It’s Mother’s Day, and Mom’s constantly on my mind especially since she’s in California and I’m in Denver.
Got to brag about Mom. Mom has been at the center of my life since forever; cooking, playing the piano, organizing the family, going to church. She taught me how to be a woman, to give back to society, to forgive, to love.
Mom never raised her voice or cursed. Instead she had a wicked stink-eye that paralyzed all negative actions, except for the time I told her I bought a horse for $10. Instantly that joke wasn’t well received, yet the memory still makes us smile.
Mom breathed adventure into our lives. Nearly every June she’d organize a family road-trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest providence.
She’d build excitement by placing a map of the U.S. on the kitchen table and asking us to choose the route, north or south? What national parks, cities or roadside attractions we’d like to see? Some years this adventure would be done in a red or blue VW van, other times in a Vista Cruiser; a car made station wagons cool. It’s rear seat faced backwards, and it had three moon roofs, one over the second-row seat and one along each side of the rear cargo area.
Each of our nearly 20 round-trip treks crossed 8,000-miles, and they happened well before smart phones, portable DVD players, and way before 8-track players. In the beginning seatbelts weren’t even used. Yet, Mom pack-up five kids, Dad, sometimes our Grandmother and the family dog. The process always looked so effortless. Now as an adult I’m sure the details were stressful. If so, she never let on. Her excitement always appeared much greater then the rest of us.
While driving Mom kept us occupied with a classic game that she invented, “White Horse, Cemetery”. Here’s how it’s played: When traveling, if you see a white horse yell out “white horse”. Each claimed horse gets you one point. The goal is to have the most points by the end of the day. However, if someone sees a cemetery and yells “cemetery” that call cancels out everyone else’s points.
Silly, maybe. Effective, definitely. Even to this day I play “White Horse, Cemetery”. It’s one way of keeping Mom close wherever I go. Plus, it’s a great source of entertainment, conversation, and observation of new surroundings.
Mom, thank you for your love, your sacrifices, your dedication, your 54-years of devotion to Dad, your faith through church, and for demonstrating how life can be adventurous and fun. Mom, you are AMAZING. We’d be lost without you.
xoxoxo I love you.