Today is the fourth anniversary of my mothers passing. I miss her every day. When going through some old files a few days ago, I came across this letter that I wrote for my mom for her retirement dinner, many years ago. It is not sophisticated, but it does share just a little of how I feel about her.
Lady General –
Thought a lot about what I was going to talk about tonight. It leads me to a nickname my mom has, that ties together experiences of those who have worked with her over the years and those that she raised, her family.
The nickname “General” was given to my mom. If you know my mom I do not even need to explain it to you, she is in control, running the show, leading the troops, anytime she is involved.
I joke with friends I have met over the years, especially those I have met since living away from home, those who do not know my mom. I joke that even in my forties and several hundred miles from home, she can command my attention and get me to do what she wants.
I titled this little story “Lady General” because for a while that was my mother’s AOL screen name, the one she would send me countless chain emails from, you know the kind that tells you if you do not read it and send it to 2500 of your closest friends that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow.
But I picked the title “Lady General” because despite being the General of the family, my mom was and is always a mom, always a lady. She has worked hard for a lot of years, raising four kids, while keeping all of you in line at Crozer. I said to her just yesterday, I still do not know how she raised us and worked, yet still had dinner on the table, and we all sat down and ate together, most nights. I have been a working mother for almost 20 years now, and gave up on trying to do this and just married a man who could cook and was home more than me.
Sometimes when I remember you being there, I remember you barking out orders and making sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to do (aka what you wanted them to do), that is where the general comes in. I always remember you being there, for events, for dinner, sometimes even when I didn’t want you to be there, for that, I will always see you as a Lady, a mother.