My mom was a New Year’s Baby, born on January 1st, but too late to be the first baby for that year. Nevertheless, hers would always be a special birthday, and would make for a special party every year for as long as I can remember. We have always gathered at Mom’s house for food socialising, dancing, and of course the annual ringing in the new year with the family beating on old pans with spoons and firecrackers going off in the street. The neighbors don’t usually even attempt to go to sleep until we have notified them of the new year. Then the “happy new year” kisses come, followed by the “happy birthdays” to my mom and the phone begins to ring with friends and family calling Mom, because they know she will be up.

Mom was the middle sister…the 5th child out of 9, leaving 4 on either side of her…3 sisters, a brother, my mom, a brother, and 3 sisters. So she was the middle sister out of all the kids and between her brothers…a fact that got her into trouble more than once, as she and her brothers managed to get into a lot of mischief. They were the three musketeers of mischief so to speak, and Mom thought the world of her brothers. She would willingly defend then against any foe…except her mom, after one incident that earned her a spanking of equal or greater intensity than the one that my Uncle Larry received.

As a beautiful young woman, she caught the eye of a man she had decided was “the most handsome man she had ever seen” and before long they were married and starting their “forever after” together. Dad always treated Mom like a princess, and theirs was a beautiful, solid marriage that would produce 5 daughters…and a family that has grown to 58 and counting.  Dad called Mom, Doll from the beginning, and I don’t remember him ever calling her anything else, in fact I thought that was her name when I was little. Their marriage would last 54 years before my dad when home to be with the Lord…a day that changed our lives forever.

Today, is my mom’s birthday…the 5th since Dad went home. We had her big New Year’s Eve party last night, carrying on with the tradition started so many years ago. In years past there were often times when there were friends of my parents there, or their brothers and sisters, but mostly now the party consists of my sister, me, and our families, along with various boyfriends as they come and go. We always have a good time, and the party usually breaks up about 3:00, and we drag ourselves home to bed, because the party will continue with New Year’s dinner and cake, ice cream and gifts to follow. Simply a great way to celebrate your birthday, I think. Happy birthday Mom!! We love you!!

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