I am missing the fact that I would be planning a 70th birthday party this month. I am missing being able to celebrate Mama on what should be a milestone year. So I’ll do a celebratory list of 70 here this week.
70 Things About Mama:
1. Her eyes were brown even though they were painted blue in a childhood portrait displayed in her town’s photography studio.
2. She never had a middle name.
3. She was a chocoholic in the truest sense. We found stashes of chocolate everywhere for years after she died.
4. She HATED being called Merlin after a horrible teacher called her that to make her miserable.
5. Her favorite color of glassware was cobalt blue.
6. She lived most of her life with a complete “S” curve of the top and bottom portions of her spine. This caused quite a bit of pain and even one leg to be shorter than the other until God healed the leg.
7. She made me fall in love with the family reunion, her aunts and uncles, and her first cousins.
8. She was a human highlighter. She found something great in you and pointed it out to the world.
9. She ALWAYS wore shoes (even flip flops around the house). She hated the gritty feeling of anything on the bottoms of her feet.
10. She ONLY took off her glasses to sleep and shower.
11. She loved to knit especially baby blankets.
12. She didn’t like for food to touch on her plate.
13. She was phobic of bugs until God healed her of that too.
14. She was a horrible house keeper.
15. She was a wonderful home maker. #notmutuallyexclusive
16. She was ridiculously smart.
17. She was a dicta-saura-pedia. Before Google… you called Marilyn. She knew spellings, definitions, alternates, or origins of almost any word.
18. She was married before she married Daddy.
19. She thought her children were amazing.
20. She once made a soft “ball” made out of and old towel and stuffing for me to get better hand eye coordination, but wanted it to be soft when it hit me.
21. She tried everything in her power to help my middle brother navigate the world with Dyslexia.
22. She propped up every swollen bug bite, doctored every itchy ringworm, and cared for the tick bite surgery that my baby brother had due to his fair skin.
23. She proofread numerous papers or letters before and after spell check.
24. A gunman shot 20 people and killed 14 on her 40th birthday in a local post office.
25. She had nicknames for all of her kids. #wouldntyouliketoknow
26. She never had pierced ears.
27. She wore lots of hats and looked so very southern in them it was breathtaking.
28. She loved my Daddy with every breath.
29. She was a prolific writer.
30. She would have never had the guts to get anything published.
31. She loved people really well.
32. She was your biggest fan.
34. She didn’t love any of us more than the other. She loved us differently.
34. She loved her sister and brother with her whole heart.
35. She was a practiced forgiver.
36. She graduated with an English major from Central State College (now UCO).
37. She started some grad work before quitting to homeschool my middle brother and eventually the rest of us.
38. She was a certified Alphabetic Phonics therapist helping people learn how to read or read better. Outside of family, she taught the intellectually disabled and illiterate graduates/dropouts.
39. She worked with a group of young women struggling with multiple forms of addiction through a program called Celebrate Recovery.
40. In her younger years, she learned American Sign Language and became an interpreter for the deaf in her church.
41. I never new her without grey/silver/white hair. She got her first one a week before her 18th birthday.
42. She hated getting a wet plate or dirty silverware at a dining establishment.
43. She LOVED to read.
44. She constantly told others that one of my brothers and one of my cousins were pretty enough to be girls.
45. Her closet consisted of primarily red, black, and blue.
46. She read books to us before she let us watch the movie.
47. She always wore a daring lip color. We even had to have the mortuary artist add more lipstick to make it look more like her. (I think I’m going to wear red lipstick on her birthday this year in tribute.)
48. She took us to the library a lot as kids.
49. She paid lot of library fees.
50. She was ALWAYS honest. Sometimes she left out details or focused on another truth, but she despised lying.
51. She taught us to be smart not scared.
52. She never served us kids spaghetti sauce from a can or a hamburger mix from a box although she was known to do amazing things with ground beef.
53. She loved to watch It’s a Wonderful life and White Christmas at Christmas time.
54. She LOVED Christmas.
55. Glass ornaments were her favorite especially at Hobby Lobby in July.
56. She was so proud of each of her grandkids, and she still would be.
57. She was prideful of her southern Mississippi upbringing.
58. She smoked in college.
59. She loved to doodle while taking notes. She was an amateur artist.
60. She collected blue glassware… and red glassware… and green glassware… and brown glassware… and milk glass… and pewter… and swans… and tea pots… and blue and white prints… and antiques… and christmas ornaments… #housekeepingwashard
61. She barely knew how to fix her own hair. She never taught me how to fix mine.
62. She was defiant little girl, and never liked to be told what to do.
63. She loved to work in her gardens.
64. She HATED to be hot.
65. She made some of the best pizza.
66. She created the family unity between my brothers and I.
67. She found her best friend of 51 years at age 11 down the street from her Granny’s house.
68. She spent a lot of time self preserving in middle school and high school.
69. She blossomed in college though she would probably say she could have used some wise counsel.
70. She loved Jesus with EVERYTHING!
Happy birthday, Mama! <3