Twelve years ago I wrote a column that was a thank you letter to my mother. My mom is 90 years old now and not doing so well. I know she will not be able to read this column, but I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate her. A lot has changed since that first letter.
“Dear Mom, thank you for taking care of me when I was sick, I can’t believe that now I’m taking care of you. I remember when I was sick you gave me that castor oil and orange juice cocktail. I disliked orange juice for so long after that, but that concoction did make me feel better. You taught me how to fry fish outside so the house would not smell like fish all week long.
Mom did you know I thought you were the best driver in the world? It has given me great pleasure to now drive you around. I think it is funny how amazed you are at my ability to get us from point A to point B. When it comes to shopping you made it an adventure by taking us to far off places like McKeesport, New Kensington and Monroeville. It was so much fun to jump in the back seat of the 1956 Chevy Belair. Off we would go, following the lights in the sky to the grand opening of a new shopping center. I don’t know why you are surprised at my love of shopping. You know the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. At the end of our shopping trip we would go to the Big Boy restaurant where the carhop would bring the Big Boy hamburgers to our car. Hey mom, remember the night we drove off with the tray still attached to the car?
Thanks mom for teaching me how to count back change so I could get a job at the new Murphy’s 5 & 10 in East Hills. I am amazed now that most cashiers have no clue how to count back change these days, they let the cash register figure it out and they just plop the change in your hand. Thank you for the rides back and forth to work so I did not have to wait for a bus.
Mom, you taught me about style and how to wear a hat properly. I used to sneak into your closet and touch your clothes and run my fingers over your tortoise shell purse with the crystal top. The smell of your Woodhue perfume was intoxicating. I’m sure these are things you thought I would not remember or pay attention to, but a lot of what you did impacted my life in a positive way.
Last but not least thank you for encouraging me to learn to breathe through my nose and not let my mouth hang open. It is the little things that matter.
Mother’s Day is May 12, so you have plenty of time to get ready. You may want to write a letter to your mother, it will be the best gift she has ever received.
(Email the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org)