My Mother, Polly Dunia, her granddaughter, Lindsay Parsons to her left, and on the right, great niece Manuela Meziere
“Of all of the reasons for which one can be thankful, a mother’s love is truly one of the best.”
Sitting at my desk on the evening of Thanksgiving I’d been looking forward to writing this post all week long. For months, my mother has been my chief editor for these articles. She scrutinizes them for grammatical, punctuation and usage errors however, this one needed to remain a secret. Fortunately my siblings and I are celebrating a belated Thanksgiving Holiday with her this Sunday which made the perfect excuse for her to take the week off.
If there is one thing for which I am most grateful to her is that any kindness, integrity, honesty, or similar attributes I possess can be attributed mainly to her. Raising three boys with ravenous appetites and always on the go was at best, difficult. At one point, we were so involved with our own lives that she wouldn’t cook Sunday morning breakfast until we had at least mowed the front and back yards. Fortunately, my younger sister was there to give her a break from us.
What really hits home for me are those times when I did not appreciate her or worse, let her down by my actions. Many times I wish there were a way to go back and change those moments but I also believe that those disappointments have made stronger the appreciation for her love and patience.
One other characteristic I also received from her is my propensity for proper grammar and I hope my big brother will forgive me for relating this next story. He was in seventh grade and I was in fourth. One evening while doing his grammar homework at the dinner table, mom was helping him. I was in the next room watching TV with the door closed. Suddenly I heard her exclaim in a rather loud voice, “No, it’s a preposition!” A few minutes later, she said the exact same words only a bit louder. After her fifth time shouting it, I remember feeling anxious and thinking, “I’m going to remember what a preposition is”! My brother may not have grasped it at that moment but he did go on to major in Latin and teaches it at the high school level.
Each Saturday morning, I make it a point to call her. The conversations touch on many subjects but mainly I want to hear in her voice that she is okay. If I sense something that tells me otherwise, I’ll make an effort to bring up one of her many positive attributes and remind her that she still does an incredible job. Most assuredly, I’ll be doing it again this Saturday.
There are times during these phone conversations when I do the lion’s share of the talking but that portion usually ends by me saying, “Okay Mother, I’ll shut up now and let you have a turn”. My main concern is to leave the call on a positive note and to tell her that I love her.
For the last three decades, most of her time has been spent helping others and volunteering. She first began caring for her own mother, then her sister, grandchildren, and other relatives. She also volunteered at a local hospital. These episodes all contain countless stories of selfless dedication providing food, transportation, or simply a sympathetic ear.
Though she has never considered herself a physically strong person, last January, right before her eighty-fifth birthday, she fell and broke her hip. This type of injury is devastating for most in her age bracket but in less than six months after her surgery, she was walking without the use of a cane!
Being a parent of adult children myself now makes me love and appreciate even more what she has done. But unlike her, I never had to raise them alone.
It’s ironic that thinking back on those times when I feel like I let her down or didn’t appreciate her as much as I should have would foster and develop a deeper love and appreciation for her but they do and for that reason, I can and will continue to remember those as well as the times I did.
Thank you mom and I do love you more each day. Please know that if you find any mistakes or errors, you won’t be blaming yourself!