Everyone loves anniversaries it seems. And indeed, we as humans seem to keep track f how long since this event, or that. We celebrate, reflect, drink or just quietly remember. And we have anniversaries for everything – how long married or divorced, how long sober, how long dating, how long since we have seen someone…we celebrate anniversaries for just about everything. Even death. Many honor their loved ones who have passed on that anniversary. I have a shot of Makers Mark every year to mark the passing of a good friend. We honor them in a thousand ways.
In July it will be two years since Mom passed. And I was wondering how I will honor her this year. Last year I was sad and cried a lot, drank wine and had a good dinner. But this year I will honor her by…going skydiving.
My mother was very daring and adventurous. She was the first of her family to leave her tiny town in Tennessee. She was in the Air Force and had special training, which was rare for a woman in the late 1950s, early 1960s. She carried a huge .45 on her hip during some of her assignments. Then she worked in the Pentagon, as a cryptanalyst/cryptographer, which again was very rare for a woman in that time. She had the most secret clearances, because of the sensitive and classified information she handled. She had to have roommates that would report her if she talked in her sleep. And she talked about how she had to go through so many personality tests by the government so that they could find out how much torture she could endure before giving up national secrets.
She had certain medical procedures that are common now, but very experimental during that time. She traveled by herself, flew over the Bermuda Triangle, lived in Washington DC and was engaged seven time (yes, 7) before she married my father.
And she gave it all up to be with my father, who was the love of her life. She was an amazing mother and wife. She took care of not only her children, but 65 foster children as well, not afraid to go toe to toe with judges if she was fighting for what she felt was the best for the child. She was loyal, and stubborn, and determined, and kind and cull of Grace. And now she is free.
So, to honor her free, generous and adventurous spirit, I will go skydiving. She wasn’t afraid of anything and no one intimidated her. I think it is the perfect day not only to honor her, but to take the opportunity to do something new and scary. To broaden my own horizons and celebrate the amazing woman she was, and who she taught me to be. And I cannot wait…