My Mom was born in 1932.
Which seems an impossibly long time ago,
A time when people existed in black and white,
A time as different as 1960 must seem to my own daughter.

I think the word that best describes my mom is vivacious.
She was full of life, warm and enthusiastic.
She could walk into a room full of strangers and leave with a dozen new friends.
To an introvert like me, that seemed like magic.
I always wondered how she did that trick.

When I was a boy, she found a kindred spirit in me,
We shared a passion for the arts.
She introduced me to many of the things I love most in life.
She read poems and stories to me.
She took me to see my first movie and my first play.
She took me to my first museum.
She bought me my first record player and my first album.
These gifts were, quite literally, life changing.
I assumed all mothers did these things for their children.

As time went by,
I developed my own style.
That’s a nice way of saying I was not an easy child to raise.
I had a tendency to question everything.
My favorite word was Why.
And I had to do everything my way.
I wonder where I got that from.

Whenever she did something of which I didn’t approve,
I always let her know.
Because I’m helpful like that.
And she never held back when she thought I was behaving foolishly.
So we had a lot to talk about.

Over the years, we learned to appreciate our differences.
We had many joyful reunions,
Which generally lasted about 24 hours.
The joyful part, I mean.
What followed was usually an epic battle,
About something utterly trivial.

But the anger never lasted long.
Because no matter how much we disagreed,
We always loved each other more.
And we shared something special:
We were always authentically ourselves with each other.
There was nothing to hide.

Despite all our differences, we were more alike than either of us would ever admit.