Julia Ward Howe
When Julia Ward Howe decided we needed a "Formal Date" to remember and honor our mothers, she was only making official what most of us have always done: adored our Mothers. I know I do mine, even though, as most of us confess, our Mother was not always our favorite person.
While I could tell you about the challenges she faced as a child and young woman, I would prefer to tell you about her today. She is remarkable.
She became Baboo when I ws pregnant with the Airman. She was with me for the ultrasound and wryly commented that he "looked like a monkey" as he was so active. I replied that "every monkey has a baboon in his family tree" and thus, her nickname of Baboo was born. All the grandchildren affectionately call her that now. NO Grandma for her!
At nearly 80, she still has red hair, bright blue eyes, and can out walk her three adult children and three grandsons on any given day. Her quick Scot-Irish temper serves her well as she refuses to be "treated like an old person" and she will quickly tell my sister and me that we are not going to push her into old age. I believe her.
She works from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., stopping only for lunch or to read a little. She and my father still work at their many rental properties every day, painting, cleaning, laying carpet, fixing plumbing or whatever needs done. They only call a "specialist" when they are stumped. That is seldom!
Mother makes the best pound cake in the world and loves to have "something baked" and on the counter when her family or friends drop by. Her cure for anything is a cuppa hot tea -- Red Rose, of course. Breakfast is her least favorite meal, which is why Daddy makes sure to always cook bacon, eggs, biscuits, and fruit. I am convinced he just likes to torture her with that --- and his rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" every morning.
"Painting with flowers" is her therapy and pulling weeds is her greatest stress relief. We will find her, hind end up, in the garden, fussin', cussin', and cryin'. Sometimes we giggle just out of her hearing as we listen to the blue streak streaming from her mouth. I learned my first swear word from her when I was six. She ran a red light in Charlotte and was ticketed for it. As we drove off, she muttered, "D---! Now your father is going to fuss!" So, obviously, the next time I spilt my milk at the table (which was EVERY meal when I was six), I muttered, "D---! Now Mother is going to fuss!" Daddy made sure I knew never to say it again and Mother and he had a "little talk" about "swearing in front of the children." Yeah. That's my Mother...
The greatest sadness in her life was when her own Mother passed over. She still weeps that "Mother isn't there for me to ask advice" and says that it scares her to think that she is "now the older generation." She doesn't like the responsibility or the implications. Personally, I think she is timeless.
Unlike my father's mother who was so mean that I decreed once that: "God doesn't want her and the Devil is afraid she'll take over", my Mother tries live her faith quietly and personally. However, that doesn't mean that she and God don't have arguments from time to time. She got into a shouting match in Sunday School a few years ago and my Father had to nearly carry her out of the room. Somehow, I was proud of her.
My Mother is one of a kind, just as yours is. I tell her this at odd times, sometimes to make her laugh, but, she knows we adore her. Happy Mother's Day, Boo!