I’m thankful that I’ve been lucky enough to have both parents as an active part of my upbringing. And while my parents divorced when I was 17, both still have a deep impact in my life today–as does my step-mother.
My mom passed away four and half years ago. Despite her loss, I think of her daily and I employ the lessons of her life as I live each day. My mother was a kind, generous woman who struggled with having self-worth throughout her life. While I may have many regrets about how often I showed or verbalized my love to her, I know that she knows how instrumental she has been to my life. My son and I still cut the same jokes we did with her. She lived with us the last eleven years of her life while she grappled with under/unemployment. Through her efforts to remain employed, I learned a lot about dreaming big even when faced with ageism and sexism. When she became ill in mid-2013, her downward spiral happened all too fast. Emphysema is a nasty disease. And I would never wish it on even the worst of enemies. I feel her loss daily, but I know that she is with me in my heart and in my mind and in my memories.
Mom. In her 30s, her 40s, and her early 60s–not long before she passed.
Thankfully, my dad is still with us. And he and my step-mom are laid back, but energetic. But unfortunately, they live 1,500 miles away. We do talk often, but not often enough. The two-hour time difference often leaves only the weekends for us to catch up unless they want me to call late at night. I try to travel back at least once a year. My son and I used to take annual summer road trips to visit them. But now that my son is in college, I’ve been flying back for weekend visits. I’m looking for my next set of open days so I can fly back and spend some time with them. My dad and step-mom have been married for 29 years now, so step-mom has played a long-term sustaining role in my life, even though I was 19 going on 20 when she and dad married. She takes good care of Dad, and I’ve seen Dad grow and do things with her that he never did with my mom. He found the right woman with whom to spend his life. Dad and step-mom have long taught me about the strength and importance of family. I carry that lesson with me every day.
Dad and step-mom. Always together. Always smiling and laughing.
My brother used to sing the distinctive opening word to Danzig’s “Mother” every time my mom entered the room.
“Mother” by Danzig
“Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard
My dad listens to country music, and particularly to the old school singers like Hank Sr., Roger Miller, etc. So here’s one of the legends.