Happy Birthday Mom!

“Because I said so…”

She’ll probably kill me for starting off her birthday post with that statement but, Mom, give it a few minutes. It’ll all come full circle in a second.

“Because I said so” seemed to be her favorite term when I was growing up. I vowed many times, as I was stomping up the stairs, that I would never, ever, use that phrase with my kids. Well, lo and behold, I actually broke it out today in dealing with a few students on campus. “Because I said so” was a mantra that I could never buy into. I kept thinking, “Who the heck does she think she is?” (STOMP) “Why does she think she’s so smart?” (STOMP) I honestly just pounded my foot against the floor instinctively.

So, to the topic at hand, your birthday. I have some birthday thoughts using that favorite statement of yours…

  • Because I said so, my mom is a darn good cook. Cookies, cakes, dinners, lunches, picnics, parties, etc. All egg free, nut free affairs. Covered many times before but, because I said so, she’s a darn good cook.
  • Because I said so, my mom is a darn good nurse. ER was one of those shows that connected with a lot of people. For me and my family, it gave us one more insight to my mom as she grew through her 20s and 30s. As an ER nurse herself, I remember turning to her to see her face during some of the episodes we would watch as kids. The stories she would tell about her friends, about the doctors, and about some of the patients were priceless. One story I remembered as I called her during the series finale was that she was involved in a historic surgery. Serving as a nurse during the first artificial heart transplant, she was in and around the room as medical history was unfolding.
  • Because I said so, my mom is a good driver. I have no idea where we were coming back from but my friend Joe was in the car with my brother, my sister, my mom and I. I was ticked about something that day and Joe and Chris knew it. Seizing the opportunity, they didn’t just sit around and let the opportunity pass by… nooooo… they grabbed it by the horns and rode it right on through. I then say something stupid and my mom starts in on me. As I sat there, very politely, hands crossed like a good little angel… yea who am I kidding, I was spewing out words with the arms flailing, being all sorts of dramatic in the middle seat of the van. But then those magic words came out of my mouth, “That’s it. Pull the car over. I’m getting out and walking.” A little setting background for you. Wynantskill is at the top of a hill, ney, a mountain, that begins in Troy where this is taking place. About 15 minutes away from my house, I blurt out these words not even thinking she’ll stop the car. BBRRRRRRUUUUUTTTTTTT. Car stops. Without even a beat, her head turns around, and I think it was Joe who slides open the van door right on cue. My bluff had been called. My drama level went from “Melting Wicked Witch of the West” crazy to jaw dropping silence. To be honest, I think that was the turning point of realizing, this woman doesn’t mess around. Sure there were some incidents after this but, I don’t know if she ever knew the impact that driving moment of clarity had on me.
  • Because I said so, my mom is a darn good mom. It’s true in many ways that I wouldn’t be here without her. When people ask about how I found out about my allergies, I tell them the story and include that on the way to the hospital, I had to be thrown in the air in order to get me to breathe (it’s apparently a baby’s instinctive reaction to take a breath at the top of the throw). If I had been born to any other person, would I still be here? Those late nights of breathing treatments where I dug my teeth into the mouth piece as I could barely breathe from asthma, angry that she was making me do those, she stuck by me and rubbed my back at 3am while saying, “Take deep breaths.” Because I said so, I think I don’t have major asthma and allergy issues because she was a darn good mom in staying strong through some tough times.

Because I said so, I hope she had a Happy Birthday today. Thanks Mom for all the support you not only give me but the entire family.

Love,
Jeffrey

Thanks for reading…

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