|My Mom Betty Hadfied Tipton with her dog "Nancy", 1963|
Today would have been my Mother's 93rd birthday.
Yes, she was a Christmas Eve Baby.
All my life I will think of December 24th as my Mother's birthday, Christmas Eve second.
|My Mother as a young girl with her two older brothers, George, Jr and Randall and her doll, which she told us that after this photo was taken they tore the head off of her doll. Life wasn't easy for Mom. - 1928|
Not to give you the life history of my Mother (which I've already done numerous times in this blog), but she had a difficult childhood. Her Mother died before she was two years old.
|My Mother looking at a photo of her Mother, the first time she saw this photo which was supplied by a cousin|
|Mom with her granddaughters Dawn and Karen - wrapping those Christmas presents - 1976|
My Mother died six years ago. When she died I felt like I lost part of me. We were that close for most of our lives. Oh sure, the last year of her life was difficult for her and me and my brothers when she began to lose her mental facilities and was frail and often angry. But for most of her life she literally was the best Mom my brothers and I could have had.
|Me with Mom when things began to become difficult - but me and my brothers took care of her. We kept her out of the dreaded nursing home, unlike her two older sisters who ended up in nursing homes. We promised her and we kept our promise.|
Oh I know a lot of gay guys say that their Mom was the best but I'm telling you, I won the lottery with my Mom.
Growing up I thought all kids had Moms like we had. When I became an adult and out into the world and made friends outside my localized sphere, I discovered not all gay guys and straight guys had wonderful moms. I have to admit I had trouble processing that information. I just couldn't compute. How can anyone grow up without a Mom that wasn't like mine?
|Mom with "her boys", which is what she always called us - 1953|
I credit my Mother for both my success and my two brothers' success in life. Without her I just cannot imagine where we would be today.
My father was in the scene but didn't really want to have anything to do with us kids. Early on he "catted around." My Mother didn't leave him. She kept the family together and she laid the law down to him.
|My Mom and Dad - young and in love 1942|
Unlike the protagonist in "Hillbilly Elegy", my Mother didn't leave my father and get married five times, thus creating a chaotic home life for "her boys." We were always her first priority. And of course she loved our father but she always made sure her boys were safe and secure. Now that doesn't mean she spoiled us, oh no. We weren't given allowances or showered with gifts. Too poor for that plus she didn't believe in spoiling her boys. But what she did do was give us a sense of responsibility and respect. And for that I am forever grateful as are my brothers. We all loved her unconditionally, even when she became difficult at the end of her life.