My Mom, My Friend
Everyone has a story and everyone’s story starts with their Mom (if they like it or not, it does!)
For me, I love that my story starts with my Mom. My Mom is my hero, my friend, the person that makes me the most batty, the person I seek when the chips are down, my rock, my go to person when I need advice, my biggest cheerleader, the person that makes me shake my head when she does something forgetful and one of the best Grandmas on this planet.
My Mom was born and raised in NJ, the middle child of between two brothers (her brothers are REALLY awesome Uncles by the way!). My Mom and her brothers were ‘war babies’…also known as baby boomers. They grew up in small town Somerville, NJ (where my Mom eventually returned to raise my brother and I). They had no car for years and walked or took public transportation. They lived in a small house and faithfully attended church. Their whole world was rocked when they lost their father (my grandfather) when my Mom was only 19. My Mom and her brothers speak so fondly of their father, he was a great man who obviously thought the world revolved around his children.
My Mom got a job working for the public library after she graduated high school and met my father while working there. She likes to tell the story that she used to make her friend Susan drive by his house to see if he was home before they started dated. (I think everyone did this at some point in their lives!) Mom says for them, it was love, instantly. They got married in May 1970, had my brother Tom in 1972 and through a series of events ended up becoming caretakers for a farm in Readington, NJ where I was born in 1975.
My Mom always says that when you find your one true love, you know and that no one or no thing could ever replace that. For her that has rung true. The way she lights up when she tells stories about my Dad, still to this day is amazing. The emotion in her voice as she describes him to Connor and Madeline is raw. The sparkle in her eye when she talks about his antics is heartwarming.
Mom moved my brother and I back to Somerville in 1978, to be close to her roots and to raise us in the town that she knew and loved. We lived there for 18 years in a house we loved, with a dog, two cats, a pool and boatloads of laughter, broken appliances and pipes, friends, memories and love.
Those years were not easy for Mom. She raised two children by herself, worked full time as a children’s librarian’s assistant and devoted her life to making us happy (and miserable when we got punchy). Mom hates to drive and while this provided some challenges for her, she always found a way to still say ‘yes’ when we wanted to do something. Mom never allowed my brother and I to consider ourselves disabled, she always told us that our hearing losses would NEVER hold us back from our dreams.
My Mom is what you would call the eternal optimist. She finds the good in everything, everyone and all situations, which can still sometimes get her into trouble! She struggled with her faith for so many years and it wasn’t until she followed me to Fleetwood, PA (she refused to live anywhere but near her grandchildren!) did she find God again and is now actively involved in her church, her friends and the kids school events.
My Mom’s story is the beginning of my story because without her…I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I love you Momma.