It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday; it’s time for all of us to remember the woman or women who had such pivotal roles in our lives’. My earliest recollection of this significant day was as a child. I would take out my crayons, find some colored paper and make a homemade card for my Mom. In it, I would proclaim my undying love amid butterflies and birds that looked more like a Picasso than a Rembrandt. My crooked birds or butterflies looked like they had survived a shooting gallery. But this fact didn’t matter to my mother, she always acted so proud to receive my gifts of affirmation.
The old song, “The Wind Beneath My Wings” is a fair depiction of what my Mother has meant to me in my life. When I was too scared to swim, she would let me crawl on her back and we’d cut a path in the water together. My Mom never failed to amaze me. It seemed like she had no fear at all. It was a cold and blustery winter Sunday on Megunticook Lake near Camden, Maine. The ice was thick from the brutally cold winds that swooped down from the surrounding mountains. The view of the landscape depicted a winter wonderland.
Our church had decided to have an ice skating party at the lakeside home of one of the church members. The men grabbed shovels and being all of eight years of age, I too took my shovel and began to clean off the lake. There was easily a foot of snow or more on that cold and barren surface. But when the job was complete something magical happened, a skating rink and a star took center stage. My Mother sat down on the ice, strapped on her skates, jumped up, and proceeded to glide and pirouette like a swan skater from the Ice Capades. Her gracefulness made it look easy. I had no idea she was such a talented skater. She whirled around like she was born with skates on. Despite my best efforts, I lurched, rolled, and stumbled like I was on rubber legs; it was my first time.
As she spun and gracefully did her best impression of Peggy Fleming at the Winter Olympics, she was grinning ear to ear. I know she loved showing her children that she could still be full of surprises. The fact is, she still is to this day. Her generosity, patience, and forgiveness, have been an ever present beacon in my life. My Mother’s senior high school yearbook described her as, “a fantastic cook, mischievous and possessing a great sense of humor.” It pegged her correctly.
My Mother doesn’t know a stranger. Recently at a restaurant her waitress came to deliver her order. As the waitress bent down to place the food in front of her and my dad, my Mother couldn’t help but notice the tattoo of a blue bird on the waitress’s upper chest. My mother remarked, “Is that a bluebird?” To which the waitress exclaimed yes. Much to the delight of her, my mother proceeded to tell her that she too had the same tattoo. The waitress excitedly said, “You do?” To which my mother responded, “Yes, but since I had it done so many years ago at my age, it’s now a pelican!” The waitress almost fell on the floor laughing.
As my father insists after 56 years of marriage, “I married THE BEST.” Dad, I agree. For my Mother’s Day wish this year, I hope my Mom lives to be 100. As long she’s with me, I’ll always be a kid. I don’t ever want to lose that label.