Have you seen my mother?

If you see her, let me know.  There's no money in it for you.  Just knowing you brought me peace of mind is reward enough, right?

I love my mother, but to tell you the truth, I have difficulty keeping track of her.  It’s embarrassing.  Sometimes someone will ask, where’s your mom these days?  To which I often have to answer – I have no idea.  In my defense, she’s a bit of a gad-about.  The Secret Service would be hard-pressed to know where she is all of the time.

For the last several years she has divided her time between a house in Sun Lakes, Arizona, a house in Schenectady, New York, and staying with friends in Akwesasne, the Mohawk reserve that straddles the border of northern New York and Canada, which is where she was born.

For awhile I had four different phone numbers for her on my speed dial, and there have been times when I couldn’t reach her at any of them.  This past spring she sold the Arizona house.  Then my brother took over the Schenectady house, and a couple of weeks ago she settled into a lovely apartment at Akwesasne, on the banks of the St. Lawrence river.  I haven’t heard from or seen her since.

Her schedule is complicated.  On Thursday evenings she goes to someone’s house to play radio Bingo.  Her paramour plays on a horseshoe team and there is always a game going on somewhere.   She is his cheerleader.  Sometimes they have away games.  There are meals out a lot, and until her internet is connected she has to go to the library to check her email.  She has 30 minutes on the library computer and she has a lot of friends.  If there’s a casino nearby she might be there.

Do me a favor and keep an eye out for her:  She is short.  She has nice hair and often wears a ball cap.  (She has a well-shaped head and looks good in caps, which is not a physical trait that she passed on to me.  More’s the pity.) Also, she might be standing on one leg, stork-like, one foot pressed against her thigh.  (She’s taken yoga classes for years, and this pose is good for her balance.  She does it well.  And often.  It must work, because I have never seen her fall over.)

If there is music playing she is apt to be dancing.  (She does a mean jig.)  Or she might be somewhere drinking coffee and staring out a window, deep in thought. She drinks her coffee black, and likes to daydream about solving the problems she thinks her kids have.  (It should be noted that though her kids are middle-age now, in her mind they are still kids.  This may be true for a lot of mothers.)

She answers to various names.  Mom, Mumma, Ista (the Mohawk word for Mother), Tota (pronounced, Du-Da, which means Grandmother in Mohawk), or her given name, Dolores.  Or just whistle.  That works, too.  She is usually friendly and approachable, so don’t be afraid to go right up to her and tell her her daughter is looking for her.  (Unless she thinks you might be trying to sell her something.  Then she will tell you to go to hell.  She is no pushover, my mother.)

If you see her, let me know. There’s no money in it for you, but knowing you   brought me peace of mind is reward enough, right?

Thank you for your help, y’all.  Have a nice day.

P.S.  Here’s your story, Mom.  Now pick up a damn phone and call me.

P.P.S.  I love you.

Beautiful boy

dill 1bThe poesy he smells is so small we can barely see it in his pudgy fist.  (We would have overlooked it — there were so many tiny flowers hidden in the grass that day.)  It is a thing of wonder to him.  As he is a wonder to us all. His curls and creamy skin, his brown eyes kissed by innocence.

See how he clutches his little dog?  What a comfort it is to to him to have it, his reassurance for the times when the world is a scary place to be. (Remember when it was that simple?)

Had you known what the future held, you might have wished to stop time, to freeze that moment forever, because surely there would never be another so perfect.  But then you would have missed the astonishing mystery of him as he grew into a man.  A child so fierce in his conviction that he damn well KNEW when didn’t want to nap, and if you tried to make him he would scream until you got him up.  You would have missed his shyness, his goofiness, his sweet, sweet laughter. His unflinching loyalty to the people he most loved.

Even between the grooves of anxiety and worry that spun the record of your relationship there was still laughter.  Moments of silliness and forgetting.  And love, always love.  A child cries and a parent wants to hold him.  That is the way of life. When that’s gone we grieve not only for our immediate loss, but for what might have been.  We grieve for the potential that will never be fulfilled.

But there is this to keep:  the memory of a sunny day and the single pleasure of watching a child smell a flower just because it’s there.  A child who was then as he will forever be.

A beautiful boy.

n.b.  For my dear, dear friend Andy whose loss I feel and whose pain I share.  And for sweet Dillon.  . . . and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Top 10 reasons I’m glad I married the man I did

The couple who segway together, stay together.

The couple who segway together, stay together.

It’s my anniversary today (26 years), and because I didn’t get him a card (I’ve been sick and/or traveling a lot), I thought I’d take a page out of Letterman’s entertainment book and list the reasons why I am happy with the choice I made.

10. At our wedding I got to hire a string quartet to play for me us.

9. He truly likes to see romantic movies with me.

8. He can fix pretty near anything I break.

7. He rubs my feet when I ask him.

6. When I call the house phone from bed on weekends, he answers with a smile and says, “Room service.” (And yes, I can hear his smile – that’s how well I know him.)

5. He thinks I’m pretty and tells me often.

4. He’s THE best hugger in the universe.

3. He’s the most honest and trustworthy person I know.

2. He’s a kind and loving father. Which brings me to the number one
reason I’m glad I married the man I did:

1. Our boy. The best of both of us.

The two men in my life I am most grateful for.

The two men in my life I am most grateful for.

Here’s hoping for at least 26 more. I love you, Bob.