Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7th Birthday Girls

Today is a day that’s being celebrated by hundreds and thousands of individuals worldwide.  March 7th.  A birth date like any other you may ask?  Not quite.  Two incredible women happen to share this date and I’m lucky enough to have them both in my life.

The first woman deserves a medal like no other. In a nutshell she’s my mum and we love her inside out. She has selflessly loved, nurtured, given strength, hope and support from the moment we were born up until this very day. If I look into the future I feel her love curling around our shoulders and pulling us gently forwards. Her love for her children, family and friends is unconditional and limitless. It knows no bounds. She has always been a beautiful inspiration, a beacon of dreams and a ray of sarcasm in a world that would otherwise have felt grey.

That’s not to say she didn’t rule the house with an iron fist. She gave smacks when necessary and slapped my bare legs often. She also taught valuable life lessons that enabled us to swim against the current when the tide turned against us. Our father left us for another woman, now our step-mother, when my sister and I were 8 and 5 respectively. My mother threw his things into a rubbish bag and hurled them into the driveway. Soon after we packed up and piled into her yellow VW beetle and hurtled from the North of England to start life anew in the South. It was 1982 and ‘women didn’t do that sort of thing’ back then, so she hid her fears and created a wonderful upbringing for us that went on to include a step-father and two step-sisters.

Ever since that time we’ve been a family that owes everything, I believe, to my mother and the magical net she continually casts to keep us all together. She deserves a sainthood, but that probably isn’t going to happen any time soon, so instead we celebrated her birthday yesterday with a lunch out that included grandchildren, daughters and husbands. We were the noisy family laughing in the corner….she truly wouldn’t want it any other way, birthday or not (and neither would we).

Happy Birthday and all our love Xxx


The second woman captured my heart over twenty four years ago. We were young teenagers and our love of horses at the local riding stables snared us together in a bond that has lasted ever since. She came to the UK from America with her parents and two younger sisters - her father, a lawyer, was posted at the neighouring US Army Base.
I had never really met an American before. I’d only seen them in programs such as Starsky and Hutch, or The A Team. And here was tall Stacey Black with her warm humour, funny accent, Hollywood smile and incredible generosity. We rode ponies bareback, competed at shows, spent nights at each other’s houses eating exotic American sweets (M&M’s and fruit roll ups) and wished we could live our summers in the sunshine together.

Inevitably her family returned to America. We stayed in touch with letters and the following year I visited. We went on an amazing family road trip, rode mules down into the Grand Canyon, spent a night at Yellow Stone and rode horses in between - she had her own at this point, a big grey called Bubba. And then suddenly the pond of water between continents became an ocean and staying in touch became harder. Boys entered the fray and lives shifted. Our parents remained in touch, but we weren't as consistent.  Our lives were similar but we were moving in different circles.

It was about 12 years ago and I remember sitting at an internet café in Streatham, London sending emails to friends when I thought of Stacey. I immediately wrote and soon after she replied.  The rest as they say is history, only this friendship was caught in my heart, like a kiss blown on the wind towards an open hand and it's been true ever since. To this day she continues to inspire - she’s an incredible mother, wife, sister and friend. She has a wicked humour, a brain that moves like lightning, a chai latte obsession and a precious sensitivity. She is brave, courageous and beautiful.

She also has a unique ability with words to make you cry, smile, laugh and to have you question the most simple to the almost impossible. She has her own blog 'Is There Any Mommy Out There' and it's because of Stacey that I finally put my own words on paper in the form of Living On A Knife Edge. She wrote movingly about the loss of my daughter Ella (Sister of My Heart) and has graciously honoured her two anniversaries (September Rain) with words that struck so many chords I felt my soul stripped bare. She’s a mother to four wonderful children and understands what to say and when to say it without ever being prompted.

When I returned to the UK six months ago she was the friend I rang within a few days of landing to share my fragile and hopeful pregnancy news with. We hadn’t spoken in years, but it was like it was yesterday and within 5 minutes she said she had an inkling as to why I was heart burst with happiness.

A collection of photos birthday girl
I adore your hair in this one....Tammy's isn't so bad either 

Here we are at the Suffolk County Show, Musical Ride

Just beautiful

Her children (plus the ferocious Hampton Noodle)

I love you Stacey and a huge happy birthday from this side of the globeXxx


anymommy said...

Oh, my heart sister. I'm crying - and not just with embarrassment over that photo. MY GOD. The hair. It's worse than your pregnancy hair by far.

A friendship like yours is a lifetime treasure. I love your generous heart (and your ability to gloss over what a brat that little Stacey Black was).

Thank you. Happy Birthday to Sally - must she be gorgeous as a grandmother? Of course she is.

xoxo. S

Autumn said...

Of the 40-50 blogs I read (admittedly 1/2 or more are foodie and green mom blogs), yours and Stacey's are the most well-written, real, riveting, dagger-in-my-heart blogs out there. OF COURSE you are friends in "real life". What a powerful friendship for the two of you-and for the karma of the world at large. I think of you and that little fellow in your belly frequently and look daily in my Reader fir updates. We are at 36 weeks with an April 5th due date. So pave the way for me and send me all your good post -birth vibes. A law school girlfiend told me before birth of my first, "it is just so freaking amazing. Talk about I Am Woman and Hear Me Roar. I felt so empowered. It just made me feel so connected to my ancestors and frankly, to every woman who ever lived. F##%^ing amazing". That sums it up. Xoxo

Ggirl said...

Stacey your hair in that shot is one I aspire to in my current wishing you were here for tea and more. Thank you for everything. Xx

Autumn, I am thinking of you as we gallop towards the finishing line and sending you all the positive energy I have. Your friend's comment is ever present - lets hope it rings true this time. Xx