For My Mother, on Her 70th Birthday

Thank you for teaching me you can do anything in the world from driving cross country to getting an amazing cultural education to going to the second most expensive college in the country without having any real money at all.

Thank you for reading all of the books I read so we could talk about them later.

Thank you for not having a television for almost my entire childhood and when we finally got one thank you for making me keep it in my room.

Thank you for introducing me to people of every racial group, size, color, shape, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation even though we lived in the west end.

Thank you for pursuing your art and being a small business owner in the face of everything, against all odds, and doing it with your whole entire heart.

Thank you for marrying such interesting, wonderful men.

Thank you for not marrying some of those other…

Thank you for being unapologetically, colorfully, unabashedly yourself and encouraging me to do the same.

Thank you for being a kick-ass grandma to my son. Thank you for teaching him how to play baseball, being a goat in his You-tube video, allowing him to do art projects that took over your entire house and for the millions of hours you put into all of those amazing piñatas.

Thank you for being the nexus, the matriarch, the glue, the gatherer, the party-thrower, the piñata maker, the organizer, the heart of our extended X Y Z family gatherings.

Thank you for loving and caring for animals as passionately as you do people. 

Thank you for being such a good friend to my father and his wife so that our family events are peaceful and loving and warm. Thank you for doing all of that work on yourself so the best parts of it could rub off on me.

Thank you for teaching me about Judaism, New Ageism, Judah, Jonah and the 12 steps: or, what you call our real family religion.

Thank you for never giving up on me even when I was rebellious, belligerent, wild, ungrateful, lost, angry and liked to repeat: “I won’t learn from your mistakes, I will learn from my own!”

Thank you for telling me to stop listening to that “victim music” and providing me with strong, empowered female vocalists to cry along to instead.

Thank you for telling me my body is not a thank you note.

Thank you for telling me the real journeys are inside of me.

Thank you for always, always, no matter what I've done, welcoming me home.

Valley HaggardComment