Tuesday, July 05, 2011

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.
These thoughts all came to me one day when I was in the supermarket. Peg was out of town, and I’d gone there to get a meal at the deli, to take home and eat. Alongside me at the counter was an obviously pregnant young lady with a son, perhaps 7 or 8 years old with her.

When the attendant came over, she asked me what I wanted and I said “”She was here first … wait on her” The young lady said “Thank you” and I remarked to her “I think ladies are never more beautiful, than when they’re pregnant”.
She laughed and said “Well, in that case, I have about 4 more weeks to be beautiful”.
We left the counter, she one way and I the other.

I walked up to the checkout line and she walked up behind me; I told her “You were here first, so go ahead”.

She said “Thank you again!” I remarked “Don’t thank me … thank my Mother. She taught me all those things”.

I’d never thought of that before that instant. But the thought has taken root, and there’s seldom a day I don’t thank God for a Mom who taught me.

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.

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