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Saturday, May 13, 2017

For Mother's Day 2017

(For politics, please scroll down)

Remembering Mom (January 3, 2016-November 8, 1987):

Mom, I miss you every day. Not a day goes by that I don't long for your wise advice and much-needed encouragement!


  1. Very nice. I'm taking my mom to the brewery tonight where I'm performing. Tomorrow, I'm smoking ribs for her and the wife.

    I am very thankful for my mom, and for the mother of our children (who also holds the title of wife--don't know which job is harder)

    I am also thankful for my grandmas. I've always honored them as well on this day. I was fortunate enough to have known my great-great grandma on the hillbilly side, although she died when I was in kindergarten.

    I was also fortunate in my Mayberry childhood to have both sets of grandparents and my great-grandparents just a short walk from my house (unless one of my grandmas called me over to pull my ears because she saw me driving too fast around town--but I would always get pie after the scolding).

    I have one grandma left, she's in assisted living but doing very well and still getting around under her own steam, despite what she's gone through. While only in her teens, the nazis dragger her off to Germany where she was a slave laborer. My mom and aunt were born in a WW II refugee camp and brought to America by a church group in a small midwestern farm town, where they put them up in a hired hand's house, put them all to work, taught them English and prepared them for their citizenship tests.

    My grandma dug the foundation of her and grandpa's house with a trenching spade and a shovel while grandpa was out working.

    Grandma was a garment worker and a proud ILGWU member who explained to me the fraction-of-a-cent economics of piece work. Grandma and Grandpa had pictures of "The Kennedy boys" on the wall, but were very upset at how President Nixon was badgered and hounded from office. My other granny, the hillbilly one, was also a Democrat, but also had a lot of sympathy for Richard Nixon. Odd.

    I asked my immigrant grandparents why we didn't speak Polish or Russian, and they shouted (in that Eastern European way that is meant not for anger or shouting someone down, but for emphasis) "We're Americans! We speak English!"

    So, I look back on those tough but tender women, who survived wars, depressions, loved their growing families, and I remember what fun it was to be a little boy and be the grandson of such wonderful women.

    God bless our Mothers.

    1. Beautifully said, SF!

      Yes, this day is for grandmothers, too.

      I knew my maternal grandmother very well. A scrappy hillbilly from East Tennessee. Welsh ancestry.

      I never knew my paternal grandmother very well. She developed circulatory problems in her early 80s and "went around the bend." She had to be confined because she became physically belligerent. Very sad. I know from Dad's story that she was a remarkable woman in many respects -- not the least of which that she had a college degree (very unusual for a woman born in the 1880's).

      Now, back to my maternal grandmother....

      The changes my maternal grandmother saw during her lifetime (1898-1981)! She adapted: learned to drive a car and became a computer programmer. A real math whiz -- one that IBM recognized and trained at Endicott back in the 1940s! When I was sinking in my college computer science course in 1972, she reviewed the material and targeted what I didn't know. I got an A in the course.

      Yet, my grandmother had completed formal schooling only through the 8th grade, then married at "the ripe old age" of 16.

      Widowed at age 27, she moved back in with her parents and began working on the farm, and later in a plant & tree nursery. When her parents began ailing (her father bedfast for some 10 years after a major stroke), she was her parents' caregiver until her sister took over that task. At that point, my grandmother came to Washington, D.C., for employment as a clerk in the federal government. Every payday, most of her paycheck went to sending money home to her sister and paying rent. Still, she managed to save enough to buy into this this old house's mortgage in 1947.

      A determined woman! A redhead.

      I remember my grandmother telling me when I was trying to decide which career to pursue: "Life isn't about what you want to do. It's about what you have to do. I know that she would find safe spaces and the fragile little snowflakes as asinine and immature beyond measure.

      Both Mom and her mother were tough but tender women -- as was my paternal grandmother.

    2. "Life isn't about what you want to do. It's about what you have to do."

      Amen. It must be a generational thing.

      Coming from such good stock makes a person, even in the toughest times, strive mightily to live up to them, and to never do anything that would make them ashamed of you.

      Sometimes that is all that kept me going on the right track when I hit the inevitable difficulties in my young adulthood.

    3. SF,
      It may indeed be a generational thing. But it shouldn't be, IMO. My grandmother's words express an eternal truth.

      My mother put it this way: "We'll get through this."

      Sniveling and whining simply weren't accepted and were considered a waste of time.

    4. SF....wonderfully said...I ADORED my grandmothers, too...amazing women. One survived the Armenian genocide as a 9 year old...awful stuff.
      I'm pleased to be driving out to Mom's tomorrow to bring her back here to attend my church with me and have lunch together with a cousin....it's a long drive but she's worth it :-) And I am so lucky to still have her.
      As a stepmother, I feel somewhat the fraud because I met my 'kids' when they were in their late teens so I hadn't the typical 'kid rearing things' moms do but, after 25 years of being in their lives, I love that they consider me their mother (theirs died of alcoholism a few years after I married their dad)...
      God is good...I didn't want kids, but He had different plans.

      AOW....what a lovely honor to your mother this post is...

      Happy Mom's day to all mothers...Z

    5. Z,
      Cherish your mother while you have her with you in this life. Once she's gone, you will have a gaping hole in your heart.

    6. I like to out it another way

      "Success in life is determined not by getting what you like, but in learning to like what you get."

      That's a homemade, Personal Proverb, but true enough I believe to be worth sharing.

  2. __ Echoes of An Unknown Mother __

    Poignant overtones like evening shade
    Overtake as vines on paths of stone
    Eventually grow so stones seems less alone.
    The path, thus aged and venerable made,

    Steeped in twilit mist or morning dew,
    Haunts –– bemuses –– leading to the Past ––
    A shadowed, brooding mystery holding fast.
    Wariness of every person who

    Kindles comfort, confidence and trust
    Eviscerates hope for fear that once again
    Nidifugous trauma’s dormant wrenching pain
    Assert itself. So, a protective crust
    Wards off gnawing urges to complain,
    Except –– beneath –– lurks fear of the insane.

    ~ FreeThinke

    I hasten to add that this sonnet is not in any way autobiographical, but instead an evocation of empathy for a friend who was not as fortunate and blest as we who have cherished, grateful memories of a healthy childhood.

    1. An illustrated verson of this sonnet appears today at FreeThinke's blog in honor of Mother's Day.

    2. If anyone is sufficiently curious to wonder about the meaning of "nidifugous," it refers to very young creatures forced by circumstances to live independent of parental guidance during their formative years. It usually refers to fledgling birds, but poetic license encourages this figurative broadening of the literal meaning.

    3. FT,
      TMW had to endure nidifugous circumstances. She chose to be the master of her own fate and, therefore, hasn't allowed a terrible start to misshape her entire life.

      Trauma can be overcome -- by faith in the Lord. Lacking such faith condemns a person to the wariness you describe in the poem.

      I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

      Many things in life are beyond our control, but choosing faith is not beyond our control.

      Certainly, there are many not as fortunate and blest as we who have cherished, grateful memories of a healthy childhood.

      In several ways, my own mother had terrible circumstances to overcome -- including the circumstance of a drunken father who beat both her and my grandmother mercilessly. Mom overcame her terrible start in life, though.

    4. Those who are blest with the Gift that enables them to embrace Faith and the innate wisdom to believe Shakespeare when he wrote, "Sweet are the uses of adversity!" are more apt to develop great strength of character than those raised in an atmosphere of resentment of life fueled cynicism.

      Since I have come after many years of doubt and bewilderment to count myself among the luckiest who ever lived, I can't help but feel great compassion for those who are not as fortunate as I.

      As Jesus said when His suffering was at its most intense, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

      This, however, does not qualify me as one of your typical Mercy Freaks or Grievance Junkies, who remain blind to their own shortcmings while making a virtual career out of endless complaint, accusation and denunciation and the list for vengeance.

    5. FT,
      I find that I am more and more loath to keep company with Grievance Junkies, who remain blind to their own shortcmings while making a virtual career out of endless complaint, accusation and denunciation and the list for vengeance.

    6. I've felt that way for more than three decades, AOW, but I think it a good idea to remind ourselves of the Beatitudes at frequent intervals:

      Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

      Blessed are the meek, for the shall inherit the earth.

      Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

      It took me most of a fairly long lifetime to learn that It doesn't matter whether so-and-so loves me, or treats me well; all that matters is that I treat THEM well –– no matter what.

      "Love is not love, if it alters when it alteration finds."

      Good Old Shakespeare! He never fails to find the right words to express the most profound truths.

    7. FT,
      all that matters is that I treat THEM well –– no matter what

      No problem there for me.

      But in the face of my my not being treated well over and over again, I back away. In that manner, I won't say something which I will regret later.

      I am not divine, so there is a limit to my overtures of mercy. After all, mercy may also be defined as not returning kind for kind.

  3. SilverFiddle, your encomium to your mother and grandmothers is beautiful, but I see nothing the least bit "odd" about their empathy for Richard Nixon. It seems only natural to me that one victim of vicious persecution and undeserved harsh treatment would have empathy for anther so afflicted.

    I realize from things you've said in the past that you –– like most people younger than 75 –– have swallowed the BIG LIE generated by the ENEMEDIA that Richard Nixon was somehow guilty of atrocious conduct in office, when in fact he was the VICTIM of a heinous coup d'etat plotted and implemented by the fiendish manipulators behind the scenes who direct and control the ceaseless machinations of the ENEMEDIA.

    Your grandmother may been a zealous member of ILGWU, but with her background as a victim of political persecution and enslavement it would have been all-but-impossible for her to have sanctioned the abominable treatment given one of the best presidents we've ever been privileged to elect to a second term by an ENORMOUS landslide.

    I will go to my death with the heartfelt conviction that Katharine Meyer Graham, Ben Bradlee, Woodward and Bernstein and the myriad other MediacRats who piled on were guilty of TREASON, while their victim was guilty of nothing more than ineptitude in defending himself against a vicious, unprincipled journalisitc vendetta.

  4. FT: Why oh why must you darken this cheery thread (and your own kind words to me) with a scold? I have not swallowed the BIG LIE about Richard Nixon.

    Both grandmas saw that it was a manufactured character assassination. My hillbilly granny--a die-hard FDR Democrat--felt a sympathy for Nixon because of his humble background.

    1. Just making a truthful observation, and sharing my perception of a political reality, Kurt. Not intended to "scold" you in any way. I'm sorry it felt that way.

      There is tremendius irony in President Nixon's having been highly liberal in many ways. From humble origins, himself, as you rightfully indicate, he had great sympathy for the working class, and a tremendous interest in developing more cordial more intmate, more mutually productive relations with the world outside these United States.

      He was pro-union, and sensitive to the perils over-industrialization presented to the environment.

      BUT, he was also virulently anti-Communist, and THAT was why the pro-Marxist ENEMEDIA (i.e. "The Fifth Column") engineered his political demise in the brutal fashion they did.

      I find it most encouraging to learn about examples of many good plain people, unburdened with an INDOCTRINATION by the POISON IVY LEAGUE and its SATELLITES, using their native intelligence, good common sense and the wisdom drawn from their own often-harsh experience to cut through the miasma produced by the ENEMEDIA in league with the PROFESSORIAT and see the plain TRUTH.

      These are the folk who got President Trump elected, and the so-called "intelligentsia" are making like Rumpelstiltskin about the humiliation and richly deservbed defeat they have brought on themselves.

    2. Delphine Krellsheimer said

      HEAR! HEAR!

  5. I remember as a child my mother being warm loving and attentive.
    Something about my teen years had a negative affect on the relationship between my mother and myself to the point where I didn't talk to her until a few years before her death.
    By then, she had given her life to Jesus and asked me to forgive her.
    We enjoyed a long distance relationship after that, since she had moved to Louisiana.
    I have fond memories of visiting her there.


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