Wednesday, July 09, 2003

A Very Special Day

Sixty-six years ago today, in a tiny farmhouse on Sand Mountain, my grandmother put down her ironing, went to her room, and a few hours later produced a little curly-red-haired girl she named "Shirley" after her favorite actress, Shirley Temple.

Nineteen years later on Columbus Day, that little girl, all grown up, married my Dad (who she says was just as silly and sweet then as he is now).

Since then, she's been a nurse, a cook, a seamstress, university registrar, kindergarten teacher, and jewelry salesperson.

She's raised two daughters and a son who think she hung the moon, as does my Dad and just about everyone who knows her.

She's a fine example of a Good Christian Southern Woman who says "well, shit" when the situation arises, believes in a woman's freedom of choice, and is delighted that her son is seeing such a nice young man.

She loves to sing pop songs along with the radio although she always gets the words a little wrong.

She's a 13-year breast cancer survivor.

Her hair, skin, smile and hugs are as soft as feathers.

Tell her a really good dirty joke, and she dissolves into hysterical laughter.
Then she emails that same joke to all the ladies in her Sunday School class.

She grows tomatoes, okra, peppers, and every kind of flower that you can imagine.

She feeds birds, squirrels, dogs, kids, neighbors, and anybody else who's hungry.

She makes me very, very glad that I'm her kid.

Happy birthday, best mom.