Sweet picture of my mom in her mid twenties.

Today is a special day. It would be my mom’s 58th birthday today. As I mentioned last month, she died of breast cancer when I was 14. She was a great mom, and we were best friends. I have a few foodie memories of her, but unfortunately, not a ton. I’d say my favorite was when I was about 9 years old, my mom and I went grocery shopping. She gave me an assignment. To pick out a box of cereal. There was a catch though…the cereal had to be under $3, and sugar couldn’t be one of the first two ingredients (we didn’t have rampant high fructose corn syrup infiltration then, so it was a little easier).

My mom left me with my mission in the cereal aisle, and did the rest of the grocery shopping. I can’t tell you how long I paced the aisle, or how many cereal boxes I read, but it was a long time, and a lot of boxes. I was determined to make her proud. It was that day that I truly developed an understanding of just how much sugar was in cereal, AND just how expensive it was. Every time I thought I had a good cheap option, upon more inspection, there was too much sugar. When I got focused on the sugar and thought I had a winner, turned out it was over budget.

It was such a great task for me, a voracious reader and categorizer (every Halloween, I’d dump out my candy on the living room floor and put it all into neat little piles depending on what it was…chocolate, hard candy, chewy treats, and then assess which would be the two or three pieces I’d eat that night). At some point, I was triumphant and found a cereal that was something I wanted (because that was part of it too), within the financial constraints, and had good stuff in it. The funny thing is, I was so into the process, I don’t actually remember what I chose, or whether I ended up liking it. I was just happy to have the responsibility bestowed on me, and show my mom I could do it.

Bri and Marty

Five year old me, with my mom on our porch in sunny Santa Barbara, CA (gotta love those ’80s fashions).

So, not only is today HER birthday, but yesterday was mine. She used to tell me that when she was pregnant with me, the doctor told her I would be born around Christmas. She said nope, she’ll be born around my birthday. Lo and behold, a little over an hour before her birthday officially started, I was born. After years of her having to share her birthday with all the Christmas hubbub, I got the same fate. Oh well, at least she and I shared it together. Yesterday I had a very sweet birthday, filled with family and friends, great food, and hours of truffle and fudge making. I’ll have a post later about the chocolate festivities.

19 thoughts on “Birthday Musings”

  1. Happy birthday to your mother.
    Happy birthday to you.
    I send you both, one stranger that I will never know and one stranger I have yet to meet, my best wishes for a happy holiday season.

  2. Happy Birthday to ur mom. Hope she is celebratig it in heaven and looking down at her loving daughter.

  3. cookiecrumb – Thanks so much for your sweet comment. Who knows, we only live a hop skip and a jump from each other, maybe we’ll have lunch sometime…or cure olives.

    vimmisamir – Thank you. That’s very kind.

  4. hi bri,

    a most happy birthday to you! what a nice post to honor your mom. i’m sure she is out there watching what you’re doing and is filled with pride and love for you – it shows through in everything you do.

  5. This was really lovely. It was so beautiful of you to share this with all of us. Happy birthday to you both. I’m sending warm wishes and positive energy from the east coast.

  6. What a beautiful post (I’m a little verklempt right now– you reminded me of my favorite patient, who had breast cancer too), and such beautiful pics too. Did people ever tell you that you resemble your mom so much? Happy birthday Bri!

  7. What sweet loving birthday wishes everyone! Thank you!

    Gigi -Thanks so much. Well, I hope so.

    Sara – Thank you for your positive energy from the east coast.

    Manggy – Thanks. Yes, we looked quite a bit like each other, and when she was alive, if I answered the phone, a lot of people mistook my voice for hers.

    Patricia – Thank you. It’s true the glasses are back in fashion again.

  8. Very touching post, Bri.

    I really love the colours in these kind of older photos. They always have a sort of filmic quality; like they’re all stills from a movie.

  9. Graeme – Thanks man. Yeah, scanning in the old photos really has a different look than digital.

    TBC – Thank you for your birthday wishes. I appreciate it.

  10. happy bday to you and your mother — Blessings to you both (and Marc) over the holidays — love you guys —

  11. Happy Birthday Bri, and to your mother too.
    14 is such a tender age to lose your mum, I can’t imagine you ever get over something like that. You have inherited her beautiful smile.

  12. Happy Belated Birthday Bri! I’m glad to hear you had a fun day. What a beautiful picture of you and your Mom. Love, Megan

  13. Happy belated birthday Bri! Great post about your mom, very touching. Made me want to slap myself in the face for getting angry with mine from time to time…Humans are so screwed up!!

  14. Tartelette – Thanks so much for your birthday wishes. Well, we are only human. So long as we recognize, at least every once in a while, the blessings we do have in our lives… 🙂

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