Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom at about age 20 - Circa 1977


Circa 2005

She made better pancakes than anyone else ever in the history of pancake making.
Her favorite musicians were Alan Jackson, Alabama and Kenny Rogers.
She preferred to drive a stick shift.
She was weirdly obsessed with never letting her gas tank drop below half full.
Roses bloomed especially well in her care - they blossomed early and full, with tons of buds and healthy tops, and they didn't die off until well after most flowers had died.  It was a weird talent of hers.
Her favorite type of cat was orange tiger.
She rocked crossword puzzles and Tab soda.
Her favorite time of year was spring, and she always looked for Robins to signal the end of winter.

Mom, age 23, my older sister age 3, me, 2 months.
Her number one goal in life was to be a good mother.
Her most favorite flower was a yellow rose.
She taught me that the little things sometimes matter the most.  
She taught me to look inward, to make my own decisions, to let my freak flag fly.
She taught me the importance of kindness.
She taught me it's okay to be scared.

At the time this photo was taken, my mom was still awake and alert, she was on the phone with one of her sisters in California.  Her mood was cheery and I capitalized by sitting next to her making funny faces and clicking pictures.  This is the last one that was taken; she passed away the next day.
The truth is, I could talk about my mom all day.  The good and the bad.  The things she did that made me angry, the things I said and did that I regret, all the things she taught me, all the memories.  To this day, holiday baking makes me cry, even as I honor her by using her recipes and sharing them with people I love.  

Most of my memories are non-specific - sitting a the picnic table drinking iced tea while the sun goes down, the first time I drove in a snow storm, her laugh when I told a funny story, her handwriting, the way she walked, her perfume. 
More than anything else, what she taught me was that the most important things are not events, but the little moments, the little things we say, a favorite shirt worn all the time, a conversation, a laugh.  She taught me to cherish the small moments, because that's what we end up remembering most.
Happy Birthday, Mom.

Patricia L. Priest
October 16, 1956 ~ July 1, 2006






4 comments :

  1. What a beautiful lady. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost her, but it sounds like she was an amazing person and she taught you many wonderful things.

    Happy Birthday Patricia! :) xo

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    1. She was, I was fortunate to be around her in her last month of her life, as I was entering Becky's life. I've got to know her even better with all the wonderful stories from Becky and her family. She did a excellent job with Becky, she is the most loving, caring wonderful woman I know -- we think of Pat all the time. Thanks for your wonderful and kind words, Kristin!

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    2. What Shawn said. :) Thanks, Kristin.

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  2. Beautiful post, Becky! You know your mom is with us in spirit, she was and is still very proud of you. I love your wonderful, big heart and I'm so blessed to have you by my side. Happy Birthday Pat! We love and miss you!

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