Mother’s Day

‘Hit the deck…you rubberneck!’  This was the commandment that my mom woke me with each morning, before school.  I thought that all mom’s must utter a similar, colorful, alarm to their children.  The first time my buddy, Steve, stayed overnight with us…he was  amazed at the wake-up call!  Mom was the most compassionate person that I knew…and she had a hot burning temper…if ignited!  We had a party-line telephone, and at times we we were either interrupted by other members of the party…or we would hear the phone, click, and know that our colleagues were enjoying a cheap form of entertainment by listening to our conversation.  At times, another line member would pick up the phone and ask how long we were planing on talking, as they had a need for the phone.  So, one day our telephone rang and mom answered it.  We had been experiencing issues with our phone access…and she uttered, ‘Speak ass…mouth won’t!’  Needless to say, I was speechless…and mom felt that she had given them what they deserved!


I mentioned to mom that my second grade teacher had shook me when she became upset with my poor arithmetic skills.  She responded that she would visit her for a talk, tomorrow.  The next day, after school, mom visited with my instructor.  When I asked her what had been said, she responded that she had told my teacher,  if she ever laid a hand on me again,  that she would, ‘ have her to answer to!’  After that, I did all right in the second grade.


Mom loved to go to the ‘Honky Tonk’…now and then.  She enjoyed dancing and her favorite drink was a ‘sloe gin fizz.’  She had been a switchboard operator at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago.  Mom worshipped her mother, Grace, who was a life-long christian.  When mom became a christian…she gave it her entire heart and soul.  She did to speak much about her faith…she lived it.  If she knew of one of her friends or neighbors that was in need…she was there to help.  Two of her best friends in Eldorado were women that the town had forgotten.  They were not only marginalized…they were made fun of…by many.  One of the friends was named, Rosie, and the other was called, One-Eye.  I never knew One-Eyes name.  She had lost an eye in her youth and was impoverished.  She was the kind of person that mom was proud to associate with and to be seen with…and to break bread with.  Rosie was a woman who lived alone and had no friends…and she loved our former president, JFK.  She was a woman of some physical substance and her constant apparel was what was called a moo moo.  She wore bobby socks and had the misfortune of some missing teeth…and a unique laugh.  She had no automobile and did not know how to drive, and mom took her to the grocery store and to doctor’s appointments and she had dinner at our home…on a regular basis.  She did the same for her friend, One-Eye.  While others forgot these ladies…mom loved them and included them in her life.  When mom would witness someone who was a loner or disenfranchised due to being somewhat different from, what was considered the norm, she would say, “Poor kid,’ and seek ways to let that person know that they were loved.

I just got out of Zoom Church.  Pastor Kerry preached a wonderful sermon.  Jonathon commented that he enjoyed what Kerry had to say.  When I inquired what part…he responded that when he preached that he believed that God had it all worked out…in that there were many ways to God…not just one!  I said that I enjoyed that very much…and have believed the same…since I became a christian…

Mom passed away from Alzheimers Disease…and even when she was almost non-verbal…she could sing every word of Amazing Grace…


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