Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Funnies - Happy Mother's Day Edition

I have a great deal of respect for mother's in general and several I've known in particular. So I hope all you Mom's have a great day.

I thought the best way to honor them this week would be to tell a couple of stories.

One about a famous Mom and one about one not quite so famous.

Most of you have heard of Erma Bombeck. Erma was a wonderful writer with a great sense of humor and a great outlook on life. She was a resident here in Arizona during our time here. In fact, we once were driven by her mountain cabin in Pinetop, Arizona by our real estate agent while we were looking for a second home back in the mid 80s.

Her mountain home was nice, but modest. We didn't buy the one the Realtor showed us in her neighborhood, it was a bit too much money. Instead we bought a few blocks away and forgot about her even having a home up there. Still, my wife read her work and often read me passages from her books.

I will give you a quote here from her concerning motherhood:

"It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding."
Erma Bombeck

I also enjoyed the one she had about football: "Anyone who watches three football games in a row should be declared brain dead."

The other not so famous mother who I have a story about is my own Mom, also now gone from this earth for several years.

During the last year of her life she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Dementia. In her case though it was mostly harmless and at one point even entertaining. The manager at her retirement home told us that she had claimed to be going to lunch with Bobby Kennedy and had skied extensively in the Alps. This would have been quite a fete for a lady who hadn't left Selma in many, many years. Not to mention the difference in social status and so forth that would have prevented these events.

While at lunch at the "Glass House" restaurant just on the other side of the Alabama River with my Mom and my wife, we asked her about another revelation that had been told to us. "Mom, I hear you're working as a spy for the Queen of England?" I asked innocently as we backed out to the parking lot. "How's that working out?" I smiled at her. "Not worth a damn honey" she replied. "You know that Charles, such an ugly baby with those enormous ears" she continued. I glanced at Vicki in the back seat to confirm what we just heard. She nodded in the affirmative.

We both had to laugh. The picture of this 80 year old southern lady as a spy for the Queen was pretty damn funny. We joked with her and never made fun of her. She was really too sweet for that. The one really important thing I learned from my Mom's last days was the importance of attitude.

She had a wonderful attitude right up to the end. I was proud of that in her and I marveled at her ability to make the best of her situation. For many months she was bedridden, needed help with daily functions, wore diapers and had to have her food mixed at just the right consistency to be able to swallow without choking.

After being told her condition was terminal I asked her what she wanted to do with the remainder of her life. She told me she would like to do exactly what she was doing then. That entailed waking up every morning, having breakfast, taking a nap, talking with me or the nurses, eating again and sleeping. She found contentment in her existence till the last minute of her life.

I miss her today, maybe a little more than most days, but my memories of her are wonderful.

I can still recall how she saved me from Dad when I peed in a coffee cup when I was 4 or 5 years old. I'd had a high fever, turned delirious and thought I was in the bathroom. My Mom discovered me using my Dad's coffer cup as a potty and took me into the bathroom to finish. She felt my forehead, understood my condition and put me back to bed. When Dad got home and found his coffee cup in the garbage and then found out why; he wanted to blister my tiny little ass with a belt. Mom stepped in and explained to Dad I could not possibly have known what I was doing. I think she even laughed a bit about it.

I'll never forget that. Thanks Mom.



Dr.John said...

For people like you and me whose mothers have passed on today is a day that floods us with memories.

Richard said...

Dr John: It does and that's OK isn't it? I wasn't much of a Mama's boy, so it really surprised me how much I miss her. Guess I idolized my Dad and took her for granted.

Nessa said...

Beautiful tribute.

Richard said...

Nessa: Hope you had a great Mother's Day

Akelamalu said...

Aw you have lovely memories of your Mom. Re the coffee cup - I'd have just scalded the cup and he'd have been none the wiser! (wink)

Richard said...

Akelamalu: My mom was a great human being, but not a very good cook. I can remember the most abominable salmon croquettes.

Dad was a cook in the Air Force and did his best to help her.

She was however pretty good at cobblers and pies.

There are lots of great memories of both of them.

One thing I really miss about her was her knowledge of movies and movie stars. Whenever there was a disagreement about some movie title or actor's name, I could usually call her for an answer.

Hope you a great Mother's Day dear.