Last week, on the first of May, I shared a little of my family with you because that day was the anniversary of my Granny Cummins’ birth.
The truth is, the first half of the month of May has always been a special time in my family, especially for my mom and me. May 10th is my birthday, and May 13th was my mom’s birthday. Since May 10, 1953 was Mother’s Day and I am the eldest in my family, I’ve always liked to say…
“I made my mother a mother on Mother’s Day, three days before my mother’s birthday!”
It’s a mouthful, and it’s fun to watch the expressions on people’s faces when I say it!
Even more fun is knowing that there were 3 Willena’s in the delivery room that day. My mom was Willena May, I am Willena Rose, and the delivery room nurse was named Willena! I had to wait 52 years before I met another Willena who wasn’t my mom or my daughter (Willena Irene) — and even then, she was an online friend. I’ve never met another in real life.
It used to bother Mom if we tried to combine her birthday with Mother’s Day. I’ll never forget her 34th birthday, when I had just turned 13. I got her a birthday cake and a few small gifts, and gave them to her at supper time. She was not a demonstrative person, but there were tears in her eyes when she thanked me. She told me that was only the second time in her life she’d been given a birthday cake!
After I moved to Alberta, I didn’t get to see my mother very often… only twice in the past 18 years. She lived near Toronto Ontario, and I live near Edmonton Alberta. Both in Canada, but over 2000 miles apart. Since all four of my siblings also live in the Toronto area, I am very grateful for Facebook and Skype as a way of keeping in touch with everyone. I am so grateful that I was able to see Mom last October, five weeks before she passed away.
We moved around a lot when I was growing up… once every school year for about ten years. Always in the same town, but it meant switching back and forth between schools. I spent time in three different elementary schools before finally joining everyone in the high school. I was only 7 when my father died. I grew up feeling as if I didn’t have any roots. It wasn’t till I was a young adult that I realized my home town WAS my home… my roots. My grandmother was born there and lived her entire 88 years there. My father grew up there and returned after the war. My mother moved there when she was 15. It was a small town of 3000 when I was born, and was still only 15,000 when I was grown. My sister and youngest brother STILL lives there today. I have lived in Alberta since 1978, but I will always think of that town in southern Ontario as my home.
This is a picture of my mom, 6 years ago, holding her youngest granddaughter, Jaiyana Elabd.
Today is Mother’s Day and my 62nd birthday… my first without my mom. Mother’s Day will never be the same again, and neither will my birthday. There will be no more fun phone calls… no new memories made. But I feel very blessed as I treasure the 61 years I had with my mom, and the many special memories we made at this memorable time of the year.
© Willena Flewelling