This is my mom, Donna.
Today she turns 60.
It’s a huge milestone, and I’m really proud of her for reaching it, because she’s had a tough road, this lady.
Without going into a ton of detail, let me just say that my mom is a survivor. Her health has been a battle since her early 30’s, and she’s spent more time in the hospital, undergoing surgeries (on her bowels, her back, her arm, her hip, even her elbow), than I can begin to describe. Some of my most vivid memories from childhood are of visiting her at the Victoria General, tucked up next to her in the hospital bed, wishing I could make the IV tube taped to her wrist disappear forever.
There have been times when my brother and I didn’t know if she’d pull through. But she did. Always.
My mom is by far one of the most unique people I’ll ever know. In the eighties she wore leather pants to pick me up from kindergarten. She knew so many people everywhere we went in Saskatoon that I thought she was famous. I used to say to the kids at school, “My mom is Donna Tait. Have you heard of her?” She loves to laugh, loves to talk about the scent of things, loves to point out the variation of shades of blue she sees in the sky, in the stones. She’ll likely try to guess your astrological sun sign within minutes of meeting you. (She’s often right). She can sit down at the piano and play for hours, composing, her whole body swaying as her hands fly over the keys. She’s worked as a nurse in the delivery room, as a care assistant to mentally handicapped adults, as a foster mom. She’s crossed the desert in a van in Morocco and looked for the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. One year she baked four cakes to make a life-size guitar cake for my brother’s birthday. (It was so big we had to store it in the laundry room; we were eating cake for days.) She always thinks she’s going to win money, says, “Won’t you be surprised,” when I suggest she not get her hopes up, again, for the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. She’ll stay up all night every night for a week to paint a picture she’s giving you as a gift, getting the colours just right, the feathers of the bird or the leaves on the stem of a flower. When you share something from your life with her that’s made you sad, she will cry, will feel it as though it’s her sorrow too.
On her birthday (because I know she’ll be reading this), I want to thank my mom for some of the essential things she did in raising me.
♥ Told me she loved me every single day
♥ Trusted me and gave me the freedom to make my own decisions
♥ Taught me to follow my instincts, to never settle, to say thank you when I’m a guest in someone’s home and when I leave a shop (even if I don’t buy anything), to carry my keys in my hand if I’m walking alone at night, to read medicine cards, to believe in signs, to share my feelings (and ask others about theirs), to listen and to forgive, to cut the stems of flowers on an angle, to eat peanut butter toast with salt, pepper, and cayenne for breakfast. (If you’ve never tried it, I recommend.)
♥ Encouraged me to travel, to see as much of the world as I can, to do what I love. And to write about it.
Mom, thank you for everything you’ve taught me and given me. You have earned every second of your 60 years, and I am so grateful you are here.
is wishing you a happy, heart-full birthday!
Everyone—my mom believes in the power of thought, so if you wish, please take a moment and send some happy, healing, birthday love her way—she would really appreciate it!