“I know that despite whatever stupid thing I do, I’d be able to go to my mom and she’d still love me. I honestly believe that” ― Nellie Christine, RIDE
I was about six years of age when my family of five set out from Kansas to Seattle, Washington. The occasion was my Dad’s youngest sister’s wedding. He was to walk her down the aisle, I the ring bearer or flower girl and my younger sister the other.
Two days up, two days back in a ’57 Plymouth with a few days on site for the wedding. This young family was in for an adventure. Many details escape me, but I do remember this:
Daddy built a platform that raised the back floorspace up to seat level. This accommodated a twin mattress, turning the back seat into a padded flat surface kid domain. We could play and nap at will. A homemade SUV!
The platform also created a space under which to store provisions. A cooler and other ready access items for the road were packed there, so stops were kept to a minimum.
This trip had all the ingredients of a family nightmare, except for my God Gift: Mom.
Daddy The Visionary, Mom Made It Happen
I generally do not write about my mother, unless it is in reference to her family ancestors, the Rightmeiers. Writing about the connection I have with my dad through:
- my mechanical bent
- and writing
… happens a bit more often. This has nothing to do with a preference for my dad over my mom but purely out of respect for her privacy.
Mom is alive and well. Dad passed on in March 2000. I endeavor to be respectful of all of my family, living or not, but privacy for those still living is a basic courtesy.
A Mom’s Touch
On the famous Seattle road trip, Mom put together food packs for our meals. There were also activity sacks – two a day for each each of us. These were wrapped like gifts and stored under the platform.
It was mom’s attention to detail that made the trip a success – as far as I can recall. I remember anticipating like Christmas, the daily play and food packets. They were our incentives to behave, rewards for doing so and – love letters, from Mom.
I was unaware these were not just for fun, but also preserved the trip’s budget of next to nothing and the sanity of my parents traveling with three small children. There may have been some, fussing, tears and “don’t make me stop this car” moments, but frankly, I don’t remember any.
Lists And Details An Imparted God Gift
She nurtured attention to detail by making lists of chores to complete before we could go out to play on Saturday. I still use checklists every day. From daily tasks, to pre-flight, take-off and landing when I fly, I use the checklist discipline instilled from my mom. In fact, I don’t remember dad using a written checklist when he flew….mom’s are smart.
She taught me to finish what you start with excellence. Housework was one of her teaching platforms using the “do it again” method. For instance, dusting required:
- removing all items from a surface before dusting
- dusting and polishing the surface
- dusting each item
- only then returning the item to its proper place
and no short-cuts!
A Love Letter To My God Gift
My mother’s birthday is in the month of February and I want to honor her. Thus, an exception to the rule of writing about living relatives is in order. Mom is pushing 90 but remains alert, strong and active. I am grateful to have her attributes woven into mine.
If I got my sense of adventure from Dad, Mom taught me how to prepare and plan. Mom imparted to me great organization skills which have served me well from household management to air traffic control. She instilled in me a sense of beauty and the ability to bring it into reality – on a budget.
So, Happy Birthday Birthday Mom. I love you and am grateful for your life and for the many years to come.
Do you have a “Mom” story that comes to mind this Valentine’s Day? Feel free to share in the comments.
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