“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” JOHN LENNON, PAUL MCCARTNEY
Today is Mother’s Day and my thoughts turn to my biological mother and other older women who influenced my life for the better.
I am certain that my mental illness severely rocked the world of my mother. But she rose to the challenge and became a great help in my difficulties. She would visit me in the hospital, she would make sure that I got my medicine, once she even went to Trinidad to bring me back home when I got manic.
Even before my illness, my mother was very supportive. She would come to every wrestling match. In fact, to support me she became the secretary for the local wrestling association. To raise money for the wrestling team we had to sell raffle tickets. I was lazy and my mother bought them all. It was quite a surprise that she won. I always wondered if she won legitimately or if it was a reward for her hard work. The prize was a color television but my mother asked if she could get a computer instead. As a result, we had a computer!
They say that seeing a loved one suffer is worse than suffering. I strongly disagree. My wife is suffering from dementia and she can barely walk. She is bedridden and her life is severely hampered. It is a tremendous ordeal to day after day to tend to all her needs. But I wouldn’t dare to say I am suffering like her. It breaks my heart to see her in her condition but I am sure it is harder for her.
There were four ladies at the Manhattan Church of Christ. Three were biological sisters. There were Garnetta, Joyce and Countess and their friend Kitty. All four were very affectionate and they would give everybody a big hug and kiss. Kitty, in particular, wore a lot of lipstick. You could tell she was at her work by the marks of lipstick on everybody’s face. Coming from a home where love was barely expressed these women meant a great deal to me.
There were, of course, the mothers of my friends. Who gave me rides or fed me. Women who looked after me like they were their own. Even one who fed me dinner. I objected to tuna fish she was serving so she made me peanut butter and jelly.
Mother’s Day in part was formed to promote world peace. The general idea is that young men and now, unfortunately, women, should not be nurtured and cared for only to go off to war to kill and be killed. Of course over the years Mother’s Day has lost its meaning. The capitalists in the form of greedy merchants have commercialized it. Just like Christmas is about buying presents and Easter about buying chocolate, Mother’s Day is about buying flowers or going out to eat.
I miss my mother. I wish she was here and I could talk to her. One thing that my mother did was to support my writing. She saved all of my old notes and papers. Her actions showed that she believed in my ability, enough to make a real tangible effort. I think considering everything my mother would be proud of how things turned out in my life. Coming from the dark depths of manic depression I have come a long way. I don’t think that I would have made a recovery without my mother, she was that instrumental.
My mother was a very strong person. But between a stroke, a pacemaker, and cancer, she was cut down. I recall her final days when she was in the nursing home. I would visit her six days a week. Only on Wednesday would my wife Sylvia and I go to Bible Study. On Sundays, we would worship in the morning, go visit my mother and return to church in the evening. Every week Sylvia would cook some homemade chicken soup for my mother.
Here is a feel-good book of poetry that I wrote long ago. It’s called “A Day’s Weather.” https://amzn.to/2Eh0BqV