A Tribute to Mom

A Tribute to Mom

By Wendy O. Dixon, Editor

Let me tell you about my mom, Elaine Giddens.

When I was 5 years old, I remember watching my mom put rollers in her hair every Saturday night (remember those dreadfully uncomfortable ones women had to sleep in back then?) and put on her dress for church on Sunday mornings. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

I insisted on rollers for my hair, too, just to look like her. She happily obliged. She sewed matching Easter dresses for herself, my sister, Candy, and me. She made us birthday cakes that looked like Raggedy Ann, Snow White and Barbie. Her frosting was the absolute best.

Later, as Candy and I became teenagers, she was the cool mom all our friends loved. In fact, everyone loved her. She was the bubbly, sparkling center of attention that I sometimes envied. I never figured out how she could be so nice to people I thought were not worth being nice to. She put up with snobby customers in retail or know-it-all clients in advertising, and she did it all with a smile. Still does.

When my first son, John Patrick, was born, I was tired, grumpy and scared. After a 24-hour labor that resulted in a Caesarean section, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I wanted my mom, and she was there.

Coming home with a perfectly healthy newborn, my husband, Sean, and I were as unsure as most new parents were and had a fear of the worst on our minds. Wanting to make sure the baby didn’t die in his sleep, Sean and I took shifts to watch his little chest rise and fall, just to be safe. Mom could have, at several times, noted how silly we were being. But she didn’t.

Now, I’m not the kind of girl who skips a meal or forgets to eat. But this was the one time in my life I would have forgotten to eat if Mom had not fixed meals for me and reminded me it was dinnertime. She was in tune with my needs and met them without being asked. A mother just knows, thank God, what her children need, even when they’re adults.

She did the laundry. She cleaned the house. And she let me take naps while she enjoyed the baby.

After spending a week taking care of our family, she had to leave. I cried when she left. But she is a phone call away, and we are blessed to live within a few hours’ drive.

Mom, Candy and I were in a mother-and-daughter fashion show recently, and I think Candy and I were as happy to show her off as she was us.

I didn’t understand how she could be so nice to everyone, or how she had the intuition to fulfill her kids’ needs, but now I do. Because that’s what a mother does.

She’s still vibrant and healthy now. But as she gets older, I plan to meet her needs and let her know she did all right by us.

I love you, Mom.