504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On Mom and Math

My Mom is an amazing woman.  She has been my Mom for all of my 56+ years and is also the Mom to my 2 sisters and 1 brother.  I suppose you can now count Abby as her child–Abby is a miniature dog of some breed that Mom inherited when one of her best friends passed away.  Abby is the miniature child Mom never had.

In a random stream of consciousness, I am thinking of my Mom, “by the numbers.”  October will mark 59 years since she married my Dad and November will mark 14 years that he has been gone.  She had children living at home either constantly or intermittently for 35 years.  She has 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. There was a decade between birthing her first and last child.

She made dozens of dresses, slacks, curtains and dance costumes with her own hands and on a sewing machine that I almost ruined in an unfortunate incident that involved bubble gum placed strategically in the machinery (it looked kind of cool when the needle thingy stretched the gum out and back).  She made seat covers for the cars, seat covers for the dining room chairs, accessories for the pop-up campers that we had.  She would have recovered the pool table if we didn’t finally give it away to someone. She did make a cover for a bird cage inhabited by a noisy parakeet.

She grew bushels of fresh vegetables in our yard to give to 4 kids who hated vegetables. On waffle day, she made them by the dozens. On hamburger day, she made extra for the neighborhood kids.  She made her own popsicles, ice cubes made of Kool-Aid and her beer-battered fried chicken would get everyone down the stairs or down the hall.  She was Pinterest before Pinterest.

She made thousands of sandwiches.  I think there was only one year that all four of us were in school at the same time (not counting college), but I somehow remember four lunches being assembled, usually the night before because that WAS the school lunch program.  She would freeze the Chek cola and wrap it in aluminum foil. No thermoses for the Jackson 4.

She gave millions of hugs, applied ten thousand band-aids and rubbed close to a ton of Vick’s Vapo Rub on congested chests.  We used whatever the 60's version of neosporin by the bucket and there is an urban legend that Mom was capable of setting broken arms or putting in a couple of stitches as needed.

She ran a thousand loads of laundry every year, bought 5 gallons of milk every week, kept multiple jars of peanut butter in the pantry and I imagine that she followed another famous person in recorded history in multiplying the loaves of bread. We ate cereal by the pallet load.

She drove two cars in all the time that I was at home, both station wagons made by Rambler (AMC).  Four kids learned to drive in the 1970 model.  Those station wagons rolled to hundreds of practices–baseball, band, football, basketball, cheerleading, plays, and spelling bees.

She had a quiet faith and a soft voice that would sing hymns over us. She read, laughed, and loved. She allowed us to learn from our mistakes even though she could have rescued us.  She has an infectious laugh and a twinkle in her now 8 decade old eyes that light up a room when she is in it.  She is an idealistic realist: “Allen, I kept all of the ribbons and trophies that you earned or won growing up.  Now you are a grown man and I need you to get them out of my house.”

Mom is a Proverbs 31 woman in every way. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.