Here’s why I’m grateful for my mom:
- She always taught me to put myself in the other person’s shoes. It’s easy to be selfish and not look at things from another’s perspective. It’s harder to look at the bigger picture, but usually, that brings greater understanding and harmony in the long run.
- She always taught me to make messes on the kitchen counter right next to the sink so that they’d be easy to sweep down into the disposal really fast. This must be where I got my inner drive to always look for a more efficient and simple solution to an everyday problem. I’m sure this also contributed to my slightly obsessive neat freak tendencies.
- She always taught me to speak up. Even if what I had to say was difficult, she said if I could do it politely and calmly, I’d be able to get my point across. I teach my own girls this. Together, we take joy in the triumphs they achieve, making their voices heard and effecting change.
- She always takes great care of my dad. She showed me that by putting her husband first, he would always do the same for her. Granted, this doesn’t always work, and certainly, there are plenty of divorces to prove it, but I like to think my mom chose wisely to begin with (57 years ago!) and then kept her marriage happy (my dad smiles a lot) with her giving manner. I know I chose well too, therefore I do the same in my marriage. The rewards are never ending.
- She always taught me to be prepared. There was never a family outing that, before leaving, we didn’t hear her yell out, “Did everyone make their final pee?” She liked to plan ahead for any possible mishaps and head them off wherever possible. I love doing that too. There’s enough drama in life already, so if I can avoid some by simply planning ahead, yea for me.
- She always spends her money wisely. She has cut coupons with a very long scissors at the dining room table with her Sunday coffee ever since I can remember. Before that, it was saving ‘Green Stamps‘ and redeeming the filled books for merchandise. The hours of pasting, the weeks of saving up, made the stuff we earned even more meaningful. Today, I love a bargain, a great sale, and good value for my money. I won’t buy “stuff” without good reason or at a fair price.
- She always played piano, sang, tap danced, and together with my dad, gave me the performer gene. I grew up listening to, and performing music. Lots of it. It’s what makes me happiest, and my daughters have all inherited this joyous gift. I love listening to them sing.
- She always takes great care of herself. And her kids. Routinely scheduled trips to the dentist and pediatrician like clockwork when we were little. Home cooked, healthy meals and exercise. At 80 years young today, my mom is one of the oldest regulars at her gym. She works out a few times a week in a pretty strenuous exercise class (I’ve taken it, and most of the gals in it are half her age and younger). She looks remarkably cute in her tights and leotard. Her legs are still terrific.
Good health and well being can never be underestimated.
I’m so very grateful that my mom set a wonderful example for me by taking care of herself, and showing me that growing older can be done gracefully, as long as you take care of yourself. I hope to be dancing in her footsteps as long as I can….
Click the play button below to hear a little song my brother, Lucas Richman, wrote last March in honor of her 80th birthday. It celebrates her lively activities and youthful spirit. Lucas is the Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, TN. This summer Lucas conducts an enormous orchestra in the dazzling Star Wars In Concert Tour, select cities.
CLICK TO PLAY: Doin’ the Birthday Bop
DOIN’ THE BIRTHDAY BOP
Music and Lyrics by Lucas Richman
SWING IT ‘CAUSE YOU’RE EIGHTY
SHAKE YOUR LITTLE TORSO
THEN MOVE IT EVEN MORE SO
KICK YOUR FEET UP HIGHER
‘CAUSE THE FLOOR IS ON FIRE
FROM ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR
FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT
DECADES OF DOING THE BIRTHDAY BOP!
THE JUMPIN’ AND THE JIVIN’
WILL KEEP YOUR HEART SURVIVIN’
ALWAYS STAY IN MOTION
GIVE DANCING YOUR DEVOTION
TWIST UNTIL YOU’RE TURNIN’
FEEL THE CALORIES BURNIN’
AND YOU CAN BET THAT NEXT YEAR YOU’LL BE
SINGIN’ AND DOING THE BIRTHDAY BOP!
AS A CHILD YOU HOPPED THE LINDY
AS A TEEN YOU SHAGGED TO SWING
AS A WIFE YOU KEPT YOUR INDEPENDENCE
WHEN AEROBICS BECAME YOUR THING!
EASY THOUGH IT MAY BE
TO CURL UP LIKE A BABY
DON’T ALLOW THE COUCH TO
POTATO-IZE AND SLOUCH YOU.
APATHY WOULD INJURE
EVEN FRED AND HIS GINGER
SO DANCE, KICK, TWIST, SHAKE, HOP, SWING, JUMP
JIVE TO STAY ALIVE
JUST DANCE ACROSS THE YEARS AND NEVER STOP—
DON’T STOP DOING THE BIRTHDAY,
Copyright © 2010 LeDor Publishing