Monday, March 26, 2012

Mother

Mother - September 2005


This morning I was looking for a picture to hang in the sun room, next to Bill's chair.  Bill spends a lot of time there and I wanted to find a picture that gave him comfort.  I looked in my Mom's bedroom (which she never had a chance to use before she died in September of 2010) where I store my extra pictures.  The picture at the top of this post is the one I found.  I had forgotten about this picture.

Me (left), the bros, and Mom 2005

I arranged to have a professional portrait picture taken of my Mother back in September of 2005.  She never had a professional picture taken of her.  I wanted one before she died.  She wasn't sick at that time but she wasn't getting any younger.  The circumstances of that Labor Day weekend were such that both of my brothers and I would all be at her home in Pennsylvania at the same time.  This would probably be the last time we were all together to get such a photo taken so I arranged with J. C. Penney to have it done.  I am glad I did so because about a year after this photo was taken she started to go downhill both physically and mentally.

Me and my biggest fan - my Mom - 2000

I am so glad I had this picture taken.  It shows my Mother as she was, a happy person who, in spite of her lonely and abusive childhood, was a happy person totally devoted to her family.  Yes, I was one of those lucky people who had a wonderful Mother for which I am forever grateful.

Mom, me (right) and brother Isaac (on the left) - 1945

I remember how shocked I was when I joined the Army and met other young men my age and discovered that not all of them had mothers like I had.  I just can't imagine not growing up without a mother.

My Mother's mother died when she was not quite two years old.  She was basically on her own from her youngest age.  When she met my dad at 16 years old she quickly got married and left home to live with him.  They were together sixty years until he died in 2000.  He was the only man in her life.  After he died, she was never quite the same.

Me and Mom at my paternal grandparent's grave - I always used to take Mom for a cemetery tour in the Spring

My brothers and I were totally devoted to her.  We knew what we had, The Best Mom In The World.  Oh sure, towards the end she was sometime difficult but we didn't hold that against her.  That was someone else who took over her brain and body.

Mom in her favorite faux fur coat on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA - 1947

The one thing my brothers and I will always be proud of, he promised Mom that we would never send her to a nursing home.  Even though at times we came close (really close), we were able to keep our promise.

Mom (center) with her cousin Sandy (left) and niece Elaine (right) - 2002

There is not a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of her and how she made me what I am today.

These days I often think of death and how I will handle my impending death.  First I'm old (70) so death isn't that far away from my door.  Secondly, I may have prostate cancer but I have decided not to go down that medical spiral of tests and treatment.  I hope to outlive my cancer (if I even have it).

I am not afraid of death.  I am afraid of a painful and humiliating death but I hope that doesn't happen.  The one thing that gives me comfort in my twilight years is the knowledge that either I will be reunited with my Mother in death or else death will provide an escape from this pain of not having her here.

Either way I win.

Me and Mom - the only lady ever in my life 

4 comments:

  1. I love the photo of your mother. Her smile is just wonderful. I felt upbeat just looking at the photo. Thanks for posting.
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Janice. Everyone like my Mother's smile. You saw that. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. what a beautiful tribute to your mother. it is clear to me from what you write that you were (are) devoted to her, just like a good gay son, and just like someone else i know. :-)
    -tony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tony,

      Thank you! You understand. What would be be without our wonderful mothers? Like you, I am so thankful that I was blessed with my Mom in my life. She is who I am.

      Delete