It was 1980….. my whole family was around to celebrate the holiday. I’ll never forget Dad in his baggy corduroys, and mom in her Christmas plaid kilt. Home from college, my brother, Chip was out, somewhere, with friends. My dear Gram’s, in the way, was always trying to help. Archaic, you just had to love her! Born in 1901, I bet she had some stories to tell in her day. Dad, God rest his soul…. I’ll never forget the way he sharpened his carving knife. I watched intently year after year. Mom always stood by, in case he needed help holding the bird. My older brother, Jean, would arrive whenever he got there – with a packed truck of the traditional gifts of the season.
A picture frozen in time! It was to be Mom’s last Christmas. She was loaded with cancer and no one knew it. God, though, gave me the fortitude to capture her legacy in an everlasting Kodak moment (shown above). So I took it, not knowing if life would ever be the same again. It was February when we received the horribly, sad news. Mom started smoking at sixteen. Without a prayer of concern, her life was over at the early age of fifty-eight. She died in September. Soberly, during these holidays, I return to tears of yesteryears. The grave, love I had for her…. I was hell to raise! A determined, dyslexic little boy that needed more of Mom than my brothers could ever comprehend.
Watching the sun peak through the pain, I must give thanks to her. She did the best she could, I know. While flying at 30,000 feet in an airplane, sometime in the mid-seventies, I read about a couple of scientists in England that made a breakthrough on children with my disability. Poor Mom! God rest her soul for putting up with me! She probably still lies in a turmoil of frustration, after trying to raise me an “urchin”. Who knows?? I could have been ADHD, too.
I assure you though, if you think Mom had it rough, she never saw my life behind the curtain I was living. The “silent voice” (A Silent Voice), I came to comprehend. It was, what it was! There’s no changing that nightmare!
Today, during this holiday season, I reminisce. I give her a lot of credit for what she knew not. Born breach and blue, there was little she could do. But today, I thank God for my Mom, “Bless you Mom”! I wish you were here to share in the greatness of what your determined, dyslexic son has turned into. I guess, maybe, through God’s awesomeness, she knows, somehow, that my gift from God was because of her! She certainly died trying…..