If any of you have had the pleasure of meeting and giggling with my soft-spoken, amiable mother, consider yourself lucky. She probably made you feel like a million bucks, calmed you if you were fretting, and made you view the world in a hue you had never seen before. These traits are powerful and I am so fortunate to say that these traits are ravishing Rosemary. I am proud to say I am Rosemary’s only daughter (insert “only” for “grand” in the lyrics for this song.
palm trees (half her wardrobe and jewelry collection is palm tree themed). When I see jewelry, I think of her because she “treats” herself to jewelery shopping sprees often and her accessories always match her outfit in theme. When I see gelato, I think of her because we softly swallowed some of the best gelato in Italy together (she actually took the picture of me eating gelato in this blog’s header-top right of this page). Phil Wickham may sing this song, but today, I am singing to my mom.
As the young bella, I hated salads and as Italians, we ate our salads last. I was an aspiring pageant contestant (yes, I did do beauty pageants, but my mom was a realistic and supportive mother, not a typical pageant mom) who just wanted to grow up and be stunning like Miss America. Noticing my disdain for vegetables, usual good parenting struck my mom with the sagacious sentence, “Now Jessie, if you want to grow up and be Miss America, you have to eat salads because salads make girls more gorgeous.” GAME CHANGER. I never not finished my salad bowl from that point on. And I have my mother to thank for my affinity for salads and her amazing good looks because I saw that she was beautiful and I wanted to be as pretty as her.
Both my parents have brown hair and blue eyes, thus, I am their hybrid human. Thank you, Mom for a debatable half of my appearance (people say I look like both equally and also one more so than the other). I love when people tell me I look like my mother. It never gets old.
I think I get my social butterflyness from that Godsend, Rosemary. She has been a religious education teacher for years, a ballroom dancer with my dad weekly, involved in an acting troupe called “Women of the Bible,” an avid seamstress, a ball room dancer,
a movie junkie, and caregiver to my grandmother, not to mention one heck of a sister, mother, and friend to us fortunate folks. My mom who wasnt an athlete herself, was my biggest female fan (my dad was the male) and attended all my games. She felt so bad if she had to work late and missed some of it. She took the time and effort into learning the field hockey, basketball and lacrosse jargon from the stands too.
We also relished the arts together as I was a dancer for years (and so she was in her youth) and we also shared a passion for Musicals. I do remember having my mom drive my dance class friends and I around in the car and my mother, who wasnt even the lean, mean, ball room dancing machine partner she is now, happily pelting out the lyrics simultaneously as me to a song that perfectly describes her love for me today, “I Hope You Dance.” Lee Ann Womack sings:
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance.”
She reads more than just adolescent books though. Novels on Italy, motherhood (she made me read Teri Hatcher’s book “Burnt Toast” so we could have mother daughter conversations about it), history, mystery, Harry Potter (of course) and romance.
And now, my mother is a GILF (figure it out). My bro and his wife are the new proud 2011 parents to a baby nugget making my mom a beaming grandmother. Now another person will enter our world she can spoil and share her reading passion with, but this time, develop that unique grandmother-granddaughter relationship with. Congrats, Mom. I hope one day I can be half the mother you were to us and create more grandchildren for you to play with.
I always chalked up my 4.2 weighted and my 3.8 unweighedt high school GPA to my mother. She would stay up late with me for moral support while so I wasn’t lonely doing my procrasinating projects. If it was artistic, she would create masterpieces on my posterboard projects. She would test me on vocabulary words and the details of famous American battles. She was a teacher, the predecessor to my college roommates who would stay up and “study” with me and my rock in just sitting next to me as I wanted to poke my eyes out with my blue paper-mate pen for not staring the assignments earlier at 10:13 p.m. on a school night.
When San Diego became a serious notion in future professional life, she was against it all along because she didn’t want to lose her baby to distance and to a staggering San Diego economy.
She even told our eye doctor when I was still interviewing, “I could live New York or Carolina, but did she have to choose the furthest point from me?” When it came down to it, she revealed she was jealous that she never had the guts to do what I was doing. Hard for a mother to say for sure.
Then, I got my offer. I was a wreck. In recent years, I have proud myself on never crying and not having real, feminine emotions. I kept crying while laying next to my mom on her gargantuan Sleep Number bed. She asked why I was crying and since I couldn’t speak because I had that pansy tearing voice, she answered her own question, “It’s because you don’t want to leave your family and friends isn’t it?” That was it- a big part of it, but not all of it. This was revolutionary for me and I was having qualms whether I was to start my revolution from that bed at that moment.
That’s when she confidently, unselfishly swooped in and saved the day and my nerves, “This is what you wanted. You have to do this or you will regret it. It is going to be great, Jess. You should and will be happy. ”
Since I was the only girl, my mom took it upon herself to act as my match. We dressed alike even up til last summer actually. And I was always happy to be her right hand man/muse in matching. Rosemary loves graphic travel tees and wears them oh so well (see picture of us in Chicago). That will never change just like my love for her. So of course on vacation I happily obliged to wear similar touristy outfits with her.
I sent her 20 Purple Irises for early Mother’s Day and also for her Wedding Anniversary on May 5th (so did my brother though we didn’t plan it). Of course it was also Cinco de Mayo and as a firm believer in themes, she sends me this picture with the caption “Omg thank you bella! They are beautiful and so are you!” Notice the Mexican throw rug/blanket she draped under the floras as she was celebrate Cinco alongside her Anniversary and Mom’s Day. Too precious this miraculous woman is.
God (and Hallmark) created Mother’s Day because your birthday was not enough of a celebration to honor her. I am so blessed to be her best friend, daughter and confidant. Thanks for making me who I am and showing me love, Mom. And thanks for your patience since one day tardy on completing this.