Thank you to all who have read my past blogs and my book, “Homey’s Adventures”.
I didn’t write a blog for the past two weeks because my mom died. I have written a new chapter of my new book as a eulogy to my mom and here it is:
Chapter 23 – Mom
I dedicated my first book to my mom because she is the first woman to truly love me and after all, she is my mom. I also dedicated it to my sister because she took care of my mom and has helped me without regard to her own needs or wants. This fits my definition of true love.
I am sad to say that as I wrote this, my mom was on the verge of death. She was 95 years old and had severe dementia. She was dying of old age. So, this chapter is my eulogy written only for her. I wrote a similar chapter about my dad after he died in 1984 but that never got published. I realized then that writing about things is therapeutic and a death in the family needs therapy. So, I ask my reader to please forgive me and tolerate my therapy.
As a child, I would describe my mother as being a lot like Scout of the book “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Like Scout she liked to climb trees. One of her jobs on the farm was to climb Pecan trees and shake the limbs so that the pecans could be harvested. Like Scout, her childhood was during the great depression. Like Scout, she saw social injustice firsthand. In her world, its wasn’t black but it was red. I can recall her talking many times about the white man’s injustice against native Americans.
Mom grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She lived on a farm until 3 years old when her grandmother died. She then moved to town so that her and her parents could live with her grandfather. She grew up to become a raving beauty. I think it may be in my genes to appreciate beautiful women because my mother was so beautiful.
She met my father in California at the start of the World War II. They met because he was also from Oklahoma and my dad’s oldest sister knew my mom’s oldest brother Jim. To my reader: Yes, that is where I got part of my pen name.
In California, she also worked for See’s Candies across the street from Grauman’s Chinese theater. She sold candy to the stars of Hollywood after their premiere’s at Grauman’s. My mother became a war bride in 1942.
After they were married, my mother joined my father at an Air Force base in Yuma, Arizona. She worked in the secretary pool under Barry Goldwater who would unsuccessfully run for president of the United States in 1964.
My hero dad was shipped off to Tinian island where he flew 26 missions over Japan and got an air medal for saving the lives 11 fellow crewman. I plan to write another Homey’s Adventure in the future where Jim and Homey seek out the descendants of these 11 men that my father saved.
While my father was in Japan, my mother lived with her sister and gave birth to my big brother in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After the war, they gave birth to my sister in Wichita, Kansas and then me in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
My mother frequently said that I was her favorite, but I didn’t get that much attention growing up. My father spent a lot of time teaching my brother the ways of the world and my mother did the same with my sister. I must have been her favorite because I was adorable. I can remember my mother took my sister to dance lessons. I was jealous. So, I would go to the kitchen while she was cooking and tapped dance up a storm. It was mostly just shuffling my feet around because I was only five, but I wanted attention.
Television was invented about the time I was born, and my mother let us watch TV without restriction. I remember one time I had to go urinate. I was dancing around like kids do when they needed to go. I was watching Howdy Doody and I didn’t want to miss any of it. I ran to my mother and asked her to stop the show so that I could do my business. I was not only adorable; I had an innate sense of humor ever then. Little did I know that someday, you could stop the show and replay it on a DVR machine. I must have been a multi-media genius too.
My dad was not only a World War II hero, but sometimes he drank too much and spent too much money at the bars. My mother went to cosmetology school and became a teacher of cosmetologists. My dad objected because he didn’t want his wife to work, but my mom gave us the steady income we needed to survive when he was out of work or drank too much. My dad was a good provider and worked hard. He worked as an electrician and sometimes there was not any work.
While I was in college, my dad and mom built a cabin in Cripple Creek, Colorado. They built it! They did not hire someone to build it. I can remember being angry with my father because he sold that cabin, but I did not know he had lung cancer and he had trouble breathing in the mountains.
After my dad died, my mother married again. Her second husband was a retired carpenter. I never got along that well with her second husband. I suspected he was jealous because I was my mom’s favorite. I did respect and honor him because he was dedicated to my mother and took care of her.
I can remember after my mom’s second husband died; I entertained the idea of taking care of her. When I was in college, I promised her that I would take care of her in her old age if she would continue to help me through college. My ex-wife did not object to this idea because my mom was always very gracious towards her. I did not follow up on this because my marriage was not going well, and God provided my sister who was much better at taking care of mom than I could ever hope for.
This is one of the many reasons that I think my sister is a better person than I am. Thank God for my sister. My sister fulfilled my promise from college. I hate not doing what I say I am going to do. I think I will regret this for the rest of my life.
I can’t say that my mother influenced me to eventually love the father, the son, and the holy spirit because I did that on my own. I can say that she was a devoted Christian and the most decent person that I have ever known. She is a model for my perfect woman. She had amazing grace, courage and character and I will always love her.
If you want to know more about my book or want to know more about Jim and Homey, please visit my website at http://www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free.