Speaking of Mom...
About six years ago, I wrote a "book", simply detailing everything I could think of to write from my memory. I did that to leave behind my memories for my family, when I die. Sort of didn't want the knowledge to die when I did.
In the first chapter, I found myself writing about some events concerning my Mother. What prompted me to copy those paragraphs concerning her, and put them here, is the fact I stumbled across the bookmark over there, just an hour or so ago. It reminded me that my mother died 14 years ago today. That seemed a good enough reason, so what follows is what I wrote in 2005.
"Speaking of Mom, most of the things about getting along with people, that I can remember learning, I remember learning from Mom. To name a few:
- Say “Please and Thank you”.
- Paying the bills in a restaurant. When I was 8 or 10 years old, I would ride in to Midway Airport to pick up Dad when he returned from business trips. Mom and I would often stop somewhere, usually the White Mill, and get a milkshake. She’d always give me the money and tell me to go to the counter and pay the bill. She said, since I was the man in the party, I should pay the bill.
- Never walk on a railroad track. A neighbor of ours was killed by a train when I was, perhaps, 10 years old, and another neighbor said the train had “torn him inside out”. I remember visualizing that, and the picture never left. To this day, I cannot stand to be on a railroad track for any time. Even the occasional traffic line-up that puts me on an old, unused, rusty track bothers me greatly until I get off the tracks.
- Always call people older than you by “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, or “Miss”. Never use their first name, unless they ask you to. Truth be told, I never could, even when asked. One of my father’s friends, whom my Dad was training, told me later that, when I called him “Mr.”, it was the first time he ever felt old. I also had trouble, many years later, as a Rotary Club Member where all are commanded to call each other by their first names.
- Always open the door for a lady. One amusing part of that is, since I’ve gotten older, ladies open the door for me. Even Pretty Ones. Talk about mixed emotions…
- Always walk on the curb-side, of the sidewalk, of any lady with whom you are walking. I do that, to this very day. No matter who the lady is.
We left the counter, she one way and I the other.
Mothers: take heart. Your children won’t ignore what you teach them, even when they’re ignoring you."
Here's a photo of mom, taken in Colorado. She's pretty much as I remember her.