  We’d make a fire and play cards or read.  We’d listen to music and relax.  That was just how Mom did things.


Mom and I in a paddle boat in Washington



Mom was also a fighter.   She was never the type to stay quiet in the face of injustice or wrong doing.  She always believed in helping people – especially the “underdogs” of the world.

When Mom stood up to wrong doings – it was magic.  She always came prepared with the facts and evidence.  She was strong and unwavering and never backed down.  When she was on a roll – people were afraid of her.  She was always ten steps ahead.  When it came to doing the right thing, Mom was never scared – or at least she never showed it.


Mom wanted me to see the world and meet family members that lived in other states. She would often let me travel with family members and close friends.



That isn’t to say that Mom and I always got along – because we definitely did not.  We are both stubborn control freaks, which did not always mesh well.  Our fights were huge.  Sometimes we would go days without talking to each other.  But we’d always find a way to get over it – generally through laughter.  And then we’d talk like we had never gotten in a fight in the first place.

Happy Birthday Mom.

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5 responses to “Happy Birthday Mom

  1. You mother was much to young to leave this world when she did. I have an uncle who was name Eugene (had a twin brother named Gene) who died in a car accident. Maybe one day I will write about it. I know this was tough for you to write, but you did a great job. Happy Birthday to your mom!

  2. I hope that someday my children remember me as fondly as you do your mom and that they write something as beautiful. You did her proud!

  3. Elyse ~ You did a beautiful job of writing this. From this and other things you’ve written about your Mom I can certainly understand where you get your unquenchable spirit. I wish I was there to give you a hug!

  4. I am in such admiration of the fact that you were able to write this beautiful tribute despite how difficult it was to do so. Your mother certainly passed down strength of character to you.

  5. What a super post about your Mom. The way you describe her it is evident that you understood her completely and accepted your differences, loving her all the way. She definitely gave you much and you are using your abilities well. Happy Birthday Sharon.

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