Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

We don't really need a Mother's Day to officially recognize our moms, do we?  They are with us always.  I recall a wonderful presentation given by a noted psychologist/therapist about the mother child relationship.  After soft music, cloudy pastel photos of smiling children with their mothers, and lulling her audience into nostalgic stupor, the narrator abruptly stopped and pronounced the mother'child relationship as one of complete power and control...forever.
     Maybe.  Maybe not, but there is some truth to that notion.  Considering how vulnerable a newborn is and how vulnerable we remain until puberty, it's easy to understand how love can migrate somewhere else.
     I was only becoming an adult when I lost my mom at the rather early age of 54.  To have had an adult relationship with her is something I miss and can only speculate about from time to time.  But she is with me always and sometimes rather surprisingly so.  A favorite story of mine concerns one of her favorite expressions.  Whenever a friend was over to visit and stayed for lunch or another meal, this one liner would usually pop out of her mouth.  If I or my guest ever said, "I'll take..." (insert any sandwich, drink, or request here) She'd snap back, "You'll take what I give ya..."  he was working class to the core.

     The picture here was taken when my sister was about four and I was three.  Our grandfather (her father) was visiting from New York City.  The year is 1950.  The photo was taken shortly after the family moved into the house in the San Fernando Valley that would be our home for the next 25 years or so.  the backyard fence is new; the yard is just beginning to take shape and the fruit trees recently planted not even visible.  Grandpa would soon plant a Chinese Elm tree that gives shade to this day.  I vaguely recall these cordory overalls I'm wearing.  They were blue.  My sister and I are trying to stand still with our hands at our sides.  In this photo I can see how much I resemble my mother in looks.  What isn't visible in the photo is her wonderful New York accent and my Grandpa's equally enchanting old country accent.
About a decade after this picture was taken, my grandfather would visit again.  At 14, I really had an opportunity to bond with him and the couple of weeks we spent together as "roommates" were unforgettable.  My love of thoroughbred horses definitely comes from him. Two decades later they would both be gone.  But n this day, 60 years or so ago, life was full of promise, the weather was clear and warm, and my family's roots were firmly planted.

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