Eleanor Louise Berczik is a rousing seventy years old today. Readers of this blog will know her from some of my posts here and recognize her as the person most responsible for my love of literature and writing, my sense of humor (most notably in the connoisseurship of the pun) and my inability to accept bullshit.
Eleanor spent most of her adult life fiercely defending and advocating for her family. She was always looking for some way to make her sons' lives better than hers had been. She was always, and I mean always, the person who could be relied upon in a crisis, the sole calm voice, the comforting presence.
I like to say that my family lived at the tops of its lungs. Gatherings were always noisy, filled with people and action often streaming into the night around my parents' kitchen table. I loved the sense of bigness that permeated these events and holidays, but what I cherish most are those times, when sick or frightened for instance, that I could count on my mother's gentle hand, her welcoming embrace and her soft, lovely, soothing alto voice.
My brothers get to be with her this day and lucky them. I am sorry that I am far away, but at least I can send this off to her and let her know how much she has meant to me, and how much she continues to influence and enrich my life.
Happy Birthday, Mom.