Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Mother is an Amazing Woman!

To celebrate my mom, Louise Micchelli, on her 85th birthday.

Tomorrow my mom will be 85.  It's hard to believe.  Mom continues to be articulate, well dressed, and active, spending her days caring for her home and socializing with friends and family. She looks and acts more like 65.

Princess Louise in yards of Tulle
and Lace on her wedding day
Mom was always young in my eyes.  My favorite first memory of her was watching her apply make up.  Although she is a woman who never left the house without "putting on her face" as she called it, she always had a natural beauty.  Vivacious, witty, lovely, intelligent, extremely social, mom should have had sisters.  Instead she is an only child. To make up for the lack of family, she adopted people.  Often her friends were younger than she, because she had a youthful spirit. Married to my dad, who came from a family of nine siblings, she embraced them as her own.  The life of every party, she enjoys dinners out and all social gatherings.  If there is music and dancing too, that is even better.

Mom loves drama and stories.  She watched soap operas all of her life.  I remember coming home for lunch when in elementary school and she would have the TV on and we would watch "her stories" together as we ate.  Afterwards, we would discuss the characters and their lives.  There were no taboo subjects with her.  She would talk about anything.  At the dinner table, with the five of us, (mom, dad, my grandfather, brother and me) there were no "girl" subjects and "boy" subjects.  We all would debate everything together.

Mom was born ahead of her time and embraced the Women's Liberation movement during the 60s and 70s with a passion.  She wore mini-skirts and halter tops and could pull it off too!  When I became a young woman, we often shared clothes, because her figure and styles were youthful.  Her motto was "if you've got it, flaunt it!"  She did and she did!

On the practical side, Mom encouraged me to attend college and to pursue a career.  She never said to me "you can't do that," or "that would be very hard for you," or "girls don't fill-in-the-blank."  Mom passionately insisted I could become whatever I wanted.

Mom herself went the traditional route. After high school, she worked as a secretary, got married at age 23, built a brick house a few miles from her parents, and then settled down to have a girl then a boy. She stayed home with us until she was just too bored and tired of not having enough money.

Wanting something better for me, she never tired of telling me that I was beautiful, smart, and talented.  She is my most enthusiastic supporter and my biggest fan. Encouragement is mom's greatest gift, continuing to fill me with the confidence and courage to try new things and to not give up when faced with failure.
Mom at 85 with Debbie and me

The other side of the coin is her gift of truth.  Our family valued truth above all.  Her dad, my grandfather often said "Lies have short legs."  Mom always told me the truth, even when it was not what I wanted to hear.  In retrospect, she told me things no one else would have told me.  Blunt and honest but loving, she always had my best interests at heart.  Whether we agreed or not, I was always certain of her acceptance of me.

Mom, you are an amazing woman, and I am so grateful to God you are still going strong at age 85.  You have taught me, and your granddaughters as well, that there is nothing we cannot do.  As a result, we try. And that is amazing.

Father God, thank You for the special woman You gave me that I call Mom.  Forgive me for not always appreciating her and showing kindness to her. Help her to know how much she has contributed to all the good things in my life, just because she was loving, encouraging and honest. Bless her with many more healthy and joyful years, and when it is over, bring her home to Your loving arms forever. 

...Do not forsake your mother’s teaching (Proverbs 1:8b)