Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mom (first Published in San Diego Uninion Tribune on Mother's Day 2002)

Mom (1915-2002) Mother’s Day 2007 The Phone Won't Ring, but Mom will Hear Steve Tarde Every Sunday morning at 9 o'clock for 35 years, my mom and I had a date via telephone. Wherever I was, I called at 9AM. If I missed 9AM on the dot, Mom would call me at 9:05. "What happened?" She would ask. "Is everything OK?" "Mom, its five minutes past the hour. I was going to call you. Couldn't you have waited until 9:10?" She never did. She never even bought an answering machine or figured out what voice mail was all about ("Steve, if you can hear me, pick up. This is your Mom)." Yes, she was my Mom. And I loved her. I told her that on February 17 of this year. For some reason, I didn't call her "Mom." I called her "mommy." I hadn't probably called her "mommy" since the day I stepped out of the bath when I was small and she spent too much time wiping my ears and drying my hair, while the rest of my body was turning blue. "Stop with the ears, Mommy. I'm freezing." Mommy kept drying her way. But maybe the last time I called her "mommy" was when she had whipped up a bowl of blueberries and cream or packed a bologna sandwich in my Davy Crockett lunch box. Mommy was patience and sweetness and love, wrapped tightly in a tiny package. Mom died the day after that last February call. This is my first Mother's Day without her Sunday phone pal. I was lucky enough to see her live to 87 and say goodbye to her one final time. I didn't want this Mother's Day to pass without Mom knowing that I still had a few more words to say. Why am I so certain that my mom will know that I wrote one final tribute in her memory? Have I written that my Mom is the most exceptional Mom I will ever know? Goodbye, Mommy. I love you. (First published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Mother's Day, May 12, 2002)

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