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May 11, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would've been Charlsie's 71st birthday. It's so odd to imagine Mom in her 70s... but I guess it's odd to imagine her in her 20s or 30s too. I only got to know Mom as a woman in her 40s, 50s, and 60s. Sometimes I feel cheated to have only "had her" for 30 years, but then I consider my dear friends whose time with their mothers was far shorter than that. I truly am one of the luckiest people on the planet. Not only was I born to the amazing Charlsie Gillespie, but I had her in my life for 30 years... much of that time to myself.

I never considered myself unfortunate for growing up in a single-parent household because of who that single parent was. What an amazing, beautiful, creative, brilliant, stubborn, independent woman my mother was! And though I NEVER resented hearing the words, "Bonnie, you are JUST like your mother" (a phrase that makes so many women cringe), when I get to hear my great aunt, with a catch in her throat, say to me, "Bonnie, you come from the best stuff. You are just like Charlsie was at your age," I smile through tears. Because while I didn't know Mom at 33, I have a few decades ahead of me for which I DO have a reference point for who she was.

And if I ever forget, it seems I can just look inside to be sure.

Happy Birthday, Momma.

Posted by bonnie at May 11, 2004 08:53 AM


Oh Bonnie: I am sorry for your loss.
It seems your mom gave you not only the gift of life but the gift of living.
love you kiddo,

Posted by: cindy k. at May 11, 2004 07:55 PM

I sort of remember her at 33. She had the neatest kitchen, with every modern (for 1966 anyway) appliance, and she had a pantry full of Tab. :-) I always knew I was some place special when I was in her home.

Posted by: Joni at May 12, 2004 01:33 PM

Oh sugar, I know how hard that day must have been for you. But keep remembering to cherish the years you DID have. Speaking as one of the friends who had less time with their moms (all of 2 years, 361 days for me with mine), you are so eternally lucky. I too have been compared to my mom, but considering the person who always said it always said it as an insult, it was hard to be proud of it. Having now been the age she was at as one of her last makes me even sadder that I will never know the person I'm compared to on a regular basis. It also makes me wonder what my life might become when I hit 30 years, 204 days (officially one day longer than she got to live), and if I'll have to live it for two people.

Wow, talk about babbling. I should know better than to read your blog when I'm in one of my moods.

Bottom line, I love you. XOXO

Posted by: Ali at May 13, 2004 07:23 PM

Although the *new* owners of those baby kittens will name them something else... I'm secretly naming them Patsy and Charlsie. What timing! First Charlsie's birthday then Patsy's birthday then their *birthday*. It's fitting I think!

Posted by: Debra at May 13, 2004 09:00 PM

You ladies are all so very very very special to me. Please know how much these comments mean to me. Really nice to not feel alone. Thank you for that.

And Ali, how very cool that maybe now you get to create what your mom would've been! Not that you live for her, but that you get to discover who she might have been. Your little Munkey is so lucky to have you (and so am I)!

Love you ladies! You are my happy family!

Posted by: Bon at May 16, 2004 03:37 AM