Well well well, I sure have been missing from the blogosphere these past few days! Life has been quite busy over here in the HappyTales household…work, puppy, school, play, marathon training and good ‘ole living and breathing. My nose has been buried in the books these past few days, as I’m currently in the midst of a monstrous biostatistics test. I feel a lot of pressure to do well on this one (…especially since we all know how much of a disaster the last one was, ha!
Anyway, I thought I’d take a break from the craziness that is my life right now and update the good ole’ bloggy blog… because you know why? Today is a big day! Not only did I run my 5th half marathon this morning, but I also set a new personal distance record (PDR)! Yep, that’s right, I ran further than the 17 miles I did this past weekend, and it felt goooood!
This morning I woke up at the asscrack of dawn and squeezed in a 5 mile run before the race started. I’ll tell ya, crossing that finish line after 18 miles never felt SO good! (I’ll be doing a recap post on this in the next few days).
But that’s not the main reason why today is a big day. Nope, there’s something even more special about today.
Today is my momma’s BIRTHDAY!!! That’s right, Momma Rice turns the big 65 today!! (Don’t worry, she’s not ashamed of her age… she says I keep her young)
My mother at her Debutante Ball, circa 1963
Three generations of Walker women, Circa 1987ish (Check out the one sole curl in the middle of my forehead…)
Annnnnd let’s hear it for the present-day…
I don’t even know where to begin… I could rave about my mother for days on end. She really is that special of a person. My mom is the most amazing (and beautiful) woman I know. She is full of creativity and has *the* most vibrant personality you will ever come across. Her laugh, in a word, is contagious… and I can spend hours upon hours listening to and laughing at stories from her past. My mother has been through quite bit, more than the average woman I’d say, but all of those hardships have made her into the strong woman she is today. If she hadn’t seen all of that hardship, I would not be here today.
To sum up a very complex and long story… my mom married very young after receiving her 2year associates degree. She and her first husband adopted 3 children and moved all around the country many times for his ministry career. After she found out he was having an affair, a nightmare of divorce, custody battles and endless court hearings ensued. After an expensive and heart-wrenching custody battle, she ended up losing custody of her three children and they went to live with her ex-husband (a very wealthy man) in a different state (it’s pretty sickening how money can literally “buy” anything…)and he essentially refused to let the kids see her. This pattern went on for years, despites my moms tireless efforts to build a relationship with her kids. She’d go to the airport only to find the last person walking off the plane, none of her kids in site. She’d frantically call up to NY and ask her ex-husband if she had the wrong flight number and he’d respond “oh, is it time for me to send them down for a weekend to see you again? Must have forgotten… we’ll try again next month.” It truly breaks my heart to hear the pain in my moms voice (to this day) when she reflects on those years. She has been through a lot. More than I think I could ever bear.
At age 37 she was alone, in a new city, and had seemingly lost everything important to her. Then she met my dad, fell in love, got married and went back to school to obtain her bachelors degree. At 39, she graduated with her hard earned degree, and became overjoyed when she received the news that she was pregnant with her first biological child, me.
So… to make a long story short, my mom basically started her life over at the age of 40. I am the first, and only, child that she has raised fully. She now has a relationship with her first three kids, but she missed some very formative and important years in their lives that she’ll never be able to get back. I have met my “half-siblings” a handful of times throughout my life, and they are some of the neatest individuals I have come across. They are all much older and have families of their own, and my mom just *glows* any time she mentions one of her grandkids. (Currently, she has 11 grandchildren… with another one on the way in May!). Suffice it to say, my mom means the world to me, and I’m pretty sure she’d say the same thing about me.
Annnnway, I’d like to share with you all a little something I created for my mom for her birthday when I was studying abroad halfway around the world (literally….) in Australia for a year. By this point, it had been 7 months since I had seen her. That is a LONG time to not hug someone you love. So I thought it’d be neat to create a little “collage” and sent it to her on her birthday via the wonderful world wide web. It was as close as I could get to “being” with her on her birthday…
So without further adieu, I present you with An Ode To My Momma…Circa, 2007! (I’m 21 at the time, and she’s turning 61…. oh my how the time flies!)
And then of course, I have to share the pictures of the presents I brought home to my mom a few months later (I know I know, I could’ve shipped ‘em… but that’s dang expensive when you’re on a study abroad college student budget!) She loved ‘em all the same when I got home!)
Anyway, I am greatly looking forward to this week. My mom and Gerry are driving through Charlotte on their loooooong trek from South Florida to Ohio! They’re “migrating North” for the summer. (Except of course for that little time period when they’ll be back in FL… le sigh). Can’t wait to spend an evening with them on Tuesday, after I serve my jury duty, of course (bleh!)
Are any of you all close with your mom or dad? Have you ever spent an extended period of time away from a loved one? Anyone else have a crazy “modern-family” and have siblings every which way and of all ages?
PS. Looking back on these pictures makes me realize that time period of my life was prrrrrobably the tannest I’ve been!!! So I have to ask, do y’all use sunscreen?! I slather up every single day. Even in the winter! Skin cancer is a huge thing in my fair-skinned family…