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Friday, February 12, 2016

See Beautiful - My Mother

Today was my mother's birthday. She died more than 28 years ago, and I still miss her so very much. Today is also See Beautiful Friday. I want to tell you a little about my mother's spirit because it was truly beautiful.
She loved being a mother. She showered me and my brother in love, no matter what. But, she also had high expectations for us. I often wonder what she would think of my life if she were alive today. She died before I'd truly found my place in this world, and my place does not even remotely resemble the world where I grew up.

I do know that she'd understand my love of photography. My mother was a self-taught excellent photographer. I really love knowing that somehow her love of photography was passed onto me. For that reason, I will put some of my favorite photos from the past year in this post, even if they don't always fit with the story.

Most of all, my mother taught me to fight with determination for what was important to me. For example, I loved all sports but my community didn't have many organized sports for young girls. I watched with envy when the boys joined Little League every year. I played pick-up baseball with them on the playgrounds, and I knew I was a better player than many of them.

Then, the Supreme Court made it law that girls had to be allowed the same opportunities in sport as boys. It happened in the last year that I was young enough for Little League. I felt scared to try to claim my new right to play baseball but my mother wouldn't let me back away from the opportunity out of fear. We went to the Little League sign-up table, and the father volunteering behind the table said "no girls allowed".

My mother had brought a copy of the Supreme Court decision and plonked on the table in front of the poor confused volunteer. She told him that times had changed, and he was required to let me join. By the end of that discussion, I was the first and only girl in our Little League.

Before the first day of practice, I wanted to cut my waist-length long hair so it would be less obvious that I was a girl. I knew I was going to be teased and ostracized. At that age, being different always attracted bullies. My mother talked me out of cutting my hair - telling me to wear my long hair with pride. She wanted me to realize that I was blazing a path for younger girls.

It turned out that I adored playing organized baseball so my mother was right to encourage me. At first, the coach assumed I wasn't a good player. He kept me on the bench a lot. Then, our team's 2nd baseman got hurt. The coach pointed at me and sent me in the game. Second base was the perfect position for me, and I ended up as the All-Star team's 2nd baseperson at the end of the season.

The absolute best part was how the boys on my team stuck up for me. The parents from other teams would yell awful things at me, about how I was just a wussy girl who didn't belong on the field. They'd tell their sons to pitch underhand to me because I was "just a girl".

Any opponent who messed with me by pitching underhand or intentionally beaning me with pitches faced my teammates' wrath. I don't usually like fighting - but it felt amazing when the boys on my team stuck up for me. They'd accepted me as a teammate.

This essay was about my mother... and the whole Little League episode would never have happened without my mother standing behind me and teaching me to have the courage to do what I loved. That lesson has never left me.

That lesson is a big part of why I live my life on my own terms now. I do what I love even though it's not a conventional life. I track bears and visit their dens. I love going into cougar territory and trying to get trail camera photos of them. I adore riding my snowbike and exploring every inch of the forest around me with my canine best friend beside me.

I think that all of those things would be surprising to my mother based on the girl she knew when she died. At that time, I'd only lived a suburban/urban life so I hadn't yet discovered the mountain life that I love so much. However, I had absorbed my mother's lesson that I should do what I love so perhaps it wouldn't be so surprising to her.
A yearling cub outside the den in 2010
On this See Beautiful Friday, I am visualizing my mother. She's still young in my mind's eye but I wish I'd had the chance to see her grow old. And I wish that I could share my unconventional adult life with her. I know that she'd love the Runner. I can still hear her deep raucous laugh in my mind. I sometimes visualize my mother sitting at my dining room table talking with me and the Runner. In my vision, the Runner's wry sense of humor makes her laugh and laugh.
I'm smiling as I write this with a big lump in my throat for all the years we didn't have together. However, I also know that my mother played a big role in molding me. I was incredibly lucky to have her as my mother and have her set me free to fly the path I chose.
See Beautiful.


  1. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. I'm sure she would be very proud of you for doing what you love. I'm so sorry for your loss! ((hugs))

  2. That is a wonderful tribute and one I relate to as I lost Mom before I'd finished my education and truly left the nest. She never would have imagined this life, but I know she watches over me. Your Mom sounds like the perfect mother to raise a girl like you.

  3. We all inherit some things form our parents, and your Mum gave you the best, in inspiration, determination, and the ability to stand out strong for yourself.She would love what you do, trail cams, fat bike tyres, Shyla, R, and darling K too, as well as Runner I'm sure. I also hope my Mum can see what I am doing today, she was a sewer and dressmaker extraordinaire, and maybe some of that has passed onto me. Hugs to you, I had some tears as I read your words.

  4. Dear KB, this is a beautiful post and tribute. (The photos matched perfectly, by the way!) It was lovely to learn more about you, as I'll admit I've often wondered about the person behind the beautiful wildlife and excellent dog-training ability.

    I think your mother did give you something great, but you must have that great spirit too, to take it on board. (It must have been terrifying blazing that path!)

    But I know you wanted to share about your mother - what a great mother she must have been to make sure her daughter got what she wanted, and teaching you how to deal with it! It's clear how much you value her so I think she's lucky to have a daughter like you!

  5. Such a beautiful tribute. You are keeping her spirit alive. She must have been a beautiful soul. How sad that you lost her so soon but how wonderful that she is still with you in your heart forever.

  6. What a moving tribute to your mother, KB. It's very sad that she passed away, but you'll never lose her - she's part of who you are. And how truly lucky you are, to have been raised with such a strong, positive, loving influence.

  7. This was just beautiful, KB. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. No doubt she'd be proud of who you are now.

  8. You brought tears to our eyes and smiles to our lips and filled our hearts with love as we read your beautiful tribute to your mother. We think she would be incredibly proud of the wonderful daughter she helped to mold:)

  9. Wonderful tribute to your mother. Heartfelt and lovely.

  10. Love this post. Your mom was one special lady
    Lily & Edward

  11. I agree with Kathie. She would be SO proud of you and your lifestyle. Who wouldn't be? You're amazing. Your mother must have been, too. Happy Birthday, KB's mom!

  12. KB, this is the most beautiful post you have written to date. Thank you for sharing your memories and love for her. I suspect she's right there beside you during those times when you miss her most or pretend she's with you. I know for sure that's what I want to believe about both my brother and my sister.

    Love doesn't end. It goes on and on forever.

  13. I have to agree with Snowcatcher. This is the best yet. I am so very lucky because I still have my mom here and we are as close as you can get.

    This is so beautiful and makes me cherish our time even more.

  14. That post was very beautiful. To have a good mother, a mother we can count on, is so important. Her guidance stays with us, even if she had to leave us way too soon. I still count on my mother's advise even though she's been gone for over half my life. Your photos are a fine tribute to your mother.

  15. Dear KB
    This is indeed a beautiful post,, to go along with all the beautiful photos...
    I can tell from this tribute about your mom.. that she adored life,,, and she adored you, and your brothers..
    She taught you love, patience and acceptance.. and to carry on her zest of life.. She truly adored life, as you do.

  16. Beautiful post, KB! I lost my birth mother when I was 18 months old, and many times I have wondered what my life might be like had she lived and raised me. She was very much loved in our family as a kind and loving person.

    I would love to see a photo of you playing ball when you were just a kid!


  17. I agree with the other commenters that this is the most beautiful post you've written to date—among so many!

    My favorite part is when your Mother "plunked down the Supreme Court Decision"! Now that took some Intelligence and chuzpah! Since Parental Unit is a recovering attorney, she particularly appreciates that step and the courage it took for both of you. Hooray for Title 9!

    I'm sorry you lost your wonderful mother at a young age. Parental Unit lost her Dad when she was only 17 and he was way to young to die. Oh for more time with those you love!

  18. A beautiful post for your mom. I lost my mother when I was 11. I always wonder what she would think of how my life has gone. I can tell from your words your mom was a wonderful person and would be very proud of her daughter and the life you have chosen

  19. What a beautiful post and what a very special mom you had♥

  20. that was a beautiful memory... many thanks for sharing... your mom was great... we are not "just girls" and I bet your mom knew that ... we are unique and strong we are not just girls we are THE girls :o)

  21. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing about your mother. I am sure she would support your life because it makes you so happy. Second, thank you for being brave enough (and thanks to your mom for helping you be brave) to take the challenge of being the first girl. You have allowed girls like me never had to worry about being the first girl.

  22. This is a loving and beautiful tribute to your wise and loving mom. Happy birthday to her. I am sorry you lost her too early..but I am sure she knew the fabulous woman you would become...and her spirit is soaring. You certainly inherited her eye for photography. She was surely a trail blazer for you.
    Hugs Madi and mom

  23. That was such a wonderful tribute to your Mom, we feel as though we knew her. Hugs.

  24. So beautifully written! Tears to my eyes as well. I truly believe that we will once again see the loved ones who are no longer with us here on earth. Have a beautiful day :-)

  25. this is a perfectly beautiful tribute to your mother. I know she would be happy to see your are doing what you want to do. standing ovation for you following your dreams and not letting others push you to live what they think you should. your photography skills are fantastic. as are all these photos

  26. KB, What an incredible post and tribute to your Mom. I was feeling emotions in reading this too, as you know my mom passed when I was almost 22. Too long to be without our moms. What a wonderful story of love you shared here-you were one lucky daughter even though your Mom passed too early. I didn't have that type of relationship with my mom; I know she'd be proud of who I am today. So thankful for the gift of photography that your mom had and that you have. So thankful for the gift of you!

  27. In every way, a lovely tribute. The memories, the photos, the lessons that have become part of you. I see that your mother lives on in you. Thank you for sharing your baseball story, quite amazing really!

  28. I am always in awe of children who have loving mothers and your story is no exception. Your mom sounds beautiful and it is so touching that you have such beautiful memories of her. I'm sorry she died so young, but know she lives through you and around you.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I love hearing about your life and your mother. I'm sure she is very proud of you. :)

  29. What a beautiful tribute to you mom - she sounds like a wonderful person and such a great role-model. I'm sure she would be very proud of you.

  30. This is so beautiful, touching. I admire her spirit, and tenacity. I know she would be proud.

  31. A beautiful post and tribute to your Mom! We never get over missing them, and I'm like you, I wish more than anything that my Mom was still here, so I could talk with her, tell her my worries, my successes, and just about my day. But I have a feeling that our Mom's may already know. I know yours would be proud of who you've become.

  32. Today, we're seeing beautiful in your Mother too. Sending those see beautiful thoughts your way. <3

  33. Your mother sounds like an amazing, wonderful woman. A person every young girl should have in her life.
    You said that she died more than 28 years ago and you're still missing her. I think we'll never stop missing our mothers, especially when they have played such an important part in our life. I miss my mom as well and I know I always will. Sometimes I have silent conversations with her. However, it makes me sad that my daughter couldn't have her longer in her life.


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