I just got off the phone with my momma, today is her 85th birthday. As I walked to the barn to turn the horses out, I thought of how proud I am of her and all the amazing things she has done in her life. She has been a wonderful role model, not just to my sister and I and her three grandchildren, but anyone who has taken the time to get to know her over the years.
Momma was a stay at home mom, a housewife, homemaker...it sound's unimportant to some not having a career but Mom is amazing. She cleaned and decorated the house, mowed our huge lawn, irrigated acres with hoses and aluminum pipe and kept the flowerbeds alive in full color as well as a productive garden, which wasn't easy in the high desert. She canned fruits and vegetables and sewed, making awesome clothing for my sister and I or altering an old article giving it new life...somewhat typical homemaker tasks for the times, Wonder Women by todays standards. Minus the pipe irrigating, Mom still does this today.
In addition to her daily duties and caring for us kids, Mom made time to care for herself, alway maintaining her natural feminine beauty with a ritual of hair and skincare. She has always been a fashionista and often looks like a million bucks just to go to the grocery store...all this and so much more.
Momma molded her girls to be feminine yet tough. A friendly but competitive baseball game was never off the table. She showed us that we could do anything the boys could do, often better, just don't brag about it. Mom is so talented at so many things. I'm blessed to be her daughter. I have seen her get a fishhook caught in her hand then grit her teeth and push it on through to get it out. Then she dressed the wound and continued fishing. She rode and competed on horses and motorcycles, having some of the most epic falls and crashes but always getting back on. She can shoot a rifle with accuracy with the best of them, something she learned from my Dad. She taught me to track a wounded deer and elk. She has quartered elk and skinned more deer than I can count. She's a talented artist, having painted some beautiful landscape and animal portraits on commission. She sings like a songbird having taught me three part harmony when I was young. She played lead guitar and sang in our family band.
My mom still hunts today, having harvested her deer this year. She hikes as much as her asthma allows but always enjoys getting out there in the wilderness to appreciate God's creations. I know I'm missing other amazing things she has done in her 85 years, in addition to being the greatest grandma, Mom has molded me into the person I am today. Thank you Momma, I love who I am because of you. I love to laugh with you and be silly with you and explore with you but most of all thank you for being a perfect Mother who allowed us to make choices and mistake along our journey and for always being there when we did.
I love you Momma. Happy 85th Birthday. It's been said "Your Mom is freaking amazing. " And I have to agree.
Love, your youngest and most attractive, but not the smarted, daughter. (wink, wink).
Sherrie Gant is a writer, photographer, and