Monday, May 09, 2011


This story is actually a collection from three stories combined for the Mothers Day issue of the Alvarado Star newspaper and carried over from Facebook. Some of you that have been coming around a while may recognize all three.


"In the second grade we were allowed to walk home from school for lunch. Its hard to believe they let us do that. I don't think that can happen these days.
I always walked with Donna. We would part at the corner and meet again after lunch to return to school. Every day my mother gave me a Baby Snickers Bar for the walk back and I would split it with Donna on the corner.
One day I asked Mom if I might have two candy bars.
She inquired as to why I would need two. I told her all about Donna and how we walked together everyday, and how I split my candy bar with her always.
I'll never forget the look on Mom's face.
"Oh yes, Stevie, you most certainly may!" as she dried her hands on her Watermelon Apron and pulled another Snickers Bar from out of the cupboard.
She was beaming.
You might think that is a story about Donna, but it is more about my mother than Donna.

Dad had an old Brownie Camera, the kind that the top unfolds and the image is reflected up as you look down through a thick piece of glass.
One day at the store, Mom asked if I might want to take pictures with the camera and bought some film. I was 5 years old. She put the film in for me and set me on my way, out the back door and into the garden. I asked her what I should take pictures of and she told me to take pictures of flowers.
When I came back, I handed her the camera and a bouquet of flowers I had collected.
“Stevie, what are the flowers for?” she asked.
“Just in case the pictures don’t come out Mom”
She just laughed and kissed my head.
Momma raised her up a sweet little boy.

So Thanks Mom....
... for waiting the six hours for me to apologize for spitting in your face. I was three.
... for playing “Tarzan” with me and keeping a straight face, staying in character as I wrestled the giant snake to protect you, even though it was just a Vacuum cleaner hose.
...for the way you looked at me when I asked for that extra candy bar to share with Donna
...for yanking me out of the street while I played "Chicken" with the Hoodlum down the street in his '55 Chevy.
...for always calling me ‘Stephen” when I was in trouble, giving me a little time to brace myself.
...for the watch you gave me after I got home from sneaking out all night, saying 'Stevie, I want you to always know what time it is".
...for taking such good care of me after I moved back home to take care of you after your stroke.
...for laughing harder than I while Shila tickled me to tears on the couch.
...for “hanging on” long enough for me to get back home before you passed.

My most indelible image of Mom is when she would ask me:
"When are you and Shila going to have a baby"
“Oh, Mom, I don’t know, sometime in a while, I guess...”
In her little girl singsong voice she would reply...
“Oh, Stevie, you just have to hurry...”
Then holding her arms as though she were cradling a baby she would say:
“...It would be so terrible if I didn’t get to hold her”

She missed it by a year and this is my greatest regret. How did she know our first child would be a girl? Well, mothers know everything!
All you youngsters out there, don’t let this happen. And always be nice to your mothers and ask them many questions. One day you won’t be able to ask them anymore.

Mom died on December 1st, 1986. Dad was in a VA hospital with Alzheimer's.
If there is someone responsible for letting Mom die first, thank you.
Very kind.

I chose to post this as a note because the line breaks in the electronic online paper are not true to what you see in print and really affect the readability of the piece. The editor tells me that my mothers picture, the one that I currentlty have as my profile picture, appears on the front page as a lead in (or whatever they call it) to my column. I don't know if mom would like that or not, but I sure do.
Miss you, momma, miss you all the time.
Here is the link to the Alvarado Paper for those of you interested.

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