So I tried to write a poem. I made three attempts and none of which stuck because they were either focused on me or weren’t quite as loving as I wanted them to be. (see what I did there, “me” and “be”, ha!)
Things I remember about my mother:
1. I used to get money out of her purse for buying slushies at the shaved ice place by Mr. Malone’s barber shop. Whether I stole that money or not is up for debate. I think it was about a 50/50 split.
2. I remember being threatened when I was about 8 or 9 by a guy in the bathroom at Verona Jr. High after I had tattled on him for smoking in the bathroom. I told my mom that I was scared. She pulled out a knife and told me that she would stab anybody who tried to hurt me. So when we left the basketball game that is just what she did. No, she didn’t stab anybody, but she would have, I think. She did let me cling to her for dear life while keeping the knife in her other hand. I don’t know if anyone escorted us out or not. I never heard from that guy again either. Maybe he got wind of my mom being willing to poke a few holes in him. (Hind sight: I think what she was actually carrying was a retractable nail file, but to an 8 year old in need, it was Crocodile Dundee’s knife from the first movie).
4. Can anyone say “Green Thumb”? Very good. You can be certified as a parrot. Most weekends my mom could be found planting something, mowing something, hauling brush, working in the garden, etc… She was always dirty and her clothes were of the finest quality with holes in her jeans and typically an old t-shirt on. She taught me that hard work could be fun, except after harvesting the garden when we had to snap beans and shell peas for days on end.
There are more memories but I am not writing a book. I am writing a blog. I remember my mom as a loving protector, like a Mama Bear is with her cubs. She allowed us to have our independence while keeping tabs on us in case something bad happened. She hugged us and scolded us. She feed us and feed us and feed us and feed us and…well you get the idea. It is not surprising that it took my sister and I moving out before they were able to get ahead financially. I am kind of looking forward to that day myself twenty years from now, at least until one of the children moves back home.
I love you and miss you.
Your son in the Land of Entrapment