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.