A time to share

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tribute to my mom

Tribute to my mom
How does one start in something this large? I suppose one must start at the beginning, eh? But perhaps not? Maybe I should start with the present and work backwards? Yes, perhaps that is what I will do.... I have been reminiscing about my mom recently because of my involvement with the magic art. You see, I have been reading the book, "Mysteries of My Life." It is the card work or "The Act" of Rene Levand, also included in this fine book is Rene’s thoughts. His biographical, anecdotal, and philosophical teachings on life and art. This prompted me to watch one or two of his magical dvd's. Rene Levand is a master, or as known throughout the world of card magicians as "The Maestro!"
You might be wondering what all of this has to do with my mom. Well, Rene Levand lost his right arm when he was nine years old. He had learned a card trick at the age of seven. What could he now do after losing an arm, not only one arm, but his dominant arm. Well, he became one of card magics all time greats. Was it easy? I think not! Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! At about age nineteen (1949) my mom lost the use of her left arm while riding on the back of a motorcycle. My understanding is that they peeled out in some gravel causing the bike to go down. This was a great tragedy to someone who was so alive and full of life, a young women who was vibrant and beautiful.
Her face was scarred, one of her eyeballs was dangling out of it's socket. Life or death. Obviously she survived because I am writing this piece! :)
As a young boy, one does not evaluate the life of their parents in much light. How could you? You have little knowledge or life experiences from which to draw from. Besides, you are too busy living your own life to "see" anything going on in anothers'. Well, looking back I can see how wonderful and powerful this women truly was. It is funny that my best friend as a teenager , Danny, who had been in our home constantly for about two years, sharing dinner, sleep overs, car rides and the like. One day comes running in yelling in atonishment, "What happened to your mom's arm!?" My brother and I looked at him bewildered, "what are you talking about?" We asked him. He replied, "your moms' arm is crippled." We busted out laughing, howling to be certain. "Danny," cried my brother, Her arm has ALWAYS been like that!" The point is, she never made it an issue, and many people never realized how limply it hung there! She could tie our shoes using one arm and her teeth. My mom had the strongest right arm of any women I ever met! Believe me, I know.... Here is my point, Like Rene Levand, my mother didn't let it stop her, or get in her way.I remember when she was trying to pass her Real Estate exam. I had a Little League baseball game that night. I was ten years old, and in Pee Wees... I was upset and crying that she wouldn't be at my game, she always was at my games. So, there I was crying, and she says to me, "Tim, I can't make it tonight, so hit a home run for me and I'll pass the test." It was her third try!
That night I hit a Grand Slam! True! I walloped that ball clear out to the saw dust pile in Left field! (Guess you had to be there!) And true to her word, she passed her exam that night and got her Real Estate License! I really thought that it was because of my Home Run!
Age 10 1969
My mom, she owned and operated a beauty salon in Green Lake in Seattle for a few years! That place stank so bad, I hated going there. It would burn my nostrils. Later she bought and operated The Mountain View Inn in Granite Falls Washington. A large restaurant with a bar. There was also a small general store, and six motel rooms! This is where her life ended at the age of 61. Not a long life but a very full life! How full? Six children, One mentally retarded. That brought along it's own share of difficulties and emotions. Love, anger, misery, joy... Why me questions etc... Mom was married many times, I am not even sure how many... I have heard it is around seven if you count the last man in her life, Bob. They never were "legally" married, but shared each others lives for about 20 years til her death in 1993! Was my mom perfect? Not by any stretch of anyones imagination! She smoked, drank too much, cussed too frequently, and wasn't afraid of anyone. BUT, she had a heart of gold!
Our house was the home that always had the Kool Aid pitcher ready when me and the boys came home from playing. Our house was always open to all the neighborhood boys and girls. It was our home that friends could stay for extended stays when they got into trouble with their parents. And many did...
We had "keggers" In the backyard twice while I was growing up. She figured that since you boys were going to go out and drink and smoke pot, you might as well do it at home. These generally turned into neighborhood sleep overs. I have pictures of row upon row of young people in sleeping bags in our backyard. You would get hauled off to jail if you did that today! AND rightly so! Her husband Ray (my third dad) and her owned and operated the snack stand at our baseball games when I was 11-14 years of age. My childhood was a grand time. Despite the fact that I come from what we now know to be a HIGHLY dysfunctional family! You don't know what you don't know!In spite of her paralyzed arm, her hard knocks of life, she played the hand dealt her! (No pun intended) I have always been proud of my mom! Whenever I hear Bette Midlers' Wind Beneath My wings.
I tear up. Here are the lyrics to that great song! It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way, you always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength. A beautiful face without a name -- for so long, a beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you're my hero, and ev'rything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle, 'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it, I would be nothing with out you.
Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high. Oh, fly, fly, so high against the sky, so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings..
Thank you Mom.
I love you and miss you!
me and my mom 1981


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