Today is her birthday, and it is safe to say that my mom has lived up to being born on Independence Day Eve. She’s been quite the firecracker and life of the party for as long as I’ve known her and from what I hear, she’s always been that way. There are just too many stories to tell. I couldn’t possibly get them all in for this newsletter.

Mom doesn’t know a stranger. She’ll talk with anyone, anywhere, any time. She exudes the gift of life in all that she does, and she is truly living her destiny. My mom has been through so much with her health over the years that she’s recognized her purpose is to be a beacon of hope for others. She could have easily thrown in the towel many times but instead embodies the adage “stay strong and keep moving forward”. She’s had 29 surgeries…yes, that’s right, twenty-nine…she’s battled cancer not once but four times, had blood clots twice, underwent knee replacements, and more. Despite her health issues, she’s got more energy than some people one-third her age.Growing up, I called her the “Energizer Bunny”. That was back when those TV commercials of the battery-operated bunny moved about pounding on music symbols frequented the airwaves. Although I have not seen one of those commercials in some time, my mother still reminds me of the Energizer Bunny. She’s got so many activities and projects going on, the grass definitely doesn’t grow under her feet. We even joke that her energy is like the color name of her car…Carbon Flash Metallic. I often call her “Flash” because she’s here one minute and moving on to something else the next…gone in a flash!

Once after I had moved to a new town, Mom came to stay the weekend. I took her out to a locally-owned family restaurant for dinner. I had been there once before and was impressed by the owner who made it a practice to stop at booths and visit with customers. I loved supporting a small business and felt that having an owner visit each and every customer was such a nice gesture on his part.

For mom and me, it was no different. The owner dropped by our booth to chat. He asked how we enjoyed our meal, and then he suggested that we return the following Friday. He began to explain that it was their monthly event…a special night of music, great food, and drinks…plain ole fun. But, get this. The owner looked at my mom whom he had just met for the first time and said to her, “You look like a Party Girl. You’ll have a good time!” How did he know her so well? Her party girl vibe was that obvious? How did he pick up on the fact that she loves socializing with everyone and would definitely be the life of the party? We laughed so hard. By the way, he said nothing about that to me! That made the experience even funnier.

In the above photo, you’ll find the Firecracker Party Girl up to her old tricks…making people laugh. Mom’s dear friend and neighbor, Shirley, gave her this wooden garden statue fondly named “J.R.” After first meeting my mom and spending time with her, Shirley realized that my mom was the perfect person to have J.R. in her backyard. When J.R. starts looking a bit weather-beaten, Mom refreshes him with a shiny coat of polyurethane and a new neckerchief.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Continue your Party Girl ways. You brighten people’s lives with your firecracker personality. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Lots of Love,