From the Men
Editor’s Note: From time to time, the Legacy Magazine requests input from the men of Mentor Discover Inspire. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but a true story brings it all to life. Thank you men for your contribution.
Every kind trait I got from my mother. Every competitive trait, I got from my father.
I was a catcher throughout most of my baseball career. From the time I was 10 until my early 20s. At times, my mom used to rub deep-heating lotion on my sore muscles. One time when I was 14 I took a foul-tip to the nuts. When I was laying down in the dugout dying of pain, my mom came into the dugout and said, “I’m not rubbing the hot stuff on you tonight Willy.” And she started laughing.
Best story about my mom is the “three times rule.” All moms I knew asked their sons to do things the son didn’t want to do – say for example dance lessons in the 5th grade. I recall thinking, “Oh no, there would be girls there!” My mom always said, “Just do it three times; if you don’t like it, then you can quit. Guess what? Oh yea, there were girls! And I took lessons for at least two years.
One glowing attribute about my mom was she cared about her community. She was always involved in several projects at the same time, even when she was on vacation. My family has owned what is referred to as a camp in Maine since 1880. My parents spent many of their vacations there, and my mother insisted on returning every year after my dad passed away. She was involved in the local church, the historical society, and the garden club. She also made friends locally. When we buried her ashes up there, 25 local townspeople turned up for the funeral. The same was true at home, as well. She belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Colonial Dames, the San Dieguito Planning Commission, and her local church. She helped coordinate the restoration of the local Sikes Adobe and helped save one of our local lagoons.
This is my story about my mom. She’s 90 years old. There was one thing she would always do for our children, grandkids, nieces and nephews who spent the night or visited. She would always have a little care package specifically for them. For example, for my daughters she got them clothes. For my sons, she would get them a sports drink, snacks, and school supplies. She was so generous, thoughtful, kind and loving. She told me that she had an Aunt that would do this for her. And she thought it was really cool, and figured she would continue that tradition. Thank you to my mom.
A story that stands out about my mother was on the day she died. My mother lied about my two sisters’ relationship with me. She conned us out of thousands of dollars. Our calls and visits were loaded with accusations on how each sibling had done her wrong. As she lay dying in intensive care with her lungs full of fluid she would harass the staff by mashing the call button with a context of fuck-em. She went into s coma and was dying. The next day I revisited her and planned on doing FaceTime to allow my sisters to complete with her. I was holding her hand and sobbing my heart out. She woke up, patted my hand and mouthed the words: “It is all right.” By me taking care of me … all was forgiven and she became the best mother in the whole world. Today her giving her last breath with me still fills my heart with love.
My mother would say the same phrase when we were getting off the phone, when I lived 100 miles apart, years after I moved away. “Our door is always open to you.” This comes after a major part of a childhood where I would lock myself up in my bedroom to isolate myself away from my family. Woah. I JUST put those two thoughts together after 35 years.
My mother Mary – she was kind and sweet, and the memory that sticks in my mind is the last time I saw her before she passed away from a sudden heart failure. As I walked out the door, she didn’t say “see you later” like she normally would. She instead said, “goodbye.” To this day, I wonder if she knew we would not see each other again in this life.