Today, May 30th, is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 85 today and I imagine she would have laughed and said “Well, I just can’t believe I’m this old but I’m still here!” She was not one to complain about being old and truly enjoyed every day of her life. She would often tell me that she had so much to be thankful for. And those of us who knew and loved her had her to be thankful for.
After she passed away, it was heartwarming and comforting to my sister and me to hear her friends tell of the ways she had brightened their lives. “She was just always there for me.”, “She would always listen to my troubles.”, “She was always so happy and cheery to be with.”, “I loved to spend time with her because she always made me feel better about myself.”, were a few of the comments we heard. It was wonderful to hear about the legacy of love and warmth she left with so many. Since I had lived across the country from her for so long, I didn’t really know her on a day to day basis the way her friends did.
This sense of happiness and joie de vivre was one of the things that made our Make Mom Happy By Mail campaign so much fun. Once I realized that she liked to be amused and that she liked to laugh, it gave me license to be a little whimsical myself – like the year I sent the color box for her birthday.
I was late with the gift that year and needed something in the mail within the hour to be sure it arrived on Mom’s birthday. I went to Walgreens, my local drug store, and bought everything purple I could find—purple body lotion, purple note cards, purple slippers, purple bath beads, purple picture frame, even purple nail polish and purple tissue paper. I took the purple goodies to my local UPS store where Cindy, the friendly clerk, packed everything tightly into a box with the purple tissue stuffed on top. Mom said the box almost exploded with purple when she opened it! It made her laugh. And, while I’m pretty sure the purple nail polish went unused, it had served its purpose.
I miss my mom today. I miss the phone calls when I needed comfort. I miss the wisdom and the love. I miss laughing together about the silliness of day to day life. But I’m so grateful for the wonderful times we shared and especially for the fun we had in the last 22 months of her life when I had the precious gift of being able to make her happy day after day for the price of a postage stamp.
Tip: If you’re lucky enough to still have the opportunity to make a loved one happy, do something today to make it happen. Perhaps just lick the stamp.
Please share your stories with me so I can share them with others.
Be Well and Bring Joy