top of page

Entry date: 6-18-2022 - Mom's Birthday - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Today is my mom’s birthday. She is 72 years old and seemingly going strong. I think I have mentioned that she comes from strong stock. My grandmother, Granny, is still kicking, too, as you read about a couple of days ago. Lots of June birthdays.

Mom was born in Sterling, Kansas, I believe and lived the first nine or ten years of her life in Lyons, which is just down the road from Sterling. The closest city is Wichita, for those of you who like your geography. I grew up hearing stories about Kansas and all the various family members from back there who were pretty incredible characters. I wish I knew more of the stories about them better so I could write them down.

The family moved out here to Phoenix around 1960, I think, and my mom ended up going to Xavier, which is a Catholic school for high school. She was pretty wild, from what I’ve gathered and got around town a lot. Phoenix was pretty happening from what I’ve been able to glean over the years and has always had a decent scene for music and such. My mom was part of that, which I have always admired.

She and my dad met when they were both students at Phoenix College and I came along pretty quickly in their relationship. Those were the days where you “did the right thing” and my parents got married on my mom’s birthday in 1969. I was born in October of that year.

I love looking at pictures from the early days of my life and seeing my mom looking young and like she was happy to be my mom. I think she’s always been happy to be my mom, but like most of us who have had the experience of being parent, it isn’t always easy. My mom likes to have a good time and I’m sure I cramped a lot of her style.

My parents didn’t last as a couple very long, but that’s another story altogether. I will say that I do think they had genuine affection for each other. Until I was a teenager, my mom was always super complimentary of my dad, and I believe truly appreciated what a good dad he was to me.

For those of you who know my mom, you know she is a beautiful lady. I was always very proud of this as a kid. Every kid thinks their parents are the best, of course, but it was something I always felt some pride about until I was a teenager. At that point, when my friends started commenting about my mom’s looks in a way that wasn’t innocent, I didn’t care for that anymore. My core friends were always respectful, though, to my face.

After the divorce, I initially lived with mom in a small apartment off 12th and Northern. I think I have mentioned this before. I have only a few memories of this time. Before too long, I moved in with my dad and I would visit my mom every other weekend and for extended stays during the summer. We went on some great trips over the years and mom always made sure I had what I needed.

She was in the insurance business as an underwriter for much of my youth. I never understood what she did, but again, I was proud of her. It seemed like she was a serious businessperson. When her office was in the Luhrs building downtown, I liked going and visiting her there. I must’ve been about 11 or 12 when this was going on.

If you’ve been in that building, you’ll know what I mean when I say that it just seemed like a place where serious business happened. Lots of ornate woodwork in the building and it was like the places you would see on TV or in movies from big cities back east. It looked like a place where a smart person would work and if there is one thing I can definitely say about my mom, she's a very smart person.

After she left there, she and my aunt worked for their aunt, Lois, at Easy Street before they bought the place from her. This was her focus until she started massage school in the early 90s and became a licensed massage therapist. In those days, though, I was always in awe of how easy she made running the business and making great sandwiches look. As she got to the point where she wanted to do massage more and more, I transitioned into working at Easy Street full-time while I was going to ASU. She was tired of not making any money and I don't blame her.

She also married my stepdad in 1997 and they lived in Scottsdale for long time in a house off Thomas and Hayden. It was at this house she settled into a new role in life: being a grandmother. I think this has been one of her favorite roles and I’ve appreciated all she has done for the kids. It brings out a side of her that makes her feel good, I think.

I’ve alluded to some things in this blog about my family that probably suggested that it hasn’t been the easiest ride for my parents for various reasons. I’m going to unpack my part of that more as the year goes along, but I also feel like those stories are theirs to tell if they ever want.

Today I want to focus on the fact that I am super grateful to still have my mom in my life and love her very much. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but when it comes down to it, she supports me. That is a lot better than a lot of people have it.

She’s got a wicked sense of humor and loves to read and go for walks and exercise. I feel bad that I haven’t been able to join her for yoga recently, but maybe when I get back from Maine. We’ve had so many laughs over the years that I could probably write about a month worth of blogs just about the funny things that have happened over the years.

I definitely get my ability to turn a clever phrase from her, although my dad is no slouch in that capacity. I’m lucky to be her son, though, and remember that often.

Happy birthday mom. I love you.

See you tomorrow.

Mom doing what she loves best, I think. 2012.

21 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page