Facebook, in the timeline wall asks, “What’s on your mind?” in the space where it invites us to post something. Status, a photo, event, and other such stuff. I began writing this there on my FB wall (MelvinMcTrick) but thought I’d say it here instead. It’s been awhile since I wrote a non tv show or opinion post so here is one now.
What is on my mind, is Mother’s day. You all know the day.. It’s the one day a year set aside to pay tribute to the people who gave us life. The one thing, regardless of where we come from, who we are, what color we are, gender, lifestyle, we all have in common, is we all have a mother and a father. If we are lucky, we are blessed with good ones. I consider myself among the lucky ones to have had such parents. Good ones. Another thing we all have in common or will have at some point in our lives, is that our parents have departed this blue marble and we’ve had to say goodbye whether we were ready for it or not. We simply don’t have the choice.
I’ve told you in the past about mom’s professional life as a building contractor (look up the ‘man’s world’ posts under the Saturday Special category to your right). Here is a little of what made mom, mom outside of that. Until my sister started school, she was a stay at home mom. She went to work partially out of necessity but I suspect also to get some of her identity back. I’m sure you moms know what I’m talking about. She never wanted to be ‘rich’ but she also didn’t want to be digging through old clothes hoping to find spare change (which happened at least once). Some of you, quite likely, would have hated her because she was conservative. Both fiscally and socially. In fact if I’m to believe election results, probably half of you (statistically) would have hated her. She believed that people should pay their own way and that’s the way she (and dad) raised me. Don’t get me wrong here, she also believed that people who really need help, should be able to get it (so do I). Her parents were depression era and refused, ‘relief’ (as they called it – we call it welfare) and that’s the way mom was. Even though, at times, early on they may have qualified for it, the folks never took it. Yet somehow, we were never homeless, naked, or hungry. The power and other utilities always stayed on and they always had some sort of vehicle to drive back and fourth to work.
Mom wasn’t a fashionista, wasn’t impressed by big diamond rings and other fancy stuff. It just wasn’t her taste. In fact, she (and dad) was the type that if someone volunteered the dollar amount they paid for whatever they were wearing, carrying, or driving, would write them off. She wasn’t impressed by name brands either. She liked to have nice things but wasn’t going to break the bank to have them. I am not saying she begrudged anyone having ‘high class’ type stuff or lifestyles, she just didn’t feel the need to be told what they paid for it and if that’s all that was important to them, she didn’t have any time for them.
She quite likely would have slapped the teeth out of the mouths of every one of the bravo housewives. If not for living beyond their means, for their bullshit drama. She didn’t suffer those kinds fools, hated drama queens, and didn’t hold any sympathy for any of them. Most specifically, she would tell people who constantly complained about their life to quit their bitching and do something to change it if they were so miserable. She did, they should be able to as well.
Growing up chasing her older brother around the neighborhood, mom was a bit of a tomboy. You would sooner see her riding a dirtbike tearing across trails in northern Michigan than see her in a salon having her nails and hair done. Rather than going shopping for the latest fashion trends, she would rather be hanging siding off of a 30 foot ladder. She was a bit of an artist in her younger years. She liked to paint and draw. Horses were a favorite subject. She always wanted one but it was never really meant to be. Who knows.. Had my parents lived longer, maybe it would have happened. Maybe she’s up there on horseback galloping along right now. How much of a girly girl she could be, you would have to ask my father. Between this and other posts, I think you get the idea.
Someone said to me today, that I seem distant. I denied that there is anything wrong but that was a lie. It isn’t personal towards anyone, it’s that Mother’s day has hit me particularly hard this year. My aunt, moms oldest sister, is coming next month and we will be celebrating her 80th birthday. Mom was the youngest of 4, and she was the first to go. One would think that at 49 and 4 years after the fact, I would be able to accept that (I do) but I still haven’t completely wrapped my mind around it.
Next to my house is a lilac bush/tree. Mom loved these and every year around mother’s day, they bloom. Typically, probably because I’ve destroyed my sense of smell, I cannot smell them. This year however, the scent is particularly strong. That may be a large part of what really put me in mind of my mother this year. They always look the same but the scent has brought back a flood of memories for me. Even from my youngest years of my sister and I fighting over who got to sit in the front seat of the car when we went somewhere (sister usually won that argument as mom basically told us to just get in the car). Maybe that’s why it’s hitting me so hard this year.
I’m not writing this post for a pity party. I don’t want one so please don’t. I’m writing it to pay tribute to the woman who both gave me life and and in large part shaped the kind of man I would become. I hope, beyond hope, I have done her proud. Call me a mama’s boy if you like but I did love and do miss, my mother. That’s her in the top photo by the way, 2003 at a family reunion.