Tribute to Mom
How do you honor your life with your mother in three minutes, especially a mother like Mimi? Well, first of all, there wasn't any other mother quite like Mimi, and as we all know, she was a woman with enormously varied interests and inspirations – and wherever she was or whatever she did, it was with her total being, heart, and soul.
On blustery November day, 15 years ago, Mom and I went to an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. We came out of the building, it was evening rush hour, and saw a homeless woman huddling over a grate as we walked to the car. Mom was so upset at seeing this woman, we talked about it all the way home – was she a mother, where were her children, what course of events could have happened to have her end up on that metro grate, where was her family, what kind of a society do we live in that allows this type of thing to happen – ALL the way home. I dropped Mom off and went about my way, only to find out the next day that she had gone into her closet, gotten a winter coat, got into her car and drove back down to there, to give that homeless woman the coat and all the cash she had in her wallet.
Dancing in the living room to "Splish Splash I was Takin a Bath", "Won'tcha Come Home Bill Bailey" -- Mom and Dad took Twisting Lessons at the Air Force Academy, came straight home with the album The Bobby Darin Story, Mom taught us how to do that dance, and we wore that album OUT! Hours and Hours of dancing, we knew every single note of that album – and after that, in Fort Walton, – if we weren't water skiing, Mom and I were dancing to the Beach Boys and Beatles
Mom always viewed herself, and the reason she was on earth, as a work in progress, always thinking about how she could better herself and her relationships with everyone she knew. Every morning, she would write in her gratitude journal; here are a few entries:
The way the different birds have unique calls . . .
I'm thankful for Ty – he's very patient with all my quirks and foibles . . .
I'm glad someone thought of CarMax . . .
Thankful for my terrific family . . .
I'm glad I learned how to meditate and stuck with it for 31 years . . .
I'm thankful I don't feel superior to other people . . .
Grateful to god that carnations have their beautiful scent . . .
Glad there are so many beautiful places in the world to visit . . .
. . . and lastly . . .
Alstromeria – God's hieroglyph to say he loves us.
Well, Mom was God's hieroglyph to the world, showing us how to live life to its fullest, leaving no stone unturned, no question unanswered, and no feeling unfelt.
I am honored to have shared my life with hers.
And speaking of Bobby Darin, Mom and I mourned his early passing, but his music lived on in our house. What he said at the end of that album is what I think Mom might have said to us, if she'd had the opportunity to say goodbye:
"Before we wrap up this side I want to take this opportunity say thank you for making this story possible; and also I'd like to borrow a phrase from a magazine . . .
Just about here in the story they would say, 'To be continued.'
I hope so."