Happy birthday, Robbin!

If my mom were alive today, she’d be turning 55 years old. This is her second birthday without her being here and I miss her, still. I am quite sure the missing her will never go away, but I hope the pain of it will lessen in the years to come.

I thought this year, I’d share a few stories in honor of my mom’s birthday.

 

Years ago, when I was about 14, my mom, sister, brother and I were having dinner. For some reason, long forgotten, I was in a silly, hyper mood and couldn’t stop laughing. My mom asked me to stop, but I just couldn’t, so she threatened to pour the last few drops of her chocolate milk on my head. I laughed and told her to go ahead. She did! I then reached up and tapped the milk into my hair even more, all the while laughing even harder.

Another incident around this age was one afternoon/evening when all of us were in the car heading home from the beach-y direction, the song She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals came on the radio. My mom cranked that song up and her and I sang along very loudly. Right about this time, we happened to be driving by our local Bi-Mart and my mom pulled into the parking lot, parked the car and went in and bought this cassette tape. (Little did I know at the time that my mom was a lesbian and this song had, what I assume was, great meaning for her. I just loved the song and the spontaneity of the moment.)

My mom was an amazing knitter. She loved knitting hats of all shapes and sizes. In the last couple of years she  even decided the liked knitting socks and sock tops (minus the foot part, but not quite long enough to be leg warmers). She could look at patterns in books and follow the most complicated of them with ease, at least it looked that way to me. She also made her own designs that many people love.
One of these days, I’ll have to take pictures of the hats, baby sweaters, stuffed animals and other items of hers that I have.

On my 18th birthday, my mom let me borrow her car to drive myself and two friends to a nearby town (30 min away) for an afternoon. This was the first time I had driven her car more than just around town. As the three of us were on our way, I was being a typical teen and not paying very close attention to the signs letting us know that there was road construction ahead with a flagger stopping traffic. The car rounded a corner and sure enough, there was a flagger with several cars stopped and I was going WAY too fast. I slam on the breaks and swerve into the oncoming traffic lane, where there were thankfully no cars yet! I managed to stop my mom’s car about half a car length where the other care in front of us would have been if I hadn’t swerved. The flagger shook her fist at us and the three of us in the car were a bit subdued after that.
I still have the tiny silver ring I bought myself that day. I have been much more careful and observant of constructions signs ever since. I also never told my mom this story.

I’m my mom’s oldest child, out of three. She told me that at around the age of 4 or 5 (around when my brother was born), I became quite difficult and “decided” that I didn’t like her any more. This lasted until I was about 18 years old, mostly. Even when we were talking about the same thing, we still wouldn’t always see eye to eye. She could be calling the sky “sky blue” and I’d argue that it was “light blue”. I like to think we worked on our relationship and things were better, not perfect but better, before she died.

My mom told me that when I was 5 or 6, I came inside one day saying “muuuuuther….” and then asking my question that my friends had sent me in to ask. My mom hated the way “mother” came out of my mouth. So, she gave me some alternatives that I could use to call her: mom, Robbin (her name) and I’m sure there were other options, but I don’t remember them. I decided to call her Robbin and called her that ever after. (For the record, I always called my dad by his name.)

The last time I “talked” to my mom was on the FB chat about a week before she died. I was trying to teach her how to make smileys with text. She didn’t quite get it. The second to last thing I told her was: love you.

 

❤ ❤ ❤ I love you, Robbin! Happy Birthday! ❤ ❤ ❤

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