Birthday blessings: A daughter’s tribute to her mother


She was the most gorgeous woman in the world to me. She was her own kind of rebel — rode a Harley, cackled like a witch, and sang like an angel. That woman could make a sailor blush with her potty mouth, and yet would have us in our Sunday best for church each week. To my dad’s chagrin she was the first to insist we rescue another animal and was the kind of woman to invite a Mexican family who barely spoke english to our home for dinner within 5 minutes of meeting them in J.C. Penny’s. I adored her twisted sense of humor. The way she would give her best dead pan stare at my high school date and tell ‘em she was an ER nurse and knew over 100 ways to do a person in without getting caught should they act “inappropriately” with me.

This was my “Mamacita”, the mother I knew and loved more than anyone as a child and young adult. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and I must admit I claimed her unruly spirit and then some. I am my mother’s Alaskan-born wild child, known to her as “you little shit!” Even with our shared love for art, animals, underdogs, and dropping the f bomb, I kept my pent up and confused feelings concerning my sexual orientation a personal secret throughout high school. Living in the very conservative town of Greensboro, NC, it was not an easy topic to breach. Not to my family. Not to my community. Not even to myself.


Traci Dinwiddie is an actress, yogini, West African drummer, part-time badass and full time fruitcake. Learn more about the “Elena Undone” star by visiting


One Response to “Birthday blessings: A daughter’s tribute to her mother”

  1. Mary Martin

    This is a truly heartwarming tribute to a mother from her daughter, complete with life lessons about the power of love, perseverance, and forgiveness.


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