Today is your birthday. You have reached your 60th year.
I know reading this blog is among one of the first things you will do today because you read all of my blogs just as soon as they publish. That is just the kind of supportive and attentive mother that you are.
I imagine you sitting up in bed with three cozy, lazy cats stretched all around you. You are wearing your funky pink reading glasses. They sit low on your nose and your blue eyes peer over the rims. Your lips mouth these written words as you read them to yourself.
Let me be among the first to wish you a happy, happy 60th birthday.
You have not been looking forward to this birthday. Alas, it is here.
Trust me when I tell you that your wrinkles look nothing like you think they do. Your lovely skin holds memories of a life well-lived: of cheerful smiles and sincere laughs, of deep thoughts and hardships overcome. A few small crinkles contain proof of your authentic existence and of your evolution, of the life you created and the family you built.
You are just as beautiful today as you have always been.
And although it hardly seems possible for you to be any wiser than you have always been, I know that somehow you are. In this wisdom, you have stood by my side through the good, the bad, the ugly, the even uglier and the ugliest.
I know you are proud of me. I know you think I have done some good and made some differences in this world. What I do not think you know is that the good I have done and the differences I have made are because of you.
I am who I am because of who you are, and who you inspired me to become.
We are more alike than I have historically cared to admit. Silly, because the older I get the more I realize that I am honored to be like you. I admire your fierce loyalty and your unapologetic honesty. You are beyond generous with your love, your time and your emotional energy.
Our relationship is not perfect. You do not always approve. I do not always agree. Over the years we have both disappointed, angered and saddened each other. Such things happen when love is true and unconditional.
I am quite sure we have not seen our last argument. And still I thank my lucky stars each and every single day that I was born to you. I could live a million more lifetimes and I would never be so lucky again.
You are amazing. You are the best mother a daughter could ever ask for. ‘I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always.’ As long as you’re living, your baby I’ll be. Happy birthday, Mama, 60 looks great on you.
P.S. Please consider this very heartfelt post your birthday gift. I am a poor social worker, after all.