Remembering the women in my life on Mother’s Day
This is my first Mother’s Day without my mother.
She was declining late last year and passed away in January after falling and breaking her hip on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Usually I write this column on the Sunday night before, so here I am typing away on my laptop late on a Sunday evening and feeling pretty strange.
My mother was incredibly straightforward. There was never any gray area. It was either black or white.
No one was spared from her opinion, not even her golden boy.
But, one thing she understood about me was how important being successful in my hometown was to her son. She supported my every move and would say a foul thing or two about anyone she perceived as my enemy. I am sure God has forgiven her for that.
One of the coolest things my mother ever did for me was a little thing. She let me stay home from school to watch the World Series.
In 1969, one of the most compelling fall classics ever pitted the upstart New York Mets against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles were huge favorites. The games were terrific. And, they started early afternoon on school days.
So, I posed the question: “Mom, can I stay home? It’s the World Series.”
I got the thumbs up.
This Mother’s Day is the second one for my mother-in-law without her mom and for my wife without her maternal grandmother.
Pat Knipper passed away last April at the age of 96. She was one of the most independent people I have ever known. Until the final months of her life, she lived alone. When she had to use a walker to get around, she didn’t care for it one bit.
Almost every day, my wife makes some sort of comment about her grandmother. It is usually a story about her famous daube and red gravy. Or, how Pat and Robin’s grandfather Anton would take her to eat at Wise cafeteria on Jefferson Davis Parkway.
Last spring, the family had a crawfish boil at Pat’s house. We all knew it was the beginning of goodbye. And, to see her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren attend, and speak in reverence about their Granny was testimony of a life incredibly well lived.
I am still fortunate to have a mother figure in my life. This July, Robin and I will make our yearly trek to St. Louis to see my cousins and my Aunt Frances Grey. She is a great lady. When I was a kid, she made me bacon sandwiches, bought me Italian cookies, and she loves the Cardinals.
It doesn’t get any better than that.