Friday, October 17, 2008
happy birthday mom
Tessie at about age 19 in San Francisco.
Today is my Mom's birthday. The fact that she died at the age of 55 in 1990 doesn't stop me from celebrating her life, and the fact that she so generously brought me here. As I sit here typing, badly, I see Mom's hands sticking out of my bathrobe sleeves. She was a terrific typist, and urged me all through high school to take a typing class so I'd have "something to fall back on". That little phrase was what sent me running as fast as I could from that room full of typewriters. I would not fall back! Of course I could not foresee my own future, in which I would depend so much on the very skill I rejected back then.
The last time I visited her, when we knew she was sick, but thought she'd get well (she knew otherwise, but chose not to tell us), my sisters and I were helping out with tax time for the Swensen's Ice Cream shop our parents owned. Mom was in the kitchen, and we were down the hall in the office that had once been a childhood bedroom. I was at the typewriter with a stack of W2s while my sister read figures off to me to. I made a lot of mistakes, and wondered why I was doing that particular job when I could be doing something useful, like making soup or taking out the trash. When we finally finished and wandered back to the kitchen, there was Mom, sitting at the table and laughing. It must have hurt her to laugh, since she was just home from having surgery, but she couldn't help it. She said she was listening the whole time we were working, and all she could hear from me was, "Tap, tap, tap, shit... Tap, tap, tap, shit..."
I still can't type worth a darn, and I won't go into the sad story of my mother's departure from this life. Birthdays are for celebration. But after all the typos I've corrected while writing this, I think it might be a fitting birthday present to Mom to sign up for an online typing course. Maybe with a little coaxing, these hands that look so much like hers can retrieve some sort of "cellular typing memory". Till then, there's still a lot of tap, tap, tap, shit coming from my own little office.
Happy Birthday Mom! I Love You! We'll have cocktails on the patio later!
Welcome to the Group Gratitude Journal!
(What's this about? Read the Gratitude Alert post!)
Please make your entries in the "comments" area below.
Today I am grateful for...