Saturday, May 10, 2008

happy birthday mom!!

i originally posted this on my mom's birthday last year
i'd forgotten it
so i bet you have too
i've made some amendments to it
but it's basically the same:

on this very day
may 10, 1940
in detroit michigan
karen mae severs was born
to robert and edna
the 2nd of 3 children
she was a happy and talkative child
her father nicknamed her "pumpkin"
she played the piano and painted
a straight-A student too
as a teen she never aspired to be a housewife
she was independent and headstrong
she was gonna be an artist
she attended cottey college
a girls school in missouri on scholarship
then went on to get her masters degree in art from the university of illinois
that's where she met fayez
waiting for the bus to come
on a sunday
the buses weren't running that day
they were apparently the only 2 on campus who didn't know that
he asked her to join him for coffee
she thought he was french
she said "yes"
many years later she said "he was the most handsome man that had ever talked to me"
they were married in august of '64
she was 24
her aspirations to become a working artist
were squashed by the birth of her first son
that was may, 1967
faris was next in january '69
then miriam and ameer
she set aside her own ambitions
to devote her life to raising us
she spent all of those kid years in el paso
with an even temperament
even in the face of trying to manage 4 rambunctious kids
daily chaos plus the pressure of trying to be thrifty
i remember this little green 2 door datsun she would try and cram us all into
it was the nourallah clown car
what a sight we must've been
the 5 of us piling outta that thing
with our '70s plaid slacks and big ole glasses

she was (is) a devoted mother
not a lazy bone in her body
worked herself like a slave to raise her kids
and take care of her husband
she cooked every day
with hardly ever a break
she even learned how to make arabic food
got good at it too
she cleaned
painted the house on numerous occasions
re-arranged furniture
mediated our fights
bought our clothes
took us to the doctor when we got sick
did more laundry than humanly fathomable
she even mowed the lawn while her lazy boys played
she never complained
she always seemed happy
and content
but i remember one year
when my dad forgot her birthday
she was really upset
he rushed out in a panic to k-mart
and came back with a dolly parton record
and some flowers
but my mom was deeply hurt
i remember her crying
"i don't even like dolly parton!"
her devotion was still un-wavering
even though she was probably taken for granted
on a daily basis

she taught me that LOVE is supreme
the most important thing in the universe
something to cherish when it comes your way
she was always there to listen and never judge
interested in whatever i was interested in
always positive and upbeat
she promoted creativity and individuality
and has remained the eternal optimist
even after all of these years
and countless disappointments
she was always so happy
with an energy for life that still hasn't been dimmed
i was very lucky to have been raised by karen mae
such a smart beautiful and charming person
i love her very much


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. You're mother, Karen Mae, sounds like an incredible person. Happy Birthday, Karen, and thank you so much for giving me such a wonderful person as Salim to be my friend. I am forever grateful.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I remember the post from a year ago. Maybe because I was in PA, staying with my parents. My Mom had flown to TX to help me get out (for a while). We had a meal while she was in town, before I left.

What a difference a year makes.

Our parents are almost the same age. I was actually supposed to be your age. I took a while. :)

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nicely amended
a more positive bend
Happy Birthday
and Thank You, Mom
for bringing forth
my most excellent friend


12:46 PM  

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