Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Today would have been my dear mother's 93rd birthday. She was my very best friend in all of the world. No one rooted for me, supported me or loved me the way she did. I lost her on December 1st, 1974 when she was killed in an automobile accident. It doesn't seem possible that it has been thirty-three years. I was living in the Santa Barbara area at the time with a store I was running in Goleta. The news came early the morning of December 2nd. Boy, was that tough. My mother was only 62 years old, and now I am fast approaching that age myself at 59. She had been pushed off a slide when she was in the first grade by a bully and landed on her hip. They thought she had injured her head-- but oh no-- what was damaged was her spine and she spent eighteen months in Children's Hospital in Los Angeles with countless surgeries and procedures. She did recover, but oh the price she paid. The endless pain, the backaches, the high blood pressure and a spine that became cheapened like a question mark. She was my angel from heaven. And I think about her constantly-- even to this day! She loved my dear father so much and us kids. The personal sacrifices she made was simply incredible. She raised us four kids with a kind but kind of strict upbringing. Her amazing good heart was legendary. Like my dad, my mother would have given you her last dime. If she was your friend, you had the best friend in the whole world. She loved to play the piano (sometimes for hours) especially after my dad passed away in 1966. One of things songwriter me wants to do is to finish the song that she composed for my father called "If I Loved You" It's a wonderful song! Every time she played that tune, she cried. My three sisters (yes, I was the only son) all had piano lessons-- not me-- I was the boy! How surprised (no, make that shocked) she might be to know of all the songs I've written. If she were here, she'd play them all, over and over-- because her love knew no bounds. She never judged you or tried to make you into something you were not or didn't want to be! She worried constantly-- always faithful! On Wednesdays in my childhood, my Uncle Mario would come over and sing these wonderful songs like "Granada" "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" and "I Believe"-- how happy my mother was on those magical Wednesdays! I remember how wonderfully she cooked: her amazing pizza, Spanish rice, pot roast, meat loaf-- all the rest. We were very poor. My father was a house painter-- and out of work a lot. Back then, oil base paint was all that was used by house painters in their industry! So whenever it rained, my dad was out of work and we were "robbing Peter to pay Paul" again. The old adage that the wolf was at the front door, the back door and working on the chimney certainly applied to us. But I will tell you this: not one birthday was slighted, not one Christmas was made or seemed poor, and every Fourth of July was celebrated like a coronation! My mother could balance the books in the most amazing ways. I don't know how she did it! And she never bounced a check-- not once! Her gentle laughter and her kind demeanor was simply amazing. And I will thank God every day that remains in my life for the gift of my mother, Virginia. I had to face several years back (Through Allenon) that she drank when things went really badly-- but nothing compared to what some do today! But bar none, no one could match my mother's love. And even now that I am proudly gay, I know she would have accepted it all-- because that's the way she was. There wasn't a judgmental or prejudice bone in her body. She was devoted to God and her church. And oh, how she loved Bingo! Give my mother $20.00 and a day a bingo and she was as happy as a clam. Believe it or not, even with her bad spine, she loved to bowl-- and won several trophies for the effort! She loved to play badminton too. My sweet dear mother was simply amazing. I can only assume that she is in heaven watching over me every single day and night. I will love you forever, mom-- you were the best!