Today is the birthday of my hero. Joan Kenny celebrates her birthday today. I will not reveal her age - for she is spending the summer here in the State of Concrete Gardens, which puts me squarely within "bopping on the nose" range. And besides, age is a state of mind for Mom. She seems to get younger every time I see her. And I am hard-pressed to think of anything that makes me happier than that.
Mom is a remarkable woman. She is the bravest person I have ever known. Every opportunity I have ever been afforded to accomplish anything in this life is one that was created by her for me. The mistakes made are mine and mine alone. But the positioning of me in a place to do something - even when it turned out to be a less-than-bright or less-than-successful something - is something she did for me.
I look daily at the Post-It note I have on my computer at work (OK I only look at it five or six days a week) on which I have written the words of Ambrose Redmoon, "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear." A lesson I learned from Mom in the wake of Dad's death as we dined on a regular diet of scrambled eggs with toast and hot dogs for dinner as she did what needed to be done to keep a roof over our heads with 80% of the household income having been buried with him. I am quite certain that there was more than one night she put her head on the pillow more than slightly terrified by the prospect of the following day. Hell, I know that I did. Yet, because she is the bearer of the world's best game face, I never saw her fear.
Today is Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday to Joanie K!
And if it's a funny old world, mama, where a little boy's wishes come true
Well I got a few in my pocket and a special one just for you.
New year. Same wish.