Today is her birthday.

Today is glorious.

Today is THE day to celebrate all that my Mom is. For she is everything.

She was a secretarial pioneer, back in the day of display writers and electric memory typewriters.

She made our furniture, indoor and outdoor, and upholstered and reupholstered boat chairs and daybeds and you name it.

She and my Dad moved my childhood house from across town and put it back together even better, and then built the three-car garage to hold all of their power tools.

She grew up on a farm and could both wring a chicken’s neck and cook the best biscuits and gravy anywhere, ever. Seriously. No need to even throw down a competition, because you’ll lose.

She’s taught Ladies’ Bible Class for a bazillion years (happy bazillionth birthday, by the way), been the church secretary at two churches, was my private school’s secretary AND my bus driver.

She taught me school at home during my first year of high school, because I was transitioning from private to public school and it was scary.

She sings and hums all of the time, yet still hasn’t found the bucket to carry the tunes in.

She laughs. How she laughs. From her toes, it just bubbles up and out and her face flushes and her eyes sometimes water when it’s really funny.

Sometimes she makes chicken pot pie, but forgets to put the chicken in it.

She taught me how to openly and respectfully love God, even when we lived in a Muslim country where they would have arrested us and who knows what else would have happened, but also modeled honor for a country’s customs of which we knew little.

She acted like it was no big deal, while in the Dominican Republic, she was stopped and held at machine gunpoint by a guerrilla while driving into the city with an infant and a teenager. She never showed fear, just respect and quiet confidence that everything would be ok.

She fostered many, many children over four decades of her life, and the lives she has touched and changed are TMTC (too many to count),  but all very much WORTH counting.

In addition to those hundreds of kids and her own, she has been very involved in raising her grandchildren and great-grandchild.

She loves. She loves deeply, quietly, and completely. She hurts for others, but lifts them up. No grudges, ever, just patient and hopeful.

What a woman. She is Proverbs 31.

Happy Bazillionth Birthday, Mom.