Today is my Mom’s birthday. Most of you feel like you know my Mom through my blog posts (I have tried to give her a break lately and not publish every funny little thing she says). She has a great sense of humor about being written about and so far hasn’t written me out of her will for it (this is something she likes to threaten us with if we don’t do what she wants lol).
Today I would like to share a little more about my Mom (she is having heart failure right now reading this).
My parents divorced when I was 9 years old. It was best for her to be near her family so we moved from Tennessee to Oklahoma. My Dad only had custody of us for one week at Christmas and a month in the summer due to the distance.
Child support payments were not what they are today, so my Mom had to work her butt off to keep us afloat. My grandfather had purchased a restaurant and the manager was retiring. He asked my Mom to manage it for him. It was a good paycheck but very long, hard hours. Sometimes 14-16 hours a day, in a hot kitchen (we would put thermometers out in the summer to discover it would get to around 113 degrees in there), on concrete floors, working alongside some of the craziest people you could ever imagine. She did all of this for me and my sister.
She sacrificed her personal life. She didn’t have time to date or go to movies or just hang out with her friends. The restaurant was open 7 days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. No day off for her at all. No hair appointments, doctor appointments or calling in sick. Basically, her life sucked.
When we got old enough (roughly around age 12), my sister and I worked alongside her. Not the same hours of course, because we had to go to school during the day. It was then I really got to see just how much work my Mom had to do. We worked with my Mom until it was decided to sell the restaurant when I was 24 years old.
It was a tough decision. I wanted to keep it. I was about to graduate from college and would be able to spend more time there helping Mom out. But Mom wouldn’t have it. She didn’t want the same life for me that she had had for so many years. I had a college degree and could have so much more of a life than dealing with a restaurant. So it was sold. At the time it truly broke my heart. I grew up in that place and had so many memories. I didn’t want to let go, but I had no other choice. Where would a 24-year-old kid get the money to buy a restaurant?
I have never admitted this to my Mom, but I am glad she made me give it up. It was a hard life. I had never gone to a school dance, never had weekends off and I was able to attend only one high school football game (I think it was because it was on a Thursday night for some reason). My life is so much easier now, with weekends and holidays off. More time to spend with family and friends…to actually enjoy myself. So, thank you, Mom.
She is the best Mom and especially the best Grandma to my niece and nephew. She spoils them with clothes and toys all the time. I am not sure they are fully aware of all the sacrifices Grandma made for all of us, but hopefully sometime I can sit them down and tell them when I know they will be able to understand it.
Happy Birthday to the best Mom ever! We love you and won’t ever forget all you sacrificed for us to have a better life.
Chanin and Brennen