8 May 2016

Mother's Day

I suppose I should say something sappy about my mom here, today. I mean, as a mother, she was decent. I know a lot of people whose mother's were flat out awful, and occasionally narcissistically and psychotically so, so through no virtue or merit of my own, I lucked out in that matter.

I speak often of my father, and less so of my mother. That's because dad lived out loud and larger than life, and he was a master story teller, so even the less than epic events in his life sounded fascinating.  It is easy to talk about him. Mother tended to be quiet and lead a life devoted to less dramatic pursuits. She painted, she knitted, she sewed, she prayed and went to church every day. Hardly the stuff great tales are made of. And as for telling her stories- well, Dad was a master. Mom often derails her own stories as she spends five minutes trying to remember some irrelevant character's name.

And yet, in her own quiet way, mom has accomplished great and wonderful things. She has executed thousands of paintings, including portraits of every Canadian soldier who died on the afghan mission, as well as many police and firemen who have died in the line of duty, as well as portraits of people who died in tragic circumstances, all of which she sends to the families free of charge. We- my brother and sisters- all have many samples of her work, family treasures which we will cherish, and, when our time comes, pass on as heirlooms.

And the greatest gift she gave to us was our father.  According to the man himself, Dad was a wild, hard drinking man heading to an early grave before he met mother. Such a man may live a life that makes for great stories ( and many of his best came from that time in his life) but such a man would have made a poor father. I didn't have a poor father. Mother told that hell raising wild man in no uncertain terms not to ask her to marry him, unless he cleaned himself up and quit drinking. I have known many women who have tried to reform men, and I have told my daughters in the strongest terms possible not to try it, because it almost always fails. I know of only one woman who pulled it off, and that was mother. I had a great father, but that was because I also had a great, perhaps a greater, mother.

And so it is that I owe everything to my mother. Any good that I have done in my life, any good that I may achieve, has its roots in her. Thanks, mom.

Sappy enough for you?

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