A Tale of Two Moms…Happy Mother’s Day!

I read Anka’s post over at http://keepingitrealmom.com/2013/05/09/mothers-day-will-look-like-this/ and it brought back some good memories for me about Mother’s Days past.

I’m fortunate enough to have two Moms; my first Mom and my wonderful mother in law who is every bit a Mom to me as my own Mom.

My Mom:

My mother was widowed when she was sixty and went on to live to be seventy-nine. Considering how badly her body was performing that was a bit of a miracle in itself but one thing she never lost was her sharp mind.

In her later years she was in a care facility and getting out for a meal was a treat. I used “getting out” on purpose rather than “going out” because it did feel like release from confinement sometimes I’m sure.

At this time, my two brothers and our families lived within easy driving distance of one another and we would usually plan to take Mom out to brunch at one of the better hotels. She loved going for brunch whether it was for Mother’s Day or just a Sunday whim. She could pick over, at, and through everything that appealed to her. One of us would have to take her plate and follow her through the line while she pointed out what she wanted. She required either a walker or a cane so carrying a plate just wasn’t on the agenda. Besides, why do that when one of your sons or daughters in law are available? Woes betide you if you put something on the plate that you thought she might like and she hadn’t approved it.

For a small woman, she could pack away quite a bit and I do mean “pack”.

There was always one last trip to the buffet so that she could pick up a chicken leg or a special dessert. She couldn’t possible eat it so it would be either conveniently wrapped in a napkin or more likely put in a doggy bag by one of the servers.

I really can’t blame her. While the food at her care facility was nutritious, it would be very institutional in nature and lacking certain things, like taste. She always had a grin on her face as she put her “I’ll save this for later” treat in her purse or walked out with it in a bag. If you called the next day, you were usually told how good the brunch was and how much she enjoyed the leftovers.

We would all laugh about her little gathering game after we dropped her off and knew that it would be repeated the next time. It’s a great memory.

My Mother in Law:

When it comes to a mother in law, I won the lottery. I will put her up against anyone on any day and I’m pretty sure that I will win hands down.

When Linda and I first started dating, we would travel from our home in Calgary to the bustling town of Drayton Valley. DV’s claim to fame is that it is in the heart of one of the largest conventional oil fields in North America.

It was a rough and tumble town in the 1970’s and to a certain degree it still is. It was the type of place that when my brother went there to collect debts, he dressed down and sat facing the door in the beer parlor.

As you can imagine, my meeting the family was a trying experience but Mrs. B—–, as she was known by me at that time, made me feel welcome. Well, all the family did actually.

Mom owned and ran the finest drive thru restaurant in DV. I’m not saying that as if it was the only one. She had lots of competition but her fried chicken and her hamburgers were known far and wide. She was an entrepreneur before it was fashionable to be one.  My father in law was a surveyor by trade and was away from home a great deal. Mom held the family together. She got used to moving a lot and I do mean a lot! By the time Linda was eleven, they had moved twenty-three times.

Over the years, she changed from being Mrs. B—– to me to Marj to Mom, the last being the easiest to say and the most accurate.

She is an amazing woman in so many ways. She was also widowed at a relatively young age and has lived on her own for the past 24 years.

She still walks to the grocery store and shopping center that are nearby. She gets a little help from us for things like being driven to appointments or for large loads of groceries even though it bugs the hell out of her to ask.

She makes the best desserts for our Sunday dinners.

She loves each of her children equally but differently as any good Mom does. She knows who needs to be held close and who is happy to be farther away. She knows who needs re-enforcement and who doesn’t, in other words, a knowing loving mother. She has her opinions but isn’t opinionated. However, be ready for a lively discussion if you hit a topic that rankles her.

We have great little talks as I drive her to her appointments. We’d probably get much better discussions if she didn’t have to repeat everything two or three times because of my hearing impairment.

She never gets involved in the personal affairs of her children unless asked. In my forty-two years of marriage she has never made me feel that I was anything but a member of her brood.

So, as we celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday with a trip to the Golf Club for dinner with Mom, I’ll be thinking of my departed Mom and be thankful that I have another Mom to share the day.

How lucky can a guy get to have two great Moms in his life?

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