I've written a great deal here about my Dad. In fact, this blog was titled after a phrase Dad often uttered, and I've discussed his idiosyncrasies and work ethic in more than one post.
And yet, one person has remained in the background, content to stay in the shadows. That's my Mom, Saundra Lee Simmons Donnelly. I thought I'd remedy that today in order to honor her this Mother's Day.
This is a picture of her before she married a paranoid, quick-tempered husband and gave birth to five children in the span of seven years. Doesn't she look so beautiful and rested?
Truth is, Mom has always been a beauty, inside and out. While Dad was out working three jobs to pay for food and ballet lessons, Mom was single-handedly, lovingly, running the show at home.
I don't think Mom ever left the driver's seat of our station wagon from the years 1972-1986. She was shuttling us to ballet, softball, band practice, and gymnastics. She was our girl scout leader and the first to volunteer for countless fundraisers for drill team, majorettes, and Thespian society. She sewed our ballet and swing choir costumes, hemmed our skirts, mended our blouses, and taught us how to knit, sew, embroider and crochet.
She was always so quiet, lovely, and beautiful. I remember being a little girl and hoping I'd turn out just like her. Unfortunately, I inherited Dad's slow metabolism and short temper. Sometimes, life just isn't fair, people.
(This, by the way, is a picture of Mom holding my dog Trixie. Like all animals, Trixie adores her because she's so sweet and gentle. Here, she has fallen asleep, burying her head in Mom's arm.)
But soft spoken and ladylike as Mom was, she definitely had her "Mama Bear" moments. I remember one occasion when she felt that our band director had treated one of us unfairly, and she called and firmly gave him a piece of her mind, insisting he "rethink" his actions. He did!
So, here's to you, Sandy Donnelly. Thanks for everything you've done, all you continue to do, and for making me feel so loved and special all these years! I hope I've made you proud, and that you feel that the woman I've become was worth all the hard work you did for me! I love you!!
Thanks for Reading!!