Monday, November 07, 2005

Thanks for the Mom-eries.

Today is my mom's birthday.

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mother is an amazing woman, and I spent a good deal of this weekend thinking about and realizing the impact that she has had on me.

I am in the midst of cleaning out the many boxen (One ox, several oxen.) of useless crap that I have accumulated in my 36 years on the planet. Actually, this batch represents just the last 10 years or so, most of the rest has been lost long ago. I store things in those 48-gallon plastic tubs that you can get at any Wal-Mart or Target. (These come from Wal-Mart, as Target is not open at 3:30 am.) So, I have these tubs of papers that I will “one day” go through to see what I actually need to keep and what I can get rid of. The good thing about having all this stuff around for so long is that most of it is useless now and can be thrown away.

By the way, neat people never have the sense of discovery that I do.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with Eric's mom and her effect on him as a person?" I'll get to it, patience, young grasshopper. First of all, despite their protestations to the contrary, I leaned much of this hoarding from my parents. Admittedly, I have escalated the skill far beyond what they had ever done, but I have lived alone all my adult life and have never had to make room for anyone. Secondly, and more my mother’s influence, I have saved almost every piece of personal correspondence that I have been sent. Everything from birthday and Christmas cards, to letters and postcards. I had a tub and a half of this collection, which I spent the weekend going through.

And here’s where it really comes back to mom - The bulk of all that mail was from her. This is all stuff that started back when I first went off to college in the summer of 1987. Yes, I have been carting a lot of this stuff around for 18+ years. Without reading it in any chronological order, I can honestly say that I don’t think that there was a week that went by which didn’t find some piece of mail from mom. There were many pounds of articles clipped from newspapers and magazines, relating to papers I told her that I was writing, goofy stuff she saw that made her think of me, cartoons, coupons and confetti for birthdays, Christmas and just plain smiley faces. (I like smiley faces, but owe the bulk of my collection to mom.) Oh, and STAMPS!! Enough stamps that I could probably mail myself home for Christmas. (No easy feat, I am not a small guy.) I think the stamps were a hint, which I never took. Okay, I know the stamps were a hint. A little more subtle than the many notes that read, “Sure would be nice to hear from you.” But more on that in a bit.

My mother is, without debate, one of the most caring and selfless women that I have ever met. She has never let an opportunity to sympathize, empathize or support me or my brother go past. She has buoyed spirits, tended wounds, mended torn clothes and broken hearts. Without my mom I would never know when I should throw food away. Thank goodness she has the cell phone now and I can catch her away from home! She taught my brother and I to cook, to do our own laundry and to iron our own clothes. And, she has endured us teasing her that having taught us these skills is why neither my brother nor I have ever married, as well as being touted as the “Black Thumb” of relationships. (We are just kidding mom, we know it’s all our faults!)

I spent hours reading birthday cards, cards with update letters, looking over cards with photos, cards with new phone numbers and addresses from there various moves. And in the midst of all the remembering, smiling and misty eyes, I started to feel a bit guilty. I have been remiss in my end of the correspondence. I have a box of cards that I have bought over the years, and was going to send one day. (Another thing I learned from mom. Buy the card when you see it, and you’ll always have a card when you need it.) I am certainly not in need of stamps to write. And I don’t even call as often as I should or would like to.

None of this is new, but there is nothing like a towering pile of love to remind you how much someone has touched and influenced your life. And while I always tell her that I love her when I talk to her, I’m no longer letting so much time go between reminding her.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you. (Papi, too!)


Things that make you go…WTF?

Did you know there is an internet addiction website? Isn’t this a bit like holding AA meetings in a bar?


Blogger always write said...

That was so sweet. Now I feel extra guilty for my own last post. Happy Birthday, Eric's Mom! Any time you need a reminder of how loving your son is just read my blog and see what a rotten child REALLY looks like.

11/07/2005 9:19 PM  

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