My mother turns 80 on February 28 and I have a story to share. Here is a photo of her and me, just a few years ago (ha!). Her name is Daphne and she is a remarkable woman.

jane en daphne

I could tell you many stories about her kindness, her brightness and her humor. Her generosity towards friends and strangers is simply amazing, but this is not  that story. My mother has always loved to sing, not in performance, but as she drove, did the grocery shopping or just doing anything around the house. I don’t think she is able to go into the store and buy anything unless she is singing along to the radio or singing her own song.

Years ago, when she was visiting me in Massachusetts, we went shopping. It was an indoor shopping center that was made to look like the old days. Each store opened up into a space that look like a market place. We wandered into a store that sold items from Poland. I remember this very clearly, because there was Polish oompa music being played over the speakers. I was in one corner and she was in the other, and I heard her humming along. There were no Polish words to sing and she did not know any Polish words, but if there was music, she was at least going to hum.  As we looked at the items, we started to slowly move towards each other. My mother tapped me on the shoulder, and as I turned to her, she put out her arms and I, in a complete loss of sanity, stepped right into her arms. We then did the polka right there in the store. In fact, we danced our way right out the door and then we realized what we had done. I was so embarrassed and she was laughing so hard, she had to hold on to me. Let me stress that we are NOT Polish, do not know Polish music or dances, but at the moment, we were as Polish as could be. We then kept walking away from the store, in case they were going to kick us out of the whole plaza.

That is my mother in a nutshell. Finding the little seconds of joy in unexpected ways and not being afraid of what others think. I wish I was as brave as she is. She has given me many things in my life and I am forever grateful for that sense of fun. We could all use a Daphne in our lives. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Recommended reading: WISE MEN Stuart Nadler. A great story of a father and son. I loved this book.   

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  • janemh  On February 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Love this! Now I know where you get your sense of humor!! Going to go snow shoe with my Polish husband 🙂 Love you!! xox J

  • Sumitr  On February 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    That was a great story Jane. You never cease to amaze me. Love you

  • LadyGregory  On February 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Daphne sounds like a gem. Lucky you!

  • Jacqueline  On February 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    What a great story! I just could see the two of you dancing.

  • judy savage  On February 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    This is a wonderful story from a wonderful story-teller. My Polish mother, Stephanie, was always disappointed that I could never dance the polka (that’s the official name of the oom-pah music,Jane, as you know, but your descriptions of things are always better than the “proper” word).

    Happy Birthday, Daphne! You have an amazing daughter! .

  • Michele W.  On February 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I echo the sentiments of others. I also love her red gloves and your fabulous little outfit ❤

  • Shers Gallagher  On February 23, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    How wonderful, Jane. Sounds like a lovely lady enjoying life to me. BTW, my birthday is the day after your mother’s. Happy birthday to us both! 🙂

  • krunn7  On February 24, 2014 at 6:29 am

    My mother’s name was Audrey and she did things in stores too but usually they embarassed me even if I was laughing. We need more Daphnes and Audreys in this world. Were they llike that as a kind of comic relief after surviving the war years? I love you plaid outfit. I was dressed that way too in many pictures. My mother watched how the British Royal Family dressed their children in newspaper and magazine articles. The fabrics were always of the highest quality. I still love plaids in shawls and kilts

  • Karen  On February 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Beautiful story.

  • espressoandstroopwafel  On February 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Beautiful story. Beautiful photo!

  • Aledys Ver  On March 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    What a sweet photo of you and your mum. She looks really dashing in that outfit!

    • Jeanette  On January 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      At last! Something clear I can unrdtseand. Thanks!

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