Today is my mother’s birthday. She was born during WWII and has seen so many changes, but has always welcomed these evolutions for the better. She is a wonderful mother of 2 daughters, a grandmother of 4 grandchildren and 2 newly adopted Ugandan grandsons, she has always helped my sister and I immensely. Especially me.
What’s also remarkable is how she was on the cutting edge of civil rights and democratic issues since their inception. She worked for John F. Kennedy at the 1960 convention. She was the one to escort Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S Truman down the aisle at the convention. My mom made phone calls next to Bobby Kennedy on behalf of his brother. She has been a strong Democrat for decades. Always for equal rights for all, she raised us to know right from wrong not by what some church or some god allegedly dictated, but by doing what’s ethical and moral.
My sister and I were exposed to elements of the Jewish and Catholic faiths, my mom being raised Jewish. My mom never was religious. But today, all three of us have found all religion to make little sense, my mom quietly letting us make our decisions, never pushing us one way or another.
She encouraged us to work diligently at our schoolwork and gymnastics. Both my sister and I received full scholarships to college because of her guidance. I did want to give up a few times, but she used the ingenious ploy of presenting a much more unpleasant alternative if I did give up. She financed world travel for us, as she saw the benefits of travel, cultural diversity and education. She started a business from nothing and is still a success today. Neither of my parents grew up wealthy.
Living in Las Vegas today, I know, is quite a change for all of us from our more liberal East Coast roots. She lived in Massachusetts, New York and California, 3 blue states. We have found a way to keep sane in this red state by working together, sharing our views and uniting in our efforts to keep our President in office. Eight years of Bush was pretty tough, but we stuck together. Sometimes we’d just go to see Lewis Black or Bill Maher to reaffirm we weren’t the only ones with sane and humane political views.
My mom still works tirelessly at an age where most people are on blood pressure, heart or other medications she does not need. She works out as much as any 35 year old and eats relatively sensibly, save for the giant birthday cake we’re going to eat later. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you so much.