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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This post is dated ahead to Sunday, May 13, 2007 - the day set aside for Mother's Day in the U.S.

I will be checking in briefly for my e-mail and comments, but unless any earth-shattering news happens between now and then, posting will be light. Of course, I say this with every intention of getting things done that are "non-blog" things that need to be done, but somehow I usually get drawn back into updating here.

As I mentioned, this post is going to be staying atop of the page. Ben Stein is someone who I greatly admire. The man is a genius - really, he is - in so very many aspects and on so many subjects.

The below is something he wrote, that is dated May 5, 2005 and he titled it simply, "Mother's Day." All credit for this goes to Mr. Stein and no infringement on his copyright is intended, but I'm reproducing what he wrote because it's too darn good not to:

    The most permanent feature of life, when you are a child, is your mother. She is always there telling you to study more, to stand straighter, to clean up your room, to speak more clearly. She is always warning you, cautioning you, telling you what a bleak future you are going to have if you don't mend your ways.

    That, at least, was my mother. She had grown up with a father who died when she was nine, had to make it through the Great Depression by studying super hard and getting scholarships, and that was the way she saw life.

    And, truth to tell, I didn't like her much for it. I didn't like her paying so much attention to me. I wanted her to leave me alone.

    Time passed. My mother didn't leave me alone.

    When I went off to college in a city where I knew hardly a soul, a city called New York, my mother wrote me a letter, sometimes two, every day, so I would have something in my mail box at Columbia. There were no e-mails then and long distance was expensive so she sat down with a pen and paper and wrote me letters, often hilarious, about her life in Maryland.

    I had a girlfriend at the University of Chicago one year and my mother insisted on sending me a plane ticket to go see her--again, so I would not be lonely.

    When I went to law school in New Haven, my mother also wrote me every day. She did not want me to be alone or lonely. She had been a lonely child and she knew it hurt.

    When I got married, she called my wife or me every few days and wrote us frequent letters.

    When I lost my job at the White House because my boss, Mr. Nixon, resigned, my mother called her high powered friends until she got me not just one but many job offers. I didn't take any of them, but there she was, not leaving me alone, again.

    She loved dogs and she loved to travel. She was in France when my beloved Weimaraner, Mary, died. She offered to come home to help bury Mary. To Los Angeles.

    When she grew old, I would go once a month to visit her and my Pop in Washington. When I would leave, she would follow me down the hallway at The Watergate and look at me as if she were trying to work me into her immortal soul forever. Wherever I went, she would be on the phone calling me before anyone else. She would not let me alone.

    My mother died unexpectedly of heart failure on April 21, 1997. She left me alone, and I hate it. I hate that there are no more letters from her, no more long last looks as walk down the hall at The Watergate. I still look to see if there are any messages from her at the hotels where I spend most of my time. I have a great wife and she pays attention to me, and I am old by now anyway. But I miss having someone telling me what to do, paying attention to me every single second at every moment of my life. When you are a child, it's a pain and a burden. But love it anyway. The time will come when your mother does leave you alone, and the silence is deafening. And, yes, it's lonely.

Molson and Rev - I am so so very sorry. I hit the "Reject" comments instead of the "Publish" button. Mea Culpa!

Molson, Stein's column is a good one and I'm sorry for the loss of your Mom.

Rev, I am sorry for the loss of your Dad.

Mom is still here for us/me, but Dad "left" a few years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him in some way or the other.

Molson, Rev - please feel free to re-comment here and again, please accept my apologies for hitting the wrong button. Good thing, I guess, that I'm not a surgeon, right?
Dave, There is no need for an apology. Merde happens. I just wanted to thank you for the post. There really is nothing that I could add to Ben's excellent commentary anyway. He said all that needed to be said about mom without wasting a single word. That is the mark of a truely wise man. His mother would be proud.
I had never read this from Ben before... I found it moving. My mother is alive and kicking, but I have my moments of wondering when it will not be the case any more. I try not to think about it, but on the other hand, the passing of time helps me remember to keep her in my life. Seeing my son grow and knowing he will leave sooner than I'm ready really is an eye opener!!
A beautiful tribute.

Thanks for sharing it with us, David.
And sorry about your dad.

I lost mine a few years back, myself.
Molson your are welcome, i just stumbled across it going over Mr. Stein's site one day and thought it a good piece to run on Mother's Day. Glad you liked it as well.
Hi Bug, it's a good tribue to all Mom's, I think, whether they are with us or have moved past this world.

Thanks for the comments, as always.
JimmyB, thanks, and sorry about the loss of your Father as well. I wonder if there's any like-written things about Dad's out there. There must be, huh - we'll have to look between now and Father's Day. Let me know if you find one and I will do same. Anyone else too, for that matter.
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