Happy Birthday, Tina!

Many years ago, when my friends and I were teenage girls overflowing with hormones, we’d regularly find ourselves having naughty cigarette breaks in dark corners and the conversations would often be about our mothers. When the complaints started pouring in, I was left puffing on my nasty Marlboro red without anything to say. My friends loved her. I loved her. My mom was just too awesome to gripe about. 

My parents never tried to tell me what I could or couldn’t do with my life. They always made it clear that I had my own path to pave and whatever decisions I made were entirely mine to live with. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t live in a hippy/free-for-all home. Rules were put into place but they were always reasonable.

For example: “You can stay out as late as you want on Saturday night, but when I knock on your door for church on Sunday I’d like for you to be up and ready.” 

Sounds fair to me. 

My mom always kept an open-mind and made herself approachable for a good conversation. I remember her once saying, “There’s nothing you can tell me that will shock me.” And I think she really meant it. Over lunches or while just chilling on her massive bed, I’d open up to her about tiffs with friends, the worries I had in my relationships, or how I didn’t know where I wanted to be. 

I have never lied to her, because I never had to. She made it too easy to be honest. 

Every time I leave for Sydney, she tries her hardest at a strong goodbye. She sends me off with a semi-forced smile and a tight hug and has never once been able to make it down to the front door to see me get in the car. 

I know she’s genuinely happy that I’m making it on my own over here. And that I’ve found someone incredible to share the rest of my life with. But I miss her often; I miss her strength, her jokes, her healthy eating habits, and her all around positive energy. 

So on this day when a few might mourn the death of a political leader, I’d prefer to celebrate the birth of an incredible woman…

Happy Birthday, mom. Thank you for being strong and soft at the same time. If I can raise my kids with just half of how you raised us, I think I’ll be in a good place. Let’s see how well you do with grandkids. 🙂  

I love you. 


Palawan, June 2010
Pentax MX – Expired Provia 100F

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