Daily Archives: December 13, 2009

My Mom Was a Cheerleader

Happy 70th Birthday Barbara Ruth!!!

Mom, actually.   But aside from the 8 children she bore, the rest of the world knows her as Barb, or Bonnie.  And some may not even know that story…. let me share.   Mom may argue with me, but that’s okay.   She won’t read my blog unless one of you call her and tell her to get on here.  Which would be great if she did.  Anyway… Grandma and Grandpa were busy having kids and when Grandma was pregnant for mom the oldest child, Patricia, was asked what she wanted to call the baby.   She wanted to call her Bonnie, after Bonnie Blue from Gone With the Wind.  So they named her Barbara so they could call her Bonnie.  So everyone called her Bonnie.  Until she grew up, and wanted a different name,  her given name.  So she goes by Barb, or Barbara, except for everyone in her life who already knew her as Bonnie.

So there’s a little background on mom.  AKA Bonnie, Barb, etc…

But like most people in regards to their parents, I only saw her as my mom.  In all fairness to me, that is her role in my life.  But in all fairness to her, she is much more than just my mom.  I say “just” not to minimize that role, but to maximize who she is.  She is mom.  She is daughter.  She is sister.  She is aunt.  She is wife.  She is friend.   And something I learned this past summer courtesy of my aunt and uncle I discovered my mom was a cheerleader.

GASP!  Why did this shock me?  It was a fun shock.  A happy shock.  AC even copied a picture of mom and AC on their 8th grade cheer leading squad.  Magnificent!  Mom in her youth, with other youths, having a moment captured.  A moment I was thrilled to see.  And imagine.  I know a lot about my mom, as my mom.  But I really want to know my mom the child.  The cheer leader.  The student.  The girl with a crush.  The girl with eleven siblings.  The young woman with her first born, Patrick, in her first home.  I know I can’t really know her then.   But I want to know as much as I can.

There is a part of me that really desires to know the past as it was.  As it was before me.  The lives that touch me now were so full long before I came along.  I want to know these things.  I still try to capture moments of my dad’s life.  To see him as a child, with his siblings, with his parents, in his school days.   But with him passing, I lost the opportunity to find out more from him, about him.  It saddens me that I didn’t ask him more.  But it taught me to ask now when I am curious.   So today we are having lunch with mom to celebrate her 70th.  I’ll ask questions.  I want stories.

Seventy.  Seventy years ago today she was placed in the arms of her parents.  Seventy years ago my mom was a baby.   She had little people siblings waiting to see her and touch her.  She was a baby that was anticipated.  And she in turn anticipated the birth of many siblings after her.  She lived in a house full of parents, siblings and grandparents.  She lived through grade school, high school, wars, marriage, children, working, retiring.  She has suffered the loss of her parents, two of her beloved siblings.   She has celebrated the growth of her family through her children, their children, and now their children.  Seventy years of living!  I hope she, and everyone who loves her, takes a moment to think of a joy shared with her during that seventy years.

Happy Birthday Barbara Ruth!

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