Today’s the birthday of a very special woman in my life. I call her Mom.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that I owe Mom for whatever sense I may have for the importance of ethics, morality and social justice. I don’t know if it was learned or simply inherited, but I’m pretty sure it comes from her — and I’m pretty sure Dad would agree and not be insulted by that assessment.
The same goes for spirituality and religion; though we’ve had some divergent views, I take such matters to heart, and I credit Mom for that.
However, it’s only recently that I realized another maternal legacy which is perhaps even more central in terms of who I am and my sense of self-identity.
It was at a recent social hour sponsored by my office here at the University. I was showing off a calendar Mom had made to a co-worker from the library. She was quite impressed and exclaimed, “So now we know where you get your creativity!”
And it dawned on me that she was absolutely correct. I’ve always felt a strong urge to create, to make things, to express myself, to communicate. It’s one of the driving forces of my life, even though it is often frustrated or sublimated or corrupted or diverted in various ways. Now that I’ve been given pause to reflect on it, I recognize the same impetus at work in Mom’s life. She takes photos and makes calendars and greeting cards and a host of other projects large and small.
So there you have it. Almost everything I am I owe to my mother.
Happy birthday, Mom!