Tuesday, February 8, 2011

20 Years: One Photo, Many Memories

Me at 20.
Mom at 41.
One of my friends made an interesting observation today. My mom was about the same age I am now when this picture was taken.

Why hadn't I realized that? 

My god we were both so young.

And so hopeful and full of dreams.

In the past 20 years:

  • Mom was there for every baby that  
  • was born. That meant when both me and my sister had our first babies mom had to be in two different states just a few weeks apart.
  • Mom helped me set up a new home each time my Navy career husband said we're transferring.
  • During difficult times she reminded me I always had a soft place to land at home.
  • She drove the six hours one way when I was living in Virginia Beach just to babysit so I could go to the Jimmy Buffet concert.
  • And she flew to where I was living to babysit again for my trips to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
  • She let me use her Macy's credit card and bought me my paisley stiletto Carlos Santanna heels.
  • When each of my kids had their 10th birthday she sent them a plane ticket to Philadelphia to visit for a week.
  • And she stayed in constant phone contact with me for the whole 2 hour flight as my kids flew alone their first time.
  • She walked Bourbon Street with me. We both earned our beads.
  • She became a technologically savvy grandma sending daily text messages, playing on her iPad and regular skype phone calls.
  • She was a regular in Tai Chi class at her local YMCA and attended my yoga classes at my YMCA.
  • She became more involved in church as I pulled away from organized religion. It was never an issue. Many paths to one truth.
  • Our relationship evolved from mother/daughter to grandmother/mother. But through it all our friendship grew stronger.
  • Together we rediscovered our love of horseback riding. When I moved to Tennessee she bought a pair of real cowboy boots. I teased her all the time to just give them to me. Before her death she finally gave me the boots. I don't want them anymore. They are sitting in a box in my closet.
I keep looking at that picture of us together on my wedding day. We had no idea what the next 20 years would throw at us. Or how much we'd need each other to get through it all.


  1. I love hearing the love you have for your Mom. Makes me want to step up and work on being a better Mom!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. That was a beautiful post that brought a tear to my eye.

  3. Jennifer, one day, you will wear those cowboy boots I promise! and you will laugh out loud because your mom will be laughing too.
    I love you....for the woman your mom taught you to be.

  4. Beautifully poignant. I didn't know your mom, but if she was anything like you (and she sounds as if she was), then she must have been a strong, giving and gracious person. You are loved.
    With love, Mel

  5. Sounds like your mom is an amazing woman. I guess I see where you get it from.