Tuesday, October 26, 2010

...She would've been 84 today...

Dear Mom,

It's been quite a while now; you've been gone almost nine years. I know our little family struggled through the years with tensions, problems, and moods. Perhaps every family goes through all the things we endured; they all just endure it in different ways. But we had good times too. I just want you to know that I remember...

I remember all the evenings when Dad was on the road and you had a big dinner all heated up for me when I got home from work. I'd feel guilty about that; you didn't have to go to all that trouble. And we'd talk for hours about everything. In my later teens, especially, you were a good friend in addition to being a devoted Mom.

I remember when you bought me some record albums from a thrift store; they were great, and you even took me back down there so I could buy some more of them. That surprised me, because I'm sure the music I liked sounded as strange to you as rap music sounds to me.

I remember you playing the organ and how you could, one minute, be playing hymns and then immediately switch over to boogie-woogie. You always played everything in the key of B-Flat. I also remember you playing the baritone ukelele and singing; you had a unique voice; somewhere in-between baritone and alto. I have both of your 'ukes, and I remember, much later on, when you and I would jam, you played keyboard, and sure enough, I'd find a B-flat chord on the 'uke, and there you were!

I remember you always trying so hard to be a Perfect Mom. Every single day you had the vacuum cleaner running, and we all came to a home which was just beautiful, absolutely every single day. Everything in place, everything freshly scrubbed, everything the way it should be.

I remember you always working in the garden in Spring and Summer and how you planted bushes and other plants around almost our entire house. You literally threw yourself totally into whatever you did, in spite of your weakened heart; you told me you had rheumatic fever as a child, but that never seemed to keep you down.

If I could, I would suspend the world in the late 1960's/early 1970's, for that was really my formative time period, and even though our family wasn't the most peaceful, I wouldn't trade those years for all the riches in the world. Our family always had a lot of tension, but you kept trying as hard as you could for all those years, always seeing the best and trying for it.

Most of all, I would like to apologize for all the hurts and sorrows I caused you through the years. I wish that I had the opportunity to explain everything to you with the benefit of hindsight, but since I can't, I can only hope that from your heavenly vantage point, you can look down and smile upon me.

In my mind, the most drastic realization I've come to since you passed away, is that you were perhaps the only person who ever really tried to understand me. You cared about my feelings and I'll always treasure that. Wherever you may be now, I hope you have a well-deserved eternal rest.

Sometimes I'll see a little bird who looks upon me as it sits on a branch, before flying away, and I've wondered, "is that you?". The last dream I ever had about you, some years ago, took place in the upper story of a big building, and I had a chance to apologize for the many mistakes I've made, and you said, "it's all right". Mom, I just want to thank you for all you did and how important you still are to me. I fell short many times, but I know you'd want me to keep hanging in there. And so I am.

Yer Sun,

Whenever Mom corresponded with me in later years, she'd almost always include a $5 bill with her letter telling me to "go out and get a hamburger or something". And when I wrote her back, I'd always close my letter with "Yer Sun". My memories of Mom far exceed what I've posted here, but writing this gave me an opportunity to remember the Good Things. Happy Birthday, Mom...


Anonymous Regina said...

Nice comments about your mom. No matter how old we are when we lose our parents, it still hurts.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

Well, Regina, with the passage of time it hurts less, but Mom's a permanent part of my life and I'll always remember her.

1:59 PM  

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