Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom at Lakeview Park, 1947
As I was wondering what I could possibly write about Labor Day, I suddenly realized that today is also my mother’s 90th birthday.

While many people my age are only able to wish their mother a Happy Birthday in Heaven, I’m very lucky. Mom is still with us, doing pretty well and living in her house. She’s one of her neighborhood's few remaining pioneers now.

I quote her on the blog fairly often, as she still has a razor-sharp mind about Lorain in the old days.

Mom is genuinely surprised that she has made it to 90. Her mother and father passed away fairly young (70 and 65, respectively), so she’s now lived longer than anyone else in our family tree. (I hope she is ushering in a new era of longevity in the Brady family.)

She often wonders why she has lived so long. But I remind her that it’s not that surprising. She takes good care of herself, and does everything in moderation – something she’s long advocated to my siblings and me.
Mom’s had a good life. But it was a tough one growing up. She was raised in the 1930s during the Depression and her family never seemed to have much money. Her father wasn’t too thrilled to have two girls, either.

But she has plenty of good memories. Her parents were both from Michigan, which meant many trips back to Manistee and Ann Arbor to visit relatives. And despite the money woes, her parents still were able to afford tap dancing lessons for Mom and her sister. Mom had a great singing voice too, and sang the lead in the Irving Junior High School operetta one year.

However, she never had the opportunity to go to college, which I think she regrets. Like many other girls in her Lorain High School class, she went right to work after graduation as a secretary. She worked until she married Dad and started a family.

Unlike now, when child daycare is common and necessary, most mothers stayed home back then and raised their children. Mom has always said it was hard raising four children, especially with three of us (my brothers and I) all in diapers at the same time. But she instilled in us the values needed to have a good, productive and happy life.

Once we were all in school for the whole day, she went back to work as a Kelly Girl to make money to help put us through college. Eventually Mom and Dad became empty-nesters, in-laws and finally, grandparents. After Dad passed away, Mom soldiered on, learning how to be a widow and handle all her own affairs.

Today, Mom takes it easy, devouring the books about history that I bring her from the library, and enjoying her shows on TV.

Anyway, Mom pretty much made me into who I am today – and for that I am grateful. Thanks, Mom, for fifty-eight years of unconditional love and support. Happy Birthday!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mrs.Brady!
Rae

Matt Weisman said...

Dan, what a wonderful story you told about your mother. Reminded me of my own mother. She grew up much the same way. The Depression also made a big impact on her life. She could squeeze a penny till it cried. Wonderful wedding picture of your parents. Now we all know where you got your good looks.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks, Rae and Matt!

Anonymous said...

Dan , tell Mom Happy Birthday, my Father just turned 90 in July , so we are still blessed to still have a parent

Anonymous said...

Dan, you really look a LOT like your Dad! God bless you and your entire family. Belated Happy Birthday to your dear Mom.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for the kind words and continued birthday wishes – they are much appreciated.