In Memorial Of My Mom
Gerri and I were walking down Magazine St. in New Orleans when I got the call from my Aunt Helen. She asked if I was alone, and then she dropped the bomb. My mother had passed away just then. She had an enlarged heart and it just gave out. Our road trip, took a detour.
Born on March 21st, 1954 she was a spry 60 years young. Nothing could stop this woman. By my age she was already married, divorced and a single mother of three boys with a fourth to come shortly. Even with all that going on she always found time to help out anyone who needed it. Early on she was a Foster Care Coordinator and as such would spend a ton of time counseling others on their situations. After all of us left home she went back to school to become a nurse and had just completed her BSN.
I always thought I was a good kid, but now being an adult and seeing things from a different perspective, I realize how much of a pain in the ass I must have been. Add to that three other boys, one of them special needs, and you’ve got more responsibility than I’ve ever taken on in my life. God bless her for not shipping me off to military school or something. I don’t think anyone would have questioned it if she had. One time in fourth grade I came home with 2nd degree burns on my face and no eyebrows after a homemade potato bomb exploded in my face. I waited a couple hours to go home too since I knew I was in trouble. I came through the front door and she freaked for about two seconds and then went right into mom-mode and started caring for the burns. I had some funny looks at school the next few days but I was okay.
I saw a video recently about a job interview that lists ridiculous duties and zero compensation. I thought it summed up motherhood (at least my limited understanding as a 30 something dude with no kids) quite well. I’ve attached it at the bottom of this post for you.
As I look back on the short time I had with her I keep remembering things. Some good, some challenging, but through it all she always had my brothers and my best interest at the forefront of her mind. She cared for everyone first before she ever thought about herself. And it wasn’t exclusive to her kids. Just yesterday one of her friends told me that she gave up her appointment at the physical therapists office to another random person in the waiting room because they were in more pain than she was. Which was more than likely not the case since she had just been in a car accident and undergone rotator cuff surgery. But that’s how she rolled. If there was something she could do for someone else, she would do it without hesitation. Maybe today you can pay it forward in honor of my mom, Virginia. Random acts of kindness are what she was all about.