Sunday, May 10, 2020

My Mom

Mom's been gone a while now.
When I was a child, my mother was wonderful to me.
She read to me and later would buy me books to read.
Hard to believe that my older sister (by ten years) had been taken from her because she was deemed an unfit parent.
Mom had been a nightclub singer in the 40's and her husband, my sister's father, and as I learned out much later in life, my uncle, was an alcoholic.
They divorced, but mom kept up the nightlife as it was her livelihood.
My dad would visit his niece and eventually married Mom. He then adopted Joan and they eventually had me. Then my brothers. And Mom was supposed to have been infertile after a few miscarriages.
After the arrival of my brothers, things went south with Mom.I spent Summers and weekends at my sister's apartment and then house.
She became a surrogate mom to me.
I lived the last two years of High School at her house.
So Happy Mother's Day in Heaven, Joan.

My mom and I eventually stopped talking. She was not aware when I joined the Air Force and while I was gone, she divorced my Dad, married another guy and moved to Louisiana.
When I became a full blown Christian, I reached out to her to reconcile.
She had also had a conversion experience and we established a relationship.
I remember her telling me one day, on the phone, that having been an only child, she didn't know what a household with boys in it was supposed to be like.
She knew the "Ozzie and Harriet" family.
And "My Three Sons".
And she had "My Three Sons From Hell" :)
Sorry Mom.
I visited her with my kids in Louisiana once. It was nice. It was actually fun.
Then a year later, she ended up with lung cancer, in the hospital.
I worked afternoons and had a robotic line that I was responsible for.
Only one other guy was capable of keeping it running, and he was a friend and brother in the Lord.
He stopped by and asked how my Mom was doing, and I said I hadn't had a chance to talk to her.
He told me to go to the pay phone and call her, he would cover me.
Normally at break the phones were busy so I was happy to get away to one that was open.
I called her and we chatted a bit.
She was dying.
I told her that I couldn't afford to travel to visit her in the hospital and later for the funeral.
We had been talking for about ten minutes at that point and I could hear her wheeze.
She said not to worry about it, that I'd figure it out, but she was not able to talk more.
I told her I loved her and hung up.
That night, after work, I got the call. She had passed on to be with Jesus.
I had been the last one to talk to her.
I went for the funeral.
She was well liked and respected down there and her husband was a great guy.
He did not honor her wishes to scatter her ashes over the bayou, but instead buried her next to his site. I didn't blame him.
I have good memories of her and the bad one's? Just a funny story to tell.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. Sorry for all the trouble :)


  1. My mother dropped me off with my paternal grandparents and they raised me. She kept my three younger siblings. I came home from boot camp and had been in touch with my brother. I hadn't seen her in some time and went to visit her. My brother introduced me as his friend. She didn't recognize me. Five minutes into it, my brother told her who I was.

    My mother was/is mean. But my grandmother filled the role beautifully.

    She is estranged from my youngest sister (the only other sibling alive) who is a hospital administrator in Oregon. My sister has cause. I call my mother four or five times a year and write that many times again. My other sister had cause as well.

    Mother was a professional ballerina - who danced for American Ballet Theater as a principal dancer. She has a lot of discipline, but not a lot of love.

    I wished her a happy Mother's Day. We talked for a few minutes and she hung up. She's a devout Christian these days who believes that the people who attend her church in Redding California will go to heaven and the rest of us (including you, Ed and me) will burn in Hell. Sigh.

    1. LL, I feel you might be trouble in Hades...

  2. My mother dropped me off with her mother when I was five weeks old. I had double pneumonia. Gram raised me through the age of six. When my mother finally settled down and remarried, she came to get me. I didn’t even know who she was. So the problem was that I never bonded with her. We were always cordial, but distant. She’s passed on now. I don’t miss her because she was never my mother; Gram was. Gram lived to the age of 98. I was more upset when Gram died than when my mother passed away six years later. On Mother’s Day, I think of Gram. She died in 1988. I miss her still. I’ll see her again; of this I am certain. Whether I see my mother again ... I don’t really care.

  3. You guys remind me of my best friend, Jeff, former Force Recon, NSA operative. Pastor.
    Came home on leave and strangers were in his house. Took some beer to the recruiter who told him where they moved.

  4. No one knows what crosses were carried by our loved ones, or the wounds that those around us currently bare.

    1. I gotta say, knowing Jesus fixes a lot of parental mistakes.
      I just had a talk with my "youngest". At 40, he's a much better father than I was.
      But at least he has my wife for a mother.
      I remember his bio mother, my first wife, telling me, when I got custody, that she just wasn't cut out to be a mother.
      She doesn't talk to either of her sons.

    2. A frequent claim is that modern parents aren’t doing the work of “our parents.” Well, I suppose the veracity of such a statement would depend on the age of the person who was speaking. There were plenty of good parents “back in the day,” and there are plenty of good parents now, too. But I think in reading about historical characters, there were essentially two: those who succeeded because of their parents, and those who succeeded in spite of them. I’m truly sorry to hear people speak of “bad parents.” It must all be very subjective. I suppose parents know as much about parenting as their parents did and the cycle repeats. None of us can help the circumstances of our birth; we do not get to choose our parents. To my way of thinking, who we are today has less to do with our family environment and more to do with what we’ve done with our lives. We should probably love our parents because they gave parenting their best shot, and we should realize that we alone are responsible for what we’ve become.

    3. "The sins of the fathers are visited onto the sons...."
      Some people break the chain (or chains) and learn to do better.
      Your comment reminds me of "nature vs nurture".
      Thanks, Sam.

  5. My mother raised all four of us, every single day and, not only that, she also raised (and fed) many kids in the neighborhood and they all loved her too. Thankfully, she's still kicking and still being the wonderful person she's always been.

    1. Thank God for mother's like that.
      Otherwise we'd ALL have been raised by wolves. :)

  6. One thing I find troublesome is that many Church's leaders make the assumption that one of the benefits of achieving heaven will be that we will be united with our families- parents- once again. It is a premise that many find a painful thought.
    I often wonder why this assumption of the happily together ever after must be espoused.

    1. "They are neither married nor given in marriage" is so often over-looked in favor of a sentimental approach for looking at the after-life. True of family relationships also.
      Your point is a valid one, but those who make heaven will be people who are willing to entertain the thought of forgiveness and love.

  7. I was very moved by that and will pray for her. RIP.