Tomorrow my sister and I are participating in the Cooper River Bridge Run/Walk, and we’re doing it in honor of our mother.

My sweet Mama (yes, in caps) would have been 79 tomorrow if the “big C” hadn’t taken her life in 2000. Although she’s been physically absent for seven and 1/2 years, her children and grandchildren feel her impact in their lives on a daily basis. Emotionally, spiritually, socially, and in every other way you can think of, my mother was exceptional. Funny, feisty, pretty, kind, generous, competent, loving, smart, and talented, Marjorie Ann was the BEST! Even now, I think of the advice she gave, the sacrifices she made, and the example she set. (My dad was pretty awesome too, but it’s not his birthday tomorrow).

 My children loved her too, and I’m sure Carrie, Elizabeth, and Katherine remember the summer that they all spent a week with her. Everyday was an adventure.  By week’s end, they had visited out of town relatives, made shift dresses using a sewing machine for the first time, written a play to perform at the end of the week, visited area attractions posing as tourists, had their hair cut and styled, and forged an even closer bond with each other. Somehow Marjorie got them all on a schedule which none complained about it. For instance, they ate the evening meal at 6:00 p.m. sharp, and after that the kitchen was closed except for juice at 8:00. Somehow Mama managed to have the cousins think that having juice together around the kitchen table was a treat to be savored. My sister and I still marvel at that because in our homes, it seems that the kitchen is open 24/7,  and our family members complain if there’s orange juice instead of apple…or vice versa.

Tomorrow as we cross the bridge with thousands of other people, Mama will be on our minds…just as she is everyday. It’s important to honor our parents, and I’m thrilled that the Bridge Run falls on her birthday this year because it gives us a chance to celebrate her birth and life in a more special way.