Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

Wanted to take a brief break from my ranting to wish my mother, Ramona Corey, a very happy birthday.

(That's Beatrice Straight above, who here looks a lot like Mom.)

Mom's quite passionate about a variety of things. I recall her intense enthusiasm when I played baseball as a kid (and for all sports, esp Indy racing), her love of Motown and Broadway tunes (my first exposure to both -- I was probably one of the few straight boys in central Indiana who liked Barbra Streisand, who Mom played often and loud), and her laughter. When I was much younger, I remember the parties my parents threw, and I could tell from my bedroom that Mom was the center of the action. She would get all dressed up for these gatherings, made sure that the music rocked (pop and soul 45s stacked high), and punctuated each burst of laughter with a theatrical drag from her cigarette, which was usually in a holder (she's long since become a militant anti-smoker). I always loved my Mom's playful, theatrical side, and suspect that's where I get mine. I also suspect that I got my writing bug from her, since Mom loves to write and read. So thank you for that, Mom, though I'm sure there are many out there who wish I'd caught a different bug.

A magical memory I have from one of my Mom's birthdays happened on this day in 1969. Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had landed on the moon, and there was a lag as they prepped to take their historic lunar walk. It was late, I was nine, and we were at Mom's parents' house where I slept in a back bedroom. Then, in the dark, I was awoken and told to come to the TV room. I was barely conscious as I watched the grainy black and white image from the moon's surface as Armstrong stepped onto it. Everyone in the room was hushed but excited. It all seemed so dreamlike, but I recall Mom smiling at me and saying that I'd remember this moment for the rest of my life. And I have.

So happy birthday Mom! Stay passionate, and know that I love you.