Sunday, May 8, 2011

Because It Is A Funny Old World

I am luckier than I have any right to be.  As people go, I am nothing special.  Physically, I am average-sized and that might very well represent the high-water mark of my attributes.  I expect that the mourning period upon news of my passing will be brief and its volume level will be quite subdued.  Reaping and sowing.  Reaping and sowing.  No one thrust my life upon me.  I have lived it according to my own terms.  Margaret has instructions to have me cremated when I croak.  Figure it makes sense to have my body get acclimated to the extreme heat.....just in case.

Who I am makes the fact of who I am fortunate enough to call my mother and who I am also fortunate enough to call my wife nothing short of astonishing.  I suppose way back when on a cold February evening many years ago, Mom had no way of knowing what she was signing up for.  Yet as I grew older - and no better - she refused to take me out into the woods in the middle of the night, tie me to a tree and let the animals have at me (although I did notice the Rand-McNally Map of State Parks and Forests she carried in her car as well as the roll of heavy cord and I tacitly understood).  The opportunity to make something out of myself and out of my life is the gift that Mom gave me.  If I had a thousand lifetimes to live, I would still have insufficient time to repay it.

Being my mother's son prepared me to be my wife's husband and my daughter's father.  Sadly, I fear history will show that I have no better record of performance in either of the latter two than I have had in the initial role.  I have wondered for close to two decades what it is that Margaret sees in me.  I have long suspected that she dodges the question when I ask it because she wonders herself.  My wife is one of the most singularly exceptional people I have ever known - and having had the pleasure of knowing her grandmother and her mother, both of whom have died within the past three years - I know that the blueprint is imprinted in her DNA.  I also know that this Mother's Day is difficult for Margaret - as the past couple have been - because her heart aches at the loss of Nan and Suzy B.  Today, this day set aside on the calendar to honor Mom only ratchets up the daily dosage of pain. 

So, to the woman who gave me life, to the woman who saved my life, to my sisters and nieces and to Moms everywhere, I say, "Happy Mother's Day".  May everything that you do for those you love be returned to you in kind a thousand times over. 

For you, that is my wish.

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