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A Love Letter for my Mother

As we all know, Mothers’ Day is Sunday. An important day despite those who chalk it up to a Hallmark fabrication. What could be more valuable than honoring the woman who brought you into the world? For me, that woman is Bonnie Dickinson Huntley. AKA, Bonnie Lou. In terms of mother-daughter similarities, there aren’t many. She is a petite five feet tall, has dark hair, blue eyes and a sweet, effervescent demeanor. Me, not so much. I’m 5’-7”, fair, brown-eyed, feisty and ambitious. She would tell you that comes from my father (and she’d be right). But because of our differences, I think we have a more dynamic perspective of each other than if we were alike. As we grow older, that view grows more lucid as does our appreciation (well, mine certainly), for each other. I was just with my parents in Arizona for the Easter holiday, and I can sum up my visit in one word: entertaining. My parents’ interactions and idiosyncrasies had me in stitches. So much so that I started taking notes. Which got me to thinking. Our visits are fewer and our time together is diminishing … I should be “taking notes” more often. But more importantly, I should let my parents know how much I love them and value them – despite our differences.

- Twelve Things I Love About My Mother -

bonnie group

1. Her name suits her to a “T”.

2. She has no idea how beautiful she is.

3. She has retained a sense of innocence and sweetness despite inconceivable losses.

4. She worked full-time to put my father through college while having twin infant sons at home.

5. She somehow survived the insanity of raising three wild boys and one high-strung daughter.

6. When faced with a snarky checkout clerk at the local grocer, my mother will make the effort to cheer her up and turn her mood around rather than returning the hostility in kind. Of course the people behind her in line would prefer a little more indifference and a lot less kumbaya.

7. Despite being a devout Christian, she posts notes like the one below on her fridge.

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8. She found our relatives in Norway. But not on the internet. She flew to Trondheim, researched historical records in a half dozen libraries, took a ferry to the island of Averoy and then knocked on doors until she happened upon a local teacher/historian who knew my mother’s relatives. So excited and charmed by her efforts, the man drove my parents to the home of our second cousins and introduced my mother to her extended Norwegian family. Our cousins have since visited us in the U.S. and many of us are connected on Facebook.

9. She loves everyone and everyone loves her.

10. She doesn’t swear, thought Pat Boone was cool and couldn’t care less about fashion. Our DNA connection is definitely questionable sometimes.

11. She has always stood by me – even when I made decisions that were hard to accept or painful to watch.

12. Being her only child without a child of her own, my mother asks about Nina whenever she calls me, refers to her as her “grandpup” and always mentions her in the annual Christmas card.

Thanks Mom. Happy Mother's Day!

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Daughter xo