Sunday, May 9, 2010

M Is for the Mudflaps

I figure everyone with a pulse, or an approximation, is waxing poetic today in honor of Mother's Day, as well we should mom is a tough old broad who wrangled six of us to adulthood, the last three for a significant distance without her partner of (at that time) nearly thirty years. At some point today, unless I beat her to the phone call, she'll call to wish my wife a Happy Mother's Day and then walk across the street to the beach on the ocean where she lives in Florida. Don't ask her what the Spanish word for snow is because Mom hates snow, really hates snow.

When I was a kid, Mom was more than unflappable, she was a force of nature and in the nearly three decades since the death of her husband, all of her children, joined by grandchildren and now great-grand children have watched her lead the life she wishes after taking care of so many of us for so long. Mom came to visit Sigrid and me and our two children when we all still lived in Germany.

She and Franz and Anni Schubert, Sigrid's parents, got along wonderfully well even though they shared not a single syllable of a common language. Sigrid's mom was a Rubble Woman upon whose back the Federal Republic of Germany became the economic engine of Europe in the decade after World War II. Anni's husband passed some years ago. The two women took, and take, no shit from anybody and raised children pretty much who are the same way.

My sisters, Evan, Kara and Jill are accomplished, masterful and successful. They take care of their own families with the same devotion and also the same discipline (no feet on tables, no glasses without coasters) as their mother did them. Glenn, Russ and Joe are fortunate to have them in their lives and smart enough to know it.

I and my two brothers, Kelly and Adam, are married to women, Sigrid, Linda and Margaret whose Moms raised them to give us the confidence every day to go out into the world and try to reinvent it in our own image and, when we come home at the end of each day, defeated but undaunted, to convince us we can begin again on the morrow because of their love and support. I think at last count we have collectively two point three boxcars of children, some with families of their own.

I realize you fear with my diabetes being so sweet puts me in danger of being terminally mushy. No worries, I'm not, as I choose to invoke the deathless words of Ray Wylie Hubbard to close. Love ya, Mom(s), all of you.

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