Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Birthday Wish

Betty Jean Jackson Wilmer (1951-1976) and me in 1972 or 3
Today December 12, 2011, my mom would be 60 years old.

She's been gone from this life since August 19, 1976 and it hardly feels like she was ever here.

In fact, the biggest imprint and proof of her existence dwells in me and my younger sister, Jeanine.

My hope for this post is to give some people out there, who wonder what ever happened to Betty Jean Jackson some glimpse. Think about it. We now live in an age when people "Google" folks and since today is her birthday, perhaps an old classmate or work friend decides that they want to know what happened to her. I want them to get it a hit and see this post. Snoop around and read more about me - the eldest daughter of Betty Jean Jackson (Wilmer) - Denise Wilmer Barreto.

Betty Jean met and married Albert Wilmer in 1971- I arrived late that year and they had another daughter Jeanine in April 1976 and she passed away four months later that August at age 24, four months shy of her 25th birthday. She was super happy she became a mom and was so very hopeful for the future when tragedy struck. There's not much more I know to the story but it is a beautiful one.

I gotta believe that the reason relationships matter so much to me is because of the absence of this relationship between my mom and me. With few photos and even fewer people around to tell me about her, I have repainted her in my mind and in my dreams.

It's a bit too painful nor can I actually articulate it all but I know one thing...

She'd be proud of what I've become.

She'd glow when she told people what I did for a living. She'd be telling everyone the secret I'd have asked her to keep until the new year.

She'd love my family and be proud of my attempts at motherhood without her.

Happy Birthday Mommy! I know you are smiling down on us from heaven.

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