Present Tense

Thoughts on my mom…..

It’s Mother’s Day and I feel a bit melancholy.  You see, I’m not a mom and that was probably my biggest mistake in a life that has been full of them.  I also am missing my mom today.

I will call her later at their home in Battle Creek, Michigan.  I speak with her frequently, but I miss being with her on special days and I miss the mom that I grew up with.  My mom is 92 and a half years old.  She does not have dementia, but is getting a bit foggy.  My mom was generally a non-drinker and her current mental state is kind of like someone who’s enjoyed a glass or two of wine.  I suppose that’s not a horrible way to go into the sunset.

We no longer have the long and in-depth phone conversations that we used to have.  In fact, she has a tendency to finish a phone conversation rather abruptly once she’s said all she feels like saying.  My sisters and nieces  and I chuckle about it.  The silver lining is that we no longer fight and bicker over the phone;  I’ve decided that nothing is really worth fighting or bickering about when you’re 92 and a half.  I feel very protective of her feelings at this stage.

She can’t read like she used to. It tires her and that makes me sad.  My mom was militant about reading when I was a kid.  She didn’t care what I read, as long as I was reading something.  She bought me comic books every single week during our trip to the grocery store because she knew kids want to read fun stuff, not stuffy stuff.  She was right.  Once I was in school, I loaded up with books from the library every weekend and read them all.  Now that I’m a grown up, I have developed quite a taste for the stuffy stuff I avoided as  child.  You should see my night stand.  Ponderous.

My mother was a typical woman of her era (born in 1920) and she never played sports or developed an interest in sports or exercise.  She did all of the things that women of her era were supposed to do.  Having said that, she was never a very good cook.  That finally dawned on me once I left home and couldn’t get enough of the ‘delicious’ dorm food.

So even though she followed the more traditional role of her time, she allowed her youngest child to be an unruly, unkempt tom-boy.  My best friends were the rowdy boys in the neighborhood.  I hated dolls; loved baseball mitts and sporting goods.  She never tried to force me into the traditional feminine roles and this was during the 60s and 70s, before feminism became a big deal.

She was involved in politics and worked on various campaigns and I remember going with her to events.  I was fascinated by all of the buttons, bumper stickers and hats that they handed out.  She was for the Equal Rights Amendment and I’m not sure that she and my dad always saw eye to eye.  She was born the same year that American women were guaranteed the right to vote.  I think that probably shaped her views about voting and politics.

I guess I get my propensity for advocacy and strong opinions from her.  She also nurtured my sense of humor, my sense of the absurd and still encourages my writing.  Every time I talk to her, even now, she tells me that I should write more. She’s right about that.  I should.  Mom is always right.

May 12, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , | 22 Comments


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