Mother’s Day

I was tooling down a back road Saturday morning on my way to Wal-Mart to pick up an exercise bike. I had NPR on the radio. They were interviewing this kid who placed third in American Idol a few years ago. He was doing well as a singer; he had just released another album. They played a song from it he wrote about the death of his mother. The first few lines went like: “Woke up and wanted to talk to you. Had picked up the phone and dialed before I realized you were gone.” So here I was, fifty-five years old, driving along in my mini-van and my eyes were tearing up over this song.

My mother died in 1992 of Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s, being what it is, I really lost her a few years before that. But for a long time after her death and every once in a while, when I’m really tired or preoccupied, the random thought will hit me: “Gee, I haven’t spoken to mom in a while…” and I’ll reach for the phone before reality sinks in. I still can’t browse in a bookstore without at least once finding myself reaching for a title I know she would like and then having to self-consciously bring my hand back.

Whatever you do for Mother’s Day, send flowers; take mom out to dinner, whatever, do it. And if you are there to give her a hug, give her one for those of us who can’t.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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