HAPPY 77th, MOM!

Today is my mom’s birthday–and just as my dad is, she is alive and well!  I spoke with her a moment ago.  The weather  in Mobile is sunny (it’s stormy here in Pensacola)–and she is picking blueberries from one of the four very high-yielding blueberry bushes she and my dad planted in their backyard.  Whenever I go to Mobile, I am greeted with blueberry pancakes, just one of her specialties!  My mom has always been a wonderful cook–I wish to God I would have appreciated the delicious, healthy meals she prepared for me as a child! 

My mom is a retired CRRN (certified rehabilitation registered nurse).  She was in her 40’s when she attended college, then nursing school–inspired by my oldest sister, Cathy, who’d done the same.  She was the oldest student in her class, and graduated with top honors!  She then worked at Mobile Infirmary (where I was born), and later at a rehabilitation center, primarily with chronic-pain sufferers.

My mom has always been the spiritual head of my family, she had me baptized in the United Methodist Church as an infant.  My renunctiation of organized religion (including Christianity) is thus very painful for her.  I have explained to her, many times, that I believe in the same God she does–just see God in a different way.  Yet this is no consolation for her.  She continues to try to get me back into the fold–to believe that Jesus was the incarnation of the Creator.  But as I’ve mentioned in a previous post–we have no control over our beliefs.  Still, I no longer resent her mild proselytism–for I know she fears for me, and this indicates her love for me.  In fact, I accept her Christianity–along with my dad, she is very active in volunteer work through her church, and helps alot of people!

My mom has also always been very helpful regarding my mental illness.  Because my mental illness is hereditary, both of my parents (and my sisters, to some degree) are mentally ill, particularly with obsessive-compulsive disorder.  They deny theirs, and I no longer bother trying to convince them of it.  But while so many mothers would deny their children’s mental illness, my mom accepts mine.  Along with my dad, she has been an active member of NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), since I was diagnosed in the late 1980’s.  And she gives me lots of advice, and tries her best to understand my illness better–reading and listening to as much as she can on the subject.  In fact, she sometimes gets a little carried away with it, presuming to know my diagnoses better than I do.  But as with the religious issue, I have come to accept this.  Because, again, she cares about me– she loves me in her own way!

And as with my dad, sometimes I dislike my mom.  But I always love her.  For she is a part of me too!

20 Responses to “HAPPY 77th, MOM!”

  1. 1 iamheatherjo June 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Happy Birthday to your mom!

    I lost mine 10 years ago in September. She was my biggest fan and constant cheerleader and I miss her terribly every day.

    • 2 solosocial June 17, 2011 at 1:52 am

      Thank you, Heather!

      Reading about your loss makes me more grateful that my mom is still living. May the Creator comfort you in a way that only the Creator can.

  2. 3 theduffboy June 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    So great that your mom has lived that long, Scott. It’s also rewarding to value the work our parents put into our upbringing. Sometimes it takes a while to value the “little things”. Thank you for sharing your mental illness with us, that takes a lot of courage.

  3. 5 tinkerbelle86 June 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

    yay!! hope she got super spoilt

  4. 7 duncanr June 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    we don’t always like the ones we love, SS – you’re not alone in that !!!

  5. 9 abby137 June 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Happy Birthday to your mom! She sounds like a beautiful person – not all moms are.

  6. 11 bschooled June 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I hope your mom had a great birthday!

    My mom was similar. She was extremely religious, to the point where every time someone talked about Christianity we’d start to squirm.

    While she’s still religious now, she’s learned to not be so pushy about it. And in turn I’ve realized that I actually do share (some of) her beliefs. (Though I would never tell her that…;))

  7. 13 territerri June 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    You so very eloquently stated the way many of us feel about our parents. Happy Birthday to your mom!

  8. 15 Jim June 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Interesting that you believe the way you describe. I was in church before I could stand or talk. My grand dad was a Baptist minister, hence my mom was a PK. I became a very active member of an “organism” in it’s infancy, but it ultimately became an “organization”. Your statement that “to believe that Jesus was the incarnation of the Creator”. I’ve always believed that the scripture invokes the fact that Jesus was “the only begotten son”. This meant to me that there are more sons of God. Then last evening while watching the History or Science channel a program about the lost gospels I was enlightened more to see that one of these lost gospels there was a group who said that Jesus was a son of God and He was the prime example of how we were to become sons of God as well. It only makes sense, but organized religion tries to keep people believing they are “sinners saved by grace”. No, we were born into His image meaning we have become sons of God in our own right.

    Oh, and happy birthday to your mom.

    • 16 solosocial June 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Yes, I believe we all are sons and daughters of the Creator. There were several gospels left out of the New Testament (known as the Gnostic gospels)–many because they included observations about Jesus that the bishops under the Roman Emperor Constantine did not want the public to hear.
      Two life-changing books I highly recommend: “Jesus: A Life”, by A.N. Wilson, and “The Lost Gospel: The Book of ‘Q’ and Christian Origins”, by Burton Mack.

  9. 17 Allison July 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    That was a nice snapshot of your mother. I could picture her picking blueberries for your pancakes (and now I’m craving blueberry pancakes).

  10. 19 Lynn July 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    What a wonderfully written post! Personally, I’m sorry to say that I truly had a terrible mother which makes me appreciate the efforts of your mother all the more. My family has also been affected by mental illness.

    My nephew had Asperger’s Syndrome and I was the only one in the family he stayed in touch with before he took his life three years ago at the age of 26. He (and I) was very aware of the negative effects of being raised in a dysfunctional home as his mother never divorced from the drama she was raised with. I miss him terribly and have had no contact with anyone in my family for just as long. As I was reading this post, I felt myself beginning to love your mom and for that matter you- for recognizing her in this wonderful way! Happy 77th Birthday Mom, you are remarkable!

    • 20 solosocial July 12, 2011 at 12:43 am

      Thank you, Lynn!

      Actually, my family was dysfunctional too–though not in the typical sense. My parents were abusive to me, physically and emotionally. My brother (strangely the only member of my family who showed no signs of mental illness), was homosexual, and died of AIDS in 1989, at age 33. And I have attempted suicide once, incidentally in 1989. My parents are mentally ill also, though too proud to admit it. And their abuse of me was due, in part, to their mental illness. Yet as they (and I) get older, I feel less resentful toward them. And this is why I present the best side of my mom in this post (as I do with my dad in his birthday post)–for despite their abuse, many things about them are good. As mentioned, though I sometimes dislike them, I always love them.

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