The Original Blondie – Celebrating 70 years to a fabulous mom

April 7th marks two special days, my birthday but more importantly the birthday of the woman whom I have had the pleasure of sharing the day with, my mom, Sharon Litton Burgess.  For the last 37 years she has shared her special day with me.  My mom loves birthdays, more than anyone I have ever known, so sharing her day with me is a special treat.  She has always made sure that I had my own celebrations and felt special in my own way on our day.

Not only is she my mom, but my mentor.  My mother spent 47 years behind the chair.  She was a star as a hair and makeup artist.  I remember playing in the salon and pretending to be as cool as she was.  I remember her letting me help her calculate payroll each week.  Teaching me how the business works as young as 5.  I remember helping her color in a color wheel on a flip chart for her classes she would teach.  I remember going to a hair show with her and seeing her work on the stage and thinking, “Wow, my mom is so amazing.”  She was always dressed to a “t”.  She always had stylish hair and cool, fast cars.  I watched her build salons with her own hands, teaching me what work went into building a business.  Now, I live in a parallel world, working behind the chair, teaching for a manufacture and trying to succeed as a mom and business owner.  Today my son asked me if Matoo (her grandma name) was a good hairstylist.  I told him, “she was the best.  She was amazing.”  He then asked if I was as good as her.  I answered honestly, “Not even on the same playing field. I could only dream of creating hair styles like she did.”  I learned so much about this business from her, and I pray every day to live up to the legend that is Sharon.

But more importantly, I learned life lessons from her.  I learned to live life to the fullest.  I learned to cry when I needed to.  I learned to love my kids with all my heart and fully give my all to them.  I learned that you don’t get paid for days off, hard work is rewarding, God is always there.  I learned that friends and loves will come and go, but she would always be there.  I learned to dance when the music plays, to work with your hands is Godly work, to make relationships not money.  I learned that when I needed her the most, she was always going to be there.  I learned to appreciate traveling, eating at nice restaurants, how to walk and hold my head high.  For those lessons I will always be indebted to her for.

17 years ago this month, Mom and I both had birthdays approaching as she went into surgery to have a mastectomy.  Right after that I found out I was expecting my first born son, Noah.  While she was recovering and I was preparing to be a mom, she said to me, “I don’t have money to give you, but I can teach you how to make it.”  Six months after Noah’s birth we opened our first salon together.  Over the next few years, she taught me everything I know about the business.  Everyday I walk into Blondie’s Salon (named after my mom, who looks like Blondie), I know that I have big shoes to fill.  I try everyday to keep the family tradition going with style, class, and honesty.

This year will be one of very few we have ever celebrated apart.  So please comment a happy birthday to the original Blondie, my mother Sharon Burgess, who definitely make 70 look like a piece of cake!

Love you mom