Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How often do you call your Mother? Not enough, probably

It’s been nearly eight years since Mom passed away. In my mind, she’s still in her bed in her bedroom, talking to my siblings and me, pointing her finger at each one, telling us to be nice to each other. We knew the day would come soon, too soon for any of us; we knew she would slip from us at any moment, ending a life-long romance with a magnificent woman, a great teacher, and a caring mother. All of us would have given anything for her to stick around longer, much longer. In a few days, at just over 89 and a half years old, she was gone. In was early August 2007.

Looking back, it’s easy now to consider what would have made the Mother-Son relationship better, though, as her favorite for sure, it was good. In the waning years, months and days, there was the periodical visit to her in the home of my childhood, mainly to sit at the dining room table, enjoy a meal and help her pay the monthly bills, juggling her money politely so she would not have to be concerned. She enjoyed doing it herself, wanting to sign the checks until she was not able. Then we just reviewed where the income and savings were going and how much she had remaining before starting a lively discussion of religion and politics—she wanted to mix the two as most women of Southern heritage who were at least 50 years old preferred—and talking about her other children: one son living locally who visited more often; another son a couple of hours away at the beach who visited about the same; and the three daughters, one in Vermont, one in Barbados, one in Israel, each who visited as permitted but not enough for Mom.

The telephone calls between Mom and me faded in those final years and months. The ritual should have been daily just to say hello and ask her if the house temperature was too low or too high and if she had read the daily newspaper and what was happening in our hometown and to tell her about my work and my wife and children, to keep her brain active and sharp. But the calls, unfortunately, sometimes seemed like a chore on my side and the frequency reduced itself seemingly naturally. That’s a shame.

How often should one call his or her Mother? No doubt the relationship between Mother and child is usually warmer and more desirable than between Father and child. It’s a nurturing conversation from the Mother and more of business talk with the Father. Dads usually enjoy talking to the off-spring but Mothers gets warmth from it. Calling your Mother is important, probably more so to Mom than to the child. And while the telephone lines run in both directions, it is the child’s responsibility to check in with Mom as often as possible, daily if the opportunity rises, just to say hello and ask how she’s doing, not turning the conversation the other way around unless asked by Mom. Some of us wish we could go back and make those calls. 

For those who still have a Mother, it’s not too late to start calling, regularly and often. No emails. No Facebook. No text messages. Maybe a hand-written note, but better yet, a simple telephone call. “Hi, Mom, how are you?” is much of what it takes to make two people—Mother and child—happy. Remember, it's all about Mom, how she feels, what's she doing. If she turns the conversation to you, work your way back to her. When it's all over, she'll thank you for thinking of her, and calling.
-------------------- word of the day
thaumaturge (noun) [thaw-muh-turj]: a worker of wonders or miracles; magician


  1. Really good. Great sentiment-well written.

  2. Could not get through without tears. Thanks Jim!

  3. As always, wishing my Mom and yours were still with us!.. Thanks..


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