As a little girl, my mother would hide behind the living room curtains, before flinging herself through them, starting a show for an imaginary audience. She could twirl at the top of her tippy toes, an untrained ballerina. After an episode of Dancing with the Stars, my mother reenacted this scene, as she told me the story. I imagined she looked the same then as she did now, childlike and free.
My mother has lived in four different states, all different regions of the country. At the young age of 21, she left her home in East Detroit and set out for New York City. While there she met my dad, a born New Yorker. He recently told me a story how when he first met her, he took her to buy gloves as she didn’t own any herself. I’m sure my mother has an explanation about why a girl who lived in Michigan all her life, didn’t have gloves in New York, but either way, it makes me laugh.
She was an extra on a few television shows, one in particular was Cheers. When Kirstie Alley was on Dancing with the Stars, the episode my mother was in, was aired in her montage of work. I’ve been an extra multiple times and the most you have seen me in anything, is the side of my hair. Yet my mother is sitting at a bar table, in a red skirt suit, clear as day, reaction shot and everything.
She married my dad in New York, living there for a total of five years, before the two of them were boarding a one-way flight to Los Angeles. It wasn’t long before she was pregnant with me. With gorgeous weather on the West Coast, they took me everywhere. I was even given a shoutout, when my mom competed on Wheel of Fortune. Yes, besides being on TV shows, my mom was also a contestant on numerous game shows. I learned this in middle school before I watched the VHS tape recording, realizing a lot of what we had owned, were prizes she won. When she won the car at the end, she jumped up and down, her voluminous, long hair leftover from the 80s bouncing with her. After nearly four years of living in L.A, with my sister on the way, they decided to move back to East Detroit, raising their children near family.
In Detroit, my mother went back to school, earning a college degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. She simultaneously sold real estate and studied acting and improv. At the age of 9, I remember sitting in the corner of the basement, watching my mom interact with her cool classmates. That moment is when Party Quirks became my favorite improv game. My high school Drama class can vouch for that.
After 11 years in Michigan, we were packing up our home into a large truck for the sunshine state, and we’ve been in Orlando ever since. She was a great teacher in Detroit and Orlando. More than that, she was a caretaker. Numerous times, she collected school supplies, clothes, and gifts for some of her less fortunate students.
And she’s done all this while staying fit and active. One of my first memories is sitting next to my sister in a cart, connected to my mom’s bike. We felt like we were flying as she pulled us around, our helmets continuously tapping on our tiny heads. We also found ways to entertain ourselves in the Wimbledon arena on 9 mile, while my mom played tennis.
Not to toot my own horn but, she does have three beautiful daughters. All of whom are smart, funny, and single. We have her to thank for our long legs.
She is the creator of the word, “doy hoy,” abbreviation, “doy,” and is the only reason the word, “loo loo,” is still used. I hope I haven’t offended anyone by using those terms. She’s had the courage to leave everything she’s ever known, more than once. Besides living in different states, my mom has visited many places, most recent was the Grand Canyon. Most importantly, she has remembered the importance of making time to have fun.
With all the accomplishments my mom already has, there are many more ahead of her. She has yet to be the mother of the bride or become a grandma. Two roles, I know she is excited to fill. She plans on getting a passport soon, with a few countries as destinations in mind. The possibilities for my mother continue to be endless.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.
Comment below to wish my mom a Happy Birthday too!