She is kind, sweet, and sprinkles joy wherever she goes — “Pixie Dust” just fits her. The title “Mom” does too, and today is her birthday.
If I had to guess, Pixie is probably at home writing an encouraging note to a friend, complimenting a resident she encounters in her retirement community hallway, or planning the next Prime Life Follies show where she tap dances her way into people’s hearts. She started the Follies ten years ago to bring joy to local retirement communities throughout the year, and this year’s Christmas shows have now begun — three a week during this busy season. There seems to be no end to her encouragement and bringing smiles to sad places. But this is nothing new for Pixie.
An educator by trade and recognized in the 1980’s as “Teacher of the Year,” I remember her evening phone calls to parents when she took a break from grading papers. They were not the typical bad news calls many parents would expect but mostly focused on a positive message. She noticed students who made small steps forward and helped them discover gifts they often did not see. The world may not have noticed the potential in these unruly teens, but Pixie did.
Her joy and kindness were frequent companions throughout her lifetime of challenges. Early childhood memories take me to the back of her bike as we rode together to the welfare child-care center to drop me off en route to Rosary College, where she was seeking an education degree. I was the youngest of seven children — yes, I said seven! At home she was tough because she had to be. It was not an easy world, and she fought hard for everything we had as the lifelong family breadwinner. Her work ethic and determination against the odds was from beyond this world and trickled down to all of us.
I could write a book about my mom, and maybe I will — someday. Better yet we may write one together as her dream to be a writer has not yet been fulfilled. For now, I will simply say “Thanks, Mom.” You have been a symbol of sacrifice, encouragement, perseverance, selflessness, and joy — all wrapped in abounding love.
You have made a difference in my life and the lives of many others. May your pixie dust create a ripple effect, serving as an empowering example of kindness and encouragement to all who cross your path. Our world needs a good dusting!