Happy Birthday Yet Again, Mom!

It’s that day of the year again. Today is my very dear and very deceased mother’s birthday.  She would have been 58 years old.  My mother died 18 years ago, at age 40, from metastasized breast cancer.  The closer I get to the big 4-0, the more I realize how tragically young 40 really is.  But this is not supposed to be a sad post.  It’s supposed to be a happy birthday post celebrating a woman who made me who I am today.  My mother was creative, strong, hard working, and driven to push past hardship.  She worked almost 50 hours a week to provide a humble life for her and I.  She found time to instill in me a love and appreciation of the handmade.  Something not everyone “gets.”  She was a seamstress, an avid gardener, a maker of many crafty things, and a lover of animals.  She had a sense of humor too and could laugh at herself.  (We would have a lot in common.)


One thing that my mother absolutely loved was springtime.  She longed for it.  Preparing through the months of Febrary and March by starting seeds, placing orders, and making plans.  She had two gorgeous perennial gardens called “The Shady Side” and “The Sunny Side.”  When those first tell-tale harbingers would poke their little green shoots up through the half frozen ground, my mother would light up like a kid in a candy store.   She taught me quite a bit about gardening and together we shared this passion.  Over time, she had built up quite a rich soil. Once when digging around, I found a foot long earthworm!  I still have most of her perennials in my own gardens today.  (I have moved them twice!)

My art often takes shape around an empty, mother-less place in my heart.  I think I’m convinced that by making much of the art that I do, I’m creating beauty from a nasty-ass wound.  “Fixing it” maybe.  So this little poem and art book is something I made in honor of my mother’s love of spring, which I also share.  I made this several months back using one paper grocery bag, acrylic paint, and china markers, a.k.a. wax pencils.  Honestly, the snowbanks are starting to make me squirrely.  We’re rounding the home stretch, almost, but it seriously can’t come soon enough. I want to play in the dirt, divide my day lily tubers, weed, and watch the first bugs.  I want to feel the sun and a bit of warmth outdoors.  Thanks for this love mom.  And Happy 58th Birthday!




















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  1. I love it Mandy! What a cool way to give tribute to your mom. I would like to see it as a book (the front of it.) always like seeing your creations!

  2. I love that you still have her garden perennials.

  3. Me too! I will always have her plants wherever I live. It’s a way of keeping her alive I spose!

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