My mom is the greatest. Just saying.
Of course, everyone in their right mind should say such things about their mom. But all partisan bias aside, my mom really is the greatest.
Anna Prizina grew up in a modest working-class home in Arkansas in the 1940s and '50s. She essentially raised her three siblings on her own in the wake of her father's untimely passing and her mother's mental illness, and was out working assembly-line jobs while still in her teens. She met a blustery-but-loveable serviceman named Gerald Kay, fell in love, and together they built a stable family despite the tumult of military life.
She's a sensitive and very soulful woman with kind eyes that instantly make you feel comfortable and safe: That great warmth is probably her paramount gift as a parent and a human being. She taught me a lot about consideration, kindness, humility, and working hard for your place in the world. A devout Catholic, she's one of the few genuinely religious people I know who's never hypocritical, judgemental, or sanctimonious. And you can pretty much blame Ma for my horror-lovin' hide--I became such a horror movie addict in large part because of my mom's and my shared love for scary things. My dad, an Army sergeant, served in Vietnam and was frequently overseas, so Ma essentially raised my brother and I on her own for long stretches. She did a pretty damn good job, if I may say so.
My mom's been on my mind a lot lately, because about three weeks ago she suffered a mild stroke that landed her in the hospital for three days. Thankfully, the stroke wasn't major, and she's since recovered impressively. The small portion of her brain damaged by the stroke is nearly 100% healed, she's experienced no memory loss, no slurred speech, no compromise in her mobility. The episode was a major wake-up call--her weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure decisively contributed to her stroke--but she's seeing a dietician, has shaped up her eating habits, and is taking brisk walks again. I think she'll be all right.
So my apologies, dear reader, for being MIA for the last month. And Mom, I love you more than life. Just saying.