My mother gave birth to me late in life. She was 40 and my father was 50. While I am eternally grateful that they had me at all, a great sadness in my life is how soon they had to leave it. I miss my parents. I did get to enjoy my Mother’s wit and wisdom much longer than my Dad’s, since he passed away in 1987. But my Mother passed away only three years ago (2009) and thoughts of her keep her close.
She was born in north Alberta on the fourth of July in the 20’s. Hard times but she was luckily born to my grandmother! An amazing woman. My mom’s father had a brilliant sense of humor that my mom and all his children inherited. He was born in the United States and although he stayed in Canada for the rest of his life, three of his kids moved to the US. I have fond memories of childhood vacations to relatives during Independence Day, hearing my mother’s predictable joke that “these banners and flags and parades are great but you didn’t have to go to all this trouble for my birthday.” Ah yes. My mother. Never missed an opportunity to share her wit and sarcasm.
Her incredible skill with cribbage had her winning most tournaments that she entered. Her talent with items like a pot roast and a few potatoes and carrots, always turned it into a gourmet meal with melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and lovely depths of flavor. Her natural manner with people who came into her diner made it a very popular destination, especially for truckers which she (rightly so) took as a great compliment. Her gift with butter-tarts, transforming mere pastry and raisins into a mouth-watering and family-famous treat, is legendary.
She would have been proud to see how my family flew Canadian Flags in our windows and yards from the 29th of June until yesterday the 3rd of July, in celebration of Canada. And today, on her birthday, I celebrate my friends and relatives in the US by replacing the Canada Day flags with American flags. Happy Fourth of July, and Happy Birthday to my late mom. A big chunk of my heart is in the United States of America. So on this Fourth of July, I celebrate the fact that we are more than neighbors. We share a continent and we are kin. Let’s continue to work together and help make this world better than ever! Today, in my late mother’s honour on her birthday, and for her American-born father (my beloved grandfather!) and for all my friends and relatives south of the border, Happy Fourth! God Bless America. God Bless the World!