I think it encompasses exactly the woman she is. She is an expert gardner, cook and baker. A wonderful nurturer and caretaker. Kind yet firm. She can take any lunch, holiday or really any day for that matter and make it one of THE best. She has a gift of always seeing the best in every person and every situation. She always makes sure you know how loved you are. She does SO much and expects absolutely nothing in return. Selfless to the core.
When I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I rode the bus to school. There was this girl who rode the bus with us and now looking back on it I can realize her family was quite poor. J would ride the bus in dirty clothes, dirty hair and sadly, was the easiest target to tease on our 20 minute to and from school. I remember one day I went home and was telling my mom how J was picking her nose on the bus, people started teasing and J ended up punching one of the girls. It was pretty big gossip for us back then. I told my mom the story and was waiting for her to start laughing, or shaking her head at what a bad kid she was and how good my sister and I were, but all she said in her kindest voice was "You know, Beth? I feel sorry for J. I don't think she has a very easy life. Why don't you sit with her on the bus tomorrow?"
This story is exactly my mom. Going against classic stereotypes and always resisting judgement on others. ALWAYS wanting to find the good in people when it can be so easy to be petty and laugh along with others.
My mom has reached out and taken in MANY of our friends who aren't as lucky to have a loving mother/father as my sister and I have. She practices love and kindness at each opportunity that comes her way. I am so very proud to call her my mother and friend. If one day I can be half the woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter that she is, I'll know I have succeeded.
I love you mom! Happy birthday!