They are all dark-haired, dark-eyed, lovely ladies.
When my mom was young, she could have been a movie star.
She met my dad on a blind date when she was 19 and he was 20. The next year, they were married. At 21 she gave birth to her first child, and by 27 she was the mother of five. She dedicated our early years to being a stay-at-home mom, and later on was a successful career woman--first doing PR work for malls, and then as the tourism director for her hometown's chamber of commerce.
Mom has been a spitfire her whole life; she was nicknamed the "Energizer Bunny" years ago, because nothing could slow her down. She hit a little snag last spring when she fell and broke her hip and was forced to take it easy for a while. But I'll tell you, she's the most youthful 80-year-old you can imagine. She's still beautiful, six decades after that first meeting with my father.
Thanks for the lifetime of love and sacrifices you've made for your husband and your kids. We love you, Mom.
When my mother was 26, she got the best birthday present ever: my younger sister, B.
She, too, could have been a movie star.
She was the maid of honor at my wedding, and has been one of my best friends throughout my life. I love you, Sister!
Now for the third birthday girl. I'm saving the best for last, because although we share no blood I love this sweet young lady the way I love my very own children.
In 2009, our oldest son married a hazel-eyed brunette named Regina. He got a partner for life and a mother for his children; and my husband and I got our first daughter.
I could not have asked for a better introduction to the world of being a mother-in-law. Regina made it an easy transition for me; she is undemanding, even-tempered, sweet-natured, patient, soft-spoken, and kind. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. (We found this out early on, when she came to meet the family and my husband and I worried that all the brothers with their dry, sarcastic way of joking would be too much for her. Instead, she showed that she was good enough for them, and spent a lot of time with her head thrown back in laughter.)
Regina and I are pretty simpatico. She is a reader and a writer (a true lover of the written word, who worked as a librarian before marrying our son and giving birth to four little girls in less than four years). She was, in fact, the one who suggested that I start this blog.
I knew that I felt extremely comfortable with Regina right off the bat, because the first time we met (in AL in 2008, at our son's graduation from Army flight school), I spilled the beans about the novel I'd been working on for almost a year (Finding Grace). At that point, I had told no one about it except my husband and my boys; not even my parents knew my secret yet. But from the get-go, Regina seemed like one of my own--even though she and my son were still months away from getting engaged.
It has been a joy to spend time with this lovely girl over the past six years, and to watch the way she supports our son and nurtures their daughters. Since she came into our family, three other new daughters-in-law have joined the fold. But she was the first, the trailblazer; and I'll always be so appreciative that she proved that old cliché to be true: we didn't lose a son; we gained a daughter.
Happy Birthday to three beautiful brunettes who've made my life so much better just by being in it. And sorry this tribute came so late!