Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

Happy Birthday, Mom

Filed in Memoir, Stories, voices :: January 10, 2011

Sitting across the table from my mother today, celebrating her 69th birthday, I remembered this picture of her, at 16, with her mother, Annie, then 41, standing next to a gardenia bush that was still blooming when I was a child.

At 16, my mother wanted to be a doctor.   She became a devoted mother and homemaker.

She and my father have been married for forty-eight years, and they still hold hands.

She is a proper lady who can’t resist a whoopie cushion.

A funky dancer and a fine plumber.

A reader of Dante and People.

A lover of God, her grandchildren, and a dog almost as spoiled as mine.

A layer of parquet floors and receiver of manicures.

A matriarch and euphemistic swearer: sugar, fudge, dad-gum-it, and what in the Sam Hill is going on?

A polite but fiercely independent patient after her recent spinal surgery.

We are two complicated women, and our relationship has not always been as easy as it is today.

But I know, Mom, that since the moment you knew that I grew in your belly, you have believed in me and loved me, just because I was “Angela.”

Happy Birthday.

Filed in Memoir, Stories, voices