Tag Archives: Mom

Mom’s and Dad’s Favorite Song – A Love Song

Musical Marker

We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014?

(On July 15 of this year my mother’s funeral was held. She was 100 years old. This story was read at her funeral.)

When I hear Now Is the Hour I think of Mom, Dad, and ocean sunsets.

When I hear Now Is the Hour I think of Mom, Dad, and ocean sunsets.

Every now and then Mom and Dad broke into a song. It was always the same song. It probably reminded them of the time when Dad was not at home during the WW II. The song was Now Is the Hour.

Mom and Dad didn’t have good voices, but there was something about them singing it that comforted me. It was probably because it comforted them.

The song had been around for a couple of decades until recorded by Bing Crosby first in ‘47. Mom and Dad probably heard it at dances or on live radio. Mom said it was popular during the war. The song was a reminder of the uncertainty of war. It was a forlorn period when they were apart.

Although Mom’s and Dad’s marriage was stormy when they sung that song I knew they were thinking of each other.

One particular night I remember distinctly from the others. I was in the living room playing with some toys on the floor. The year was about 1953. Mom was in the kitchen preparing supper. The song came over the radio and Mom started singing. At that time in Mom’s life I think she was struggling with the reality of a bad marriage. The song took her away for a while.

A mother’s voice, no matter how off key or shrill, is the one that comforts you and lets you know all is well. I still hear it. There was a painful almost tearful cry in her voice when she sang it. When she sang it, and only her, it made me think of a thousand lonely sunsets. It will be with me until my last day.

Here is that song by Margaret Whiting;

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Filed under Essays

Mom’s Bitter Vivid Memory

Memory on the Menu

Which good memories are better — the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?

Six months ago while my mom was still 99 I visited with her.

On the stand next to her chair was a picture of her entire school when she was in the first grade. It was grades 1st t0 8th. There were approximately 75 students. She had the names of at least 3/4 of the students written above them. The picture was taken in 1920.

“Wow, Mom,” I said, “that’s incredible how you remember all those people.”

She smiled.

I scanned the photo and saw a boy who looked as though he might have been a couple years ahead of mom. He had a goofy smile on his face.

“Whose this kid? I don’t know how you could ever forget him.” I said. “He looks like a real character.”

Mom pursed her lips together. “That’s Larry Patterson.”

“Why didn’t you write his name?”

“That little b*****d pissed on me,” she said vengefully, “and I’m not about to write his name.”

“How did that happen?” I asked.

“He was standing on a limb in a tree and called me over,” Mom said. “And when I looked up, he flipped it out and let it go – little b******d.”

“Wow, Mom, you really hold a grudge,” I said.

“Damn right, I do.”

Here is a link to the final episode of my short story for the day is the day, Romancing Ted.

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Mom

A Thanksgiving Mom Won’t Forget

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

Dad’s dream was to own his own business. That’s sort of everybody’s dream, but Dad wanted to own a bar (actually ‘bar’ is too sophisticated; “beer joint” would be more apropos).

This was what my Mom had in mind when it came to Thanksgiving.

Dad’s business plan was to sell beer. Food was something he would offer to keep the customer there to drink more beer. On the other hand; Mom’s plan was to provide good meals and the beer would come as a compliment to the food. Dad wanted a bar/restaurant and Mom wanted a restaurant/bar.

This sort of tug of war is nothing unusual. Everything is perspective and one trying to accommodate the other, but frankly accommodation was the furthest thing from Dad’s mind.

Dad’s first year in the “beer joint” business, like all businesses, was tough. The first big holiday to come along was Thanksgiving. He knew that week would be bad. In the “beer joint” business it’s all about the weekend Thanksgiving takes the weekend away.

We all have an idyllic view or memory of Thanksgiving; a farm, a field with a dusting of snow, and a warm home full of the aromas of food and family.

Traditionally our family had Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s sister’s home. They lived on a farm and had plenty of room to accommodate the entire family. There is nothing more pleasing and heartwarming than a Thanksgiving meal on a quaint bucolic farm setting; fields with a dusting of snow and walking into a warm kitchen full of the aroma of good home cooking.

Dad envisioned a big Thanksgiving meal at the bar where the beer flowed freely: an open invitation to all patrons and their families. Mom wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her family; in thankful grace and reverence.

Dad won out.

Mom invited her family.

Mom’s Father, Mother, and Sister belonged to the Church of the Brethren. There was no beer, no cursing, and no farting at the table.

Dad thought there was nothing better to be thankful about than a bar full of beer drinkers.

Mom and Dad arranged that the family could have a large room separate from the hedonistic bar clientele. What was great about this room was that not only was it more than large enough for all the families; it had a shuffle board, two pinball machines, an old honky-tonk piano, and a jukebox. Mom’s family opted for the more traditional setting. Mom’s sister played church music as bad as anybody on the piano and if there was one thing that old piano needed was some religion – even if off-key.

As it turned out Mom’s puritan and prudish family decided at the last-minute a bar on the seedy side of town was not a proper place to give thanks. When Mom said, “Maybe we can do it for Christmas,” there was silence.

Mom prepared three turkeys, a ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, Mom’s signature cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie. Not only did the family shun us, but not one patron showed up for the Thanksgiving meal.

When it became clear no one was showing up; Mom called a local homeless shelter and donated some of the food.

My two sisters and I missed our cousins, but it was one of the few meals, if not the only, I remember as a family.

When we gathered with Mom’s family the meal was started with a blessing. This privilege was reserved for my younger cousin. He mumbled it so fast I never understood him. I always wondered what was the difference in that, than saying what our family normally said; “Let’s eat!” Was he truly thankful or just as anxious to eat. Come to think of it; he always got the first scoop of mashed potatoes.

During the meal Mom was quiet. I saw a tear or two roll from her eye. After the meal Mom, my two sisters, and I played a couple games of shuffle board. Mom was really good at it and smoked us all. Dad sat at the table having his traditional Thanksgiving drink; Burger Beer.

It ended up being a pretty happy time. We listened to Hank Williams and Hank Snow on the Jukebox. My sisters were eight and ten years older than me. I was seven. They danced with me. Dad danced with Mom to their favorite song, “Now is the Hour.” We cleared the table and washed dishes. As nightfall came we turned on the TV that sat above the bar. Dad, Mom, my sisters, and I sat at the bar on bar stools with our beverage of choice watching TV.

That was not the traditional Thanksgiving setting. Dad fixed Mom a highball (gin and Squirt). It seemed to chase the blahs away.

As I was writing this I gave Mom a call and asked her if she remembered the Thanksgiving our family had at the bar. She said, “I sure do; nobody showed up.”

It was a great Thanksgiving for me. I wasn’t under the critical eye of my grandparents. I wasn’t upstaged by my younger cousin who knew one repetitious prayer (I knew all the words to Hank Williams’ Jambalaya), my Dad didn’t have to watch his bad language, my sisters got to do jitterbug, and Mom showed us a few Charleston steps.

I’m sure Mom’s family had a good time, but to this day no one is more thankful than I for having Thanksgiving in a bar: excuse me – beer joint on the seedy side of town.

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Mom

My Mom Is 99; Top That!

Mom when she was a teenager. We might call this a glamor shot today. Mom wanted to be an actress.

Mom when she was a teenager. We might call this a glamor shot today. Mom wanted to be an actress.

Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom!

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Wherever in the world you are, write your mother a letter.

I’m not an observer or celebrator of Mother’s Day. Let’s be blunt; if one needs a reminder from a TV commercial, a greetings card company, florists, or The Country Buffet maybe things ain’t so good between you and Mom.

If I did something special for her on that day she would call me out on it. “Why can’t you be this nice to me all the time?”

I call her once a week. Sometimes she gets lost in her memories. She will confuse me with her brother who died over twenty years ago. We have the same first name.

I think a lot about Mom these days. She’s ninety-nine. Imagine that! She has outlived her husband, boyfriend, brothers, sister, all her cousins, friends, and two daughters. She’s buried I don’t know how many doctors that has told her to keep her cholesterol down and  lose some weight.

She lived in a time before radio, TV, or any sort of communication as we know it today. Automobiles were rare. An airplane ride was a novelty. She was in high school when the Great Depression started. She was a part of that “greatest generation” where all work was honorable and to be on welfare or the public dole was a dishonor. If you didn’t have a job you looked until you found a job, any job.

That's Mom holding me up. Taken in 1947 at 124 1/2 East Euclid Street, Lima, Ohio.

That’s Mom holding me up. Taken in 1947 at 124 1/2 East Euclid Street, Lima, Ohio.

Mom was a retail clerk, had a laundry route, managed retail stores, worked in factories, cleaned homes, washed dishes, tended bars, and waited tables.

She still lives on her own. She works crossword puzzles every day and still watches soap operas.

Nearly two years ago I posted stories about her for an entire year. They are under the “Mom” category of the right sidebar.

Mother of all bloggers:

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Ilya Fostiy. A Toy | Bright Moments Catcher
  2. Ilya Fostiy. Amnesia | Bright Moments Catcher
  3. Ilya Fostiy. Remark | Bright Moments Catcher
  4. Daily Post: Hi, Mom! | Charles Ray’s Ramblings
  5. What Is It About Mothers? | Katherine’s Daughter
  6. Sun kissed, Life bound. | caffeinated sonnets
  7. May 12 Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | Nadeen’s Reading Corner
  8. Happy Mother’s Day: A Son’s Appreciation For Mom | Creative Mysteries
  9. DP – Hi, Mom! | Life With Pink Princesses
  10. Salamat Ma | Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | likereadingontrains
  11. Everyday Adventures | Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom!
  12. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! « Mama Bear Musings
  13. My Mum (WordPress Daily Prompt) | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis and Me
  14. Happy Mother’s Day | An Unlikely Gypsy…
  15. My Mom Is 99; Top That! | The Jittery Goat
  16. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | JUkk
  17. The dirt beneath my feet (Daily Prompt) | liveuntil
  18. Dear Mum … | Purplesus’ Blog
  19. She Got It From Her Mama | That Girl Ryan
  20. 12.5 Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | family photos food & craft
  21. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | suzie81’s Blog
  22. Mother’s Day – “A Day of Thank You(s)” | Living Life the DOitChoco Way
  23. A Message for A Special Lady | the world behind the lens
  24. Daily Prompt: Hi Mom | Postcards from
  25. To where you are | Relax…
  26. One Man Versus the Traditional Family | One Man Versus the World
  27. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! | eagerexplorer
  28. Hi, Mom! | The Nameless One
  29. yes, Mom! wow, Mom! | irish noble king
  30. The Other Light: A Mother’s Day Story | theeyelife
  31. My Maamah | Hera Pereira
  32. Daily Prompt: Hi Mom! | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  33. Hi, Mom! | Michael Writes
  34. Dear Mom, Can You Tell Me How You’ve Done It? « littlemisswordy
  35. mon travail | Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom!
  36. Six weeks in hospital | Scribbles by a hunglish girl 🙂
  37. World’s best Mama enjoy your day! | Pinkpodster Ponders
  38. Hello Mum | a weirder fetish
  39. Dear Mom | Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | Perfect Medium.
  40. Dear Mama… | Haiku By Ku
  41. Hi, Mom! | Life of a Minister Mom
  42. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! 12th May 2013 | ittikorn1994
  43. Mother’s Day… | jaycee68
  44. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | On My Front Porch
  45. My Mother: Daily Post Response | Maggie’s Writing
  46. I Wish You Were a Blogger | Virginia Views
  47. Mother’s Day 2013 Reflections | CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
  48. Mother | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  49. Ma | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  50. Lydablogger | A Daughter’s Story
  51. My Best Mother’s Day…so far | Essence of Del
  52. To all moms: what your children mean to say on Mother’s Day | Moms Living Leaner
  53. WP Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
  54. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama | Pinay New Yorker
  55. An Open Letter to my Jehovah’s Witness Mom | Cozy Compulsions @ Midnight
  56. Mothers, Thank you. | theseeker
  57. A Mother’s Day Note | Colline’s Blog
  58. Happy Mother’s Day! (Comic) | Green Embers
  59. A Letter To My Mom | Little Red Jenn
  60. Daily Prompt: Happy Mother’s Day | My Daily Prompt Blog
  61. Dear Mom | Travellin’ Thru Rambles
  62. Unfinished — Short Story | I am a heathen.
  63. An Open Letter From Mom | Misifusa’s Blog
  64. Experiment. — Dear Mom: Motherhood is a Science and Patience is not a variable. | mommyverbs
  65. Stitching it together: a family art collection for Mother’s Day | caroline larnach
  66. DP Challenge – Hi, Mom | hometogo232
  67. This day I dedicate to mamma | MindBlur
  68. Mom’s Day! | Kaleidoscopic World in Words
  69. Daily Prompt: Hi, Mum! | The Tarot Alchemist
  70. Dear Mom | The Dodson Citizen
  71. Daily Prompt: Mommy | Morrighan’s Muse
  72. Daily Prompt : worth a thousand words | The Road 2 Cute Shoes
  73. I forgive you… | The Local Lens
  74. Dear Mama | The Teen Theme
  75. Floral in Gray: Mother’s Day Rose | 2812 photography
  76. Mothers Day Tears | Sisters of Christ
  77. DEAR MOMMY…do you miss me? | Don’t Carry The Donkey!
  78. Daily Prompt: Hi Mom | Running After Ale
  79. The Woman in the Background | The Other Courtney

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays, Mom

Old Glove Old Desk Old Sweater Old Me

My first baseball gloves.

My first baseball gloves.

Daily Prompt: Prized Possession

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

Admittedly I have an attachment to things; small things that remind me of the past.

My Dad bought a glove for me when it looked as if there was a good chance for me to start at shortstop on my little league baseball team. A couple of years later he bought a first baseman’s mitt for me. I still have them. It’s a reminder of hot sunny days on dusty diamonds as a kid and being my Dad’s pride.

I write on the desk my mother bought as a gift on my fourteenth birthday. A matching bookcase came with it. I have another blog which isn’t used often. It’s called My Old Brown Desk.

A year before purchasing the desk and bookcase Mom and Dad purchased a set of World Book Encyclopedias. Mom and Dad thought my grades would improve. They didn’t, but they opened up a world of wonder and knowledge. Those encyclopedias were stored for a while in a damp place and took on mold. They had to be destroyed.

It reminds me of a Midwest farm house bedroom in which the desk and bookcase rested. I tried studying, but was seduced by my imagination to wander through the encyclopedias and read about places far from the farm fields of northwest Ohio.

When sixteen I saved my money from bailing hay on nearby farms and bought my school cloths. My favorite item was a green Jantzen sweater. I slip it on nearly every day. I have another blog that features only short stories. It is named My Old Green Sweater.

Each item represents a gift from the people most dear to me when growing up. They were gifts with good motives and pure hearts. Lastly was a gift purchased by myself to myself. I think sometimes that is important; buy something for just you. It’s not selfish or egotistical, just make it meaningful and memorable.

I’m not incredibly attached to those things; only the memories they beckon; Dad watching me play ball, Mom watching me study, and my first day at school wearing that sweater – I thought I was cool!

Other possesive bloggers:

  1. Ilya Fostiy. Clone | Inside My Schizophrenic Mind
  2. Prized Possession – I’m Afraid Of The Dark
  3. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | pandora’s island 2
  4. You’re the Beary Best! | Misifusa’s Blog
  5. 57/365 – childhood attachment | Camera Girl
  6. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | To Name a Few | Loading…
  7. Books of my grandfather, or what you need French for | Standing Ovation, Seated
  8. Puff, the Magic Turtle | Conversations
  9. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | The Gozum Show
  10. Step aside Blankie… | thoughtsofrkh
  11. Ever decreasing comforter (Daily Prompt) | Prompt Queen
  12. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | My Daily Prompt Blog
  13. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | Alex Hurst
  14. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | The Dork Life
  15. The Pendleton | Kansa Muse on Micro Farming and More
  16. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession — Annabelle | SERENDIPITY
  17. Anne | Hope* the happy hugger
  18. My most prized, loved possessions. | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  19. Waiting Upon My Every Move | Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | likereadingontrains
  20. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | JUkk
  21. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession « Mama Bear Musings
  22. My Most Prized Possession | Chatter From a Single Mom
  23. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession 2nd April, 2013 | ittikorn1994
  24. You’re Too Slow! A Story About My Experience With the Sonic Games | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  25. Evoking Nostalgia | Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness
  26. Humpty Dumpty is Starting to Smell . . . | Pondering Spawned
  27. Purple Bear… | Haiku By Ku
  28. My Jassem Doll | das Nicht-zuhause-sein
  29. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  30. Rolling stone.. | Head full of Fluff
  31. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | baka’s blog
  32. Daily Prompt: Where Is It?! | One Starving Activist
  33. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | Diary of Dennis
  34. Childhood Artifacts | Fish Of Gold
  35. Daily Prompt: Ringa Ringa Roses!! | it’s just abOut Me 🙂
  36. the blonde-haired girl with the longest legs | Pigments of Life
  37. Daily Prompt: It’s not as much fun to pick up the pieces | emma wolf
  38. The adventures of Zoe and Zelda | Five Uninterrupted Minutes
  39. My Childhood Friend | draliman on life
  40. Daily Prompt: Prized Possession | My Atheist Blog
  41. One Of The Sixty. | paul scribbles
  42. Michael Jackson and a Stuffed Platypus | History & Wine
  43. I’m not sure if I’d call it a possession…Daily Prompt | polysyllabic profundities
  44. My Prized Possession? | The Nameless One
  45. Prized Possession: A library filled with 66 books | Not The Sword But The Pen
  46. Daily Prompt: Baby Bottle | Lines by Linda

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

A New Year’s Musical Memory

Guy Lumbardo, it wasn't New Year's without him. It's sort of funny now that I think about it; that's the only time I ever heard him. He coudn't have lived on just one gig a year!

Guy Lumbardo, it wasn’t New Year’s without him. It’s sort of funny now that I think about it; that’s the only time I ever heard him. He coudn’t have lived on just one gig a year!

I haven’t gone to a New Year’s Party ever.

I don’t get ‘em. One day is the same as another.

The expression “see the new year in together” is used often. What changes from a second before midnight to a second after? Nothing; and everybody knows it.

On top of that nearly everybody except for retailers close; there are no government services, no banks, doctor’s offices are closed, nearly every administration and manufacturing function of the nation stops. I’m not necessarily complaining; I just don’t get it.

Mom and Dad never went out. Dad always went to bed and never saw a New Year’s come in. On the other hand Mom stayed up. And I stayed up with her.

We watched the ball drop in Times Square on an old black and white, which was kind of pathetic when you think about it; sitting alone on a cold winter evening watching others celebrate.

After the ball dropped Mom quickly changed the channel to find Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians play Auld Lang Syne.

Here is Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians December 31, 1957 probably just the way Mom and I watched it:

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Filed under My Music

My Mom is Still a Mystery

You might think a grandmother would cherish a letter from a grandchild.

Mom’s actions indicated she never wanted a close relationship with my children, even though they have sought her out.

Nearly two years ago my son wrote her a letter. I know my son loves her, but I am not sure my Mom loves him, let alone knows him. When I asked Mom about the letter she said, “Well he’s got his life and I got mine.”

The question on my mind was, ‘what do you mean by that?’ I didn’t ask it because I don’t want to know and I don’t think Mom knows.

My oldest daughter has written her a few times and Mom never replies.

My youngest daughter was at my sister’s funeral. She sat and talked with Mom and her affect was unemotional.

Nevertheless I want my children and grandchildren to know something about her that may explain her lack of responsiveness.

That brings to mind one final story about Mom:

When she was a young girl her family visited a couple of Aunts in Piqua, Ohio. Mom tried to win there love and attention, but was unable; she perceived it going to her older sister.

This disturbs Mom to this day; events that happened at least ninety years ago.

Mom said she would never treat any of her family that way.

Mom vacationed in Hawaii when my daughters were five and three. When she returned she came by the house and brought my oldest daughter a gift, a dress with a matching blouse. Suddenly she remembered she had nothing for my younger daughter. Mom went though her purse and found a trinket handed out to passengers from American Airlines. That was my younger daughter’s gift.

My daughter accepted the gift, but saw the sharp contrast between her gift and her older sister’s.

Later I said to my Mom, “You being home is the best gift, but if you can’t give something near an equal gift than just bring yourself, that way no child we suffer disappointment.”

The concept seemed strange to Mom. She said, “Than I’ll get them both nothing from now on.”

That was meant to elicit and apology from me. “That will be fine, Mom. Like I said your presence is enough, but please don’t treat one better than the other, remember how that made you feel with your Aunts.”

Mom looked at me as if I was being impertinent. She immediately changed the subject.

That’s it. That’s the last story. That’s the story I’ve waiting to get out.

In some ways these stories probably say more about me and not being able or wanting to confront her every step of the way as she inched further from me and my family. So I don’t know any more now than I did as a teenager. I was hoping for a grand conclusion; something profound and insightful. I think a stranger might know, but not me.

In many ways she is very remarkable and yet in many other ways she remains a mystery. People who are mysteries are that by design. Mom led a life of judging others harshly. Perhaps she has always been in fear of letting others know who she is for fear of the same judgmental attitude toward her she has demonstrated towards others. I must be satisfied that she will take many secrets and mysteries to the grave.

If you have been reader of these episodes about my Mom I hope you have enjoyed them. If you have only read a few of the posts about my Mom the rest are under “Mom” in Categories on the right side bar. When you consider the whole body of work you will likely come to the same conclusions I have; she’s a real hoot!

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