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.

34 thoughts on “Have you seen my mother?

  1. Hooray for Dolores! BTW, I’m sure I used to know someone called Du-Da but I never knew it “meant” something other than a loving nickname. Wish I could think who it is.


    • She does keep herself busy, which is a good thing. It will be nice when it is easier to get a hold of her. Actually, I just wanted to write something about my mother so she won’t feel neglected to unappreciated. Also, I’m leaving the country on Monday, and it would be nice to talk to her before I leave.

      Can you remember where the person called “Du-Da” lived?


  2. Ha! I’ll be sure to let you know. Maybe she’s with my mom, who moved away over a year ago. I haven’t seen her since, either.

    At least she does call often, though, and so far she hasn’t mentioned seeing yours. So I dunno. 🙂


  3. I love this story, and the next time I go to Akewasasne, I will keep my eye open for her…God Bless her..hope she is always able to gad about as she sees fit !!!!


  4. This story was a howl. I loved it. Can’t wait to copy it and send it to all my friends: The story my daughter, the story teller , wrote about me. Thanks, I have no idea, can’t remember when you said you were going to England. Love you too. mama

    Purpose: There is nothing more conducive to long-term happiness than knowing that your actions are making the world a better place.



    • And there she is!

      Mary, I was going to suggest you raise your hand in front of your face, and look very very closely at your palm, your delicate fingers, the beds of your nails… Gently now rest your hand upon your chest over your heart… You have now seen and felt your mom. She is never lost, she is you.

      But I don’t think that’s what you were asking. 😉
      Loved this so much, you’re a natural and gifted story-teller, Christy


      • Aww. . . what a beautiful thought, Christy. I will remember that always. Sometimes what we’re asking isn’t really what we think we mean. I like your version of the question.


  5. What a hoot! I am glad she keeps active and moving – that’s probably what keeps her going…I think I’d like your mom, too. Have fun in England – send photos!

    I wanna be movin’ and groovin’ at 95 and then, hit by a bus while training for marathon – bam. Done


    • That’s my mom – a hoot! She called when she finally read my post (I was grocery shopping) and she left a message. It said, “I found your mother.” I tried to call her back but so far I haven’t been able to get her because she is out movin’ and groovin’ no doubt.

      I’m hoping to post something from England with photos for Susie’s party! Making the most of what’s left of summer.


  6. I loved your post about your mother and was enjoying the comments very much. I’m so glad I didn’t get here until AFTER your mom commented 🙂 Love your P.S. and your P.P.S. 🙂


  7. Your Mom sounds like shes a hoot, Mary! And I’m glad she checked-in at least for a short note on the blog. On another note, I have not been getting notices for your posts and when I checked my reader, it was not set up for notifications from your blog. I had originally set it for instant notification, but somehow it got changed. So that has been fixed. I love your writing and want to apologize for not coming over to comment and “like.” Looking forward to more, Mary!


  8. “Have you seen my mother?” No, I haven’t seen your mother but I am glad that now I’ve seen this blog! The tag line here says – ‘a good place to get lost’ but it would not be wrong to say ‘a good place to find’


  9. Your mom sounds great – I’d love to run into her some time. My son still occasionally brings up the time I moved without letting him know. It was just an oversight, I swear! Besides, it wasn’t as if I didn’t leave a forwarding address…. 🙂


  10. Okay Mary . . has it occurred to you that . . maybe . . just maybe . . Mom IS Secret Service? In which case, I will say no more, lest she cap my ass.
    In all seriousness, she’s lovely. It runs in the family.


  11. Your mom’s life fascinates me. In our culture, parents often become overly dependent on their children and wind up feeling miserable. I believe every mother and father should have a life like your mom. The world would be such a better place that way!


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