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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Honor Thy #Mother. By John von Daler

                         I wrote a blog the other day about easing the pressure on parents: let them do their best without intimations of any original, Freudian sin. You can read it HERE. I tried to suggest that guilt could be suspended, the pressure could be lightened on parents of all ages and generations.


                
                 And then #Mother's Day came. And I thought of all the stories I have told or could tell about her, at parties or on a couch or in an outbreak of self-pity. But the lady deserves a better chance. Maybe she too had her problems and issues. At any rate I have decided to give her the benefit of the doubt - in the spirit of the day:
                When I was very little I loved the smell of liquor on my mother's breath. That meant that she would float into her children's rooms in a blue silk dress covered with butterflies, a glass in her hand, scented with Chanel no. 5 and whispering declarations of love. Her lips, red as my toy fire engine, would kiss my forehead and she would say how much she loved me, how wonderful I was, and what a beautiful person I was going to become. She did not drink very often, so these were rare but pleasant moments for a little, shy kid.
                Her fun-loving soul could also emerge without drink. I would go shopping with her. Most people I know try to ignore the #Muzak in supermarkets, but my mother flushed it out into the open like a frightened pheasant. She danced to every tone and beat in the music - and what had been intended to clandestinely influence our purchasing inclinations now got exposed and unveiled. From being captivated by her show dancing as a youngster, I moved on to a teenager's embarrassment and then further on to a young adult's happy rediscovery. For all those years she turned one warehouse after another into the glamorous set of an undiscovered Fred #Astaire movie - and left many a manager staring in disbelief, his secrets uncanned.
                Her hatred of authority has never been matched. In #Tulsa I remember standing by her side and slightly behind her as she from her five foot two stance very slowly tore up a parking ticket in the face of a six-foot policeman who was glaring down at us. Then she told me to get into the car and we drove away from the cop. His face in the rearview mirror was apoplectically red. We never heard from him again.
                One of the last times I called her before her death I asked what she was doing. In her best #Oklahoma drawl she shouted, "Havin' breakfast, dyin' and goin' ta hell!" If #Faulkner had invented her she could hardly have been a more colorful character.
                As far as hell is concerned, I think that whatever god there is may be more fun-loving than we think. Without a doubt he has pardoned her for whatever was on her conscience and has seated her by his side at that great eternal banquet. Rest in peace, Mom. In more ways than one.

If you enjoyed the blog, you might enjoy the book. Give it a try HERE.




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