April 11, 2006

Birthday

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday. I can't tell you her age because I did that once long ago and got the worst tongue lashing of my life for it.
That lesson has served me well in dealing with women and the amount of time they have spent on the earth.
Even though she doesn't realize it, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about her. Her guidance over the years has been invaluable. I may not always take her advice, but I certainly listen to what she has to say.
When my life looks as if it's going down the toilet, I try to take a step back and consider what she's had to deal with over the years. She was a single mother raising three children well before single working mothers were "popular". She was an underpaid employee both before and after the equal rights amendment was passed. Experienced years of discrimination at the hands of filthy New York landlords, the piece of shit court system and judges. All of them- family, criminal, and civil. She was abused by many people she had befriended and taken for granted by those close to her.
Now after reading this you might be imagining a bitter, broken person. Someone who looks upon her past as a conglomeration of mistakes and bad choices. Nothing could be further from the truth. You could sit and talk with her for hours and almost never hear a complaint about any of the things that have happened in the past. She'll bitch about what's happening now, but as for things she can no longer control...Ce la vie.
My mom thinks that chicken soup is still the best cure for any malady. When I was recovering from cancer surgery she'd call me to make sure I was eating my soup.
She hates excuses and weakness. I have never met someone who could cut through the bullshit ion a conversation as fast as she does. Needless to say she isn't very politic, but rest assured that after the bruise on your ego has gone away you'd be left with the truth.
Her love for literature and the written word in general, the reverence she held in books and good authors inspired all of those around her to read. She was always quick to lend a book and mysteriously, always had them returned promptly. She instilled the same passion for reading and learning in all her children. I didn't get every toy I'd asked for, but I did get every book.
Besides being an accomplished computer programmer- Were talking waaaay before Windows, even before Bill Gates Knew how to wipe his own ass. She started out when IBM was an adding machine company and everyone was still using punch cards! She was an amazing cook. There was nothing that she wouldn't put her hand to and make it come out great. I took me twenty years of cooking before she thought my meat sauce was edible. (I happen to be a pretty darned good cook and have worked in a couple of kitchens in N.Y.) She doesn't do much in the kitchen these days except make sure that my sister is doing things right.
The walls of our bedrooms and the living and dining rooms were all adorned by needlework she did in her free time. Whatever interested us at the moment was the subject of her next project.
I can still remember growing up believing that Henri Matisse had painted his "Blue Nude", red.
That's the way she did the needle work and that's the way I saw it every day in the living room. It was quite a shock to me to find out that the real painting was very different. When I asked her why she'd changed the colors she told me that she thought it looked better in red and that it was her canvas and she could do whatever the hell she wanted with it! All I could do was smile and agree with her. Actually I like the blue more, but I will always look at it a little differently than others do.
This post should be a lot longer and filled with more and more praise to the person who brought me into this world. I can't express just how deeply I love my mom.
I wish you a very happy birthday and I hope you like the roses, They're from the three of us.
Talk to you tomorrow,
NYD

1 comment:

Joy(your sister) said...

Hey little brother:

Nice blog on mom. did you really have to say that about me though? Oy, I'm not all that bad in the kitchen.

What's next?

Love from your single sister Joy. (hee hee)