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My Forever Favorite: A Tribute to My Mom on Her Birthday


HI GUYS! I know that I posted yesterday, but for whatever reason, it feels like it has been forever since I “talked” to you all. I think part of that has to do with being out of town–regardless of how “in touch” you were while you were gone, you are still “out of your element.” NAME THAT MOVIE.

Slight aside: Hooray for an uneventful trip back! Seriously–easy security lines, no delays… luxurious. Unlike the travel debacle, lol. Hartsfield, just when I thought you couldn’t get any stupider, you do something like this, and totally redeem yourself! NAME THAT MOVIE

I know that I’ve kind of hit you all over the head with a bunch of super serious posts of late, (my anxiety attack, TAKE MY SURVEY, and my blogging and life mission statements) and this one is going to be of a similar ilk, but in a very, very happy way. Today’s post is dedicated to my FOREVER Friday Favorite, my mom, Clare. Not only does she always deserve to be my Friday Favorite, but today is her birthday (and no, I will not divulge your age, even though it is AGE AWESOME).

Thank you to Mar, Cynthia, Courtney, and Heather!

My Forever Friday Favorite: A Tribute to My Mom

1) She gave birth to the most awesome daughter EVER 

This lady exudes strength. She gave birth to me, after all. And so I do nothing but torture her.

This lady exudes strength. She gave birth to me, after all. And so I do nothing but torture her.

1) Everything that is good in me is the result of her. She is one of the most completely, genuinely, astoundingly good people I have ever or will ever meet. I say this with complete honesty and without bias. She is a rare, rare breed. It is hard to even get her to say something the least bit critical of someone. She is the first to give her seat up (even after she broke her damn back), to put herself to the side, to forgo every advantage, just for the sake of helping others.

Mom Susie Wedding

2) She has introduced me to my some many of my great passions in life: writing, running, and riding (oh, and Chick-fil-a). She didn’t introduce me to Alex, but who’s counting. Not only that, she has supported my seemingly silly pursuits of them. She is the one who told me long ago that I should write a blog. In fact, she has been writing for far longer than I! She is the one who told me to go for it when I decided to apply to, to attend, and to stay at Columbia. For more of the back story on my riding, check out this post, and for more of the back story on my running, see my guest posts for Women’s Running and this post. 

mom me mcm marathon suzlyfe

3) She is the most loyal person I know. Often to a fault. When I wrote about being loyal, dedicated, or stubborn, I was definitely thinking of her. But you know what? She has never played the victim. Ever. She may sometimes stay a bit past when it might be healthy for her, but she sticks by her choices, dammit. And that has taught me the value both of working to gain perspective of my life as well as working through the hard times to get to the other side.

keep calm and call mom

And God help you if you go after her family. Now you know who I get my fierce mama bear tendencies from. 

4) One of the greatest lessons she ever taught me is that every human being is just that, a human being, and they deserve to be treated as such. You should greet them with respect, but they have to earn the right for you to maintain that respect. You might not think that this is such a big deal, but let me tell you: growing up in the South, particularly a place that is often associated with racial prejudice, this lesson is one that few are truly taught beyond lip service. It is part of the reason that I tended to be friends with the support staff of the restaurants and farms that I worked at/rode at, rather than my fellow servers and other riders. I completely understood the degree to which the sum was achieved through the cohesion of parts. I treat even the most lowly person on staff as a person. The result? A far more comfortable, productive atmosphere, and they will go to bat for me (as I do for them).

And a glass (or tasting of 3) of wine doesn't hurt!

And a glass (or tasting of 3) of wine doesn’t hurt!

5) Every time she shows up, she shows up with bells, whistles, and strobe lights, and she never brings preconceived notions with her. It is amazing that someone can give 5000% to everything she does (even if it is the pursuit of nothing). Or that she can forgive past wrongs (she doesn’t forget, trust me, lol) and give someone a second chance. Again, something that is so beautiful, and so rare, in this world that we live in today.

team challenge chicago 2014 suzlyfe

Every time I hug her, I want to hold on to her forever. If you know me, you know that I have to “let you in” to my space. But she is one of the very, very few people or even things that I would let invade my space at any time. 

When people tell me, “You are turning into your mother,” or “You remind me of your mother,” they may not realize it, but they have just given me the greatest compliment I could ever possibly receive. 

Happy Birthday @suzlyfe's mom! Here's why she tops all #ffavorites #love #family Click To Tweet

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. That is all I can say!

Who inspires you to live your best life? Who made you who you are today?

What is the greatest lesson your parents taught you?

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