Saturday, January 30, 2021

Can't Call Mom On Her 88th Birthday

January 30, 2020.

Mom's birthday.

Today marks the second year I have not had on my to do list to call mom to wish her happy birthday.

Math is not one of my strong suits, but if I calculate correctly mom would be 88 today.

I don't know when the photo you see here was taken, other than it was in the early 1950s. Dad was either home from being stationed in Europe during the Korean War, or on his way to Europe. 

The Army sent dad home when his dad, my grandpa, became sick and was dying. Mom did not know dad was coming home. Dad made it to Bellingham, called mom, who was getting ready to be in a wedding, asking if mom could come pick him up at the Bellingham bus station.

Mom got there as fast as she could. 

After dad's dad's funeral my dad was ordered to report back to the Army, on the east coast. The check-in location was either in New York City, or nearby.

Without giving it a whole lot of thought mom and dad decided to drive across the country, to New York City, and that mom would return to Europe with dad.

When mom told me this, and it seeming a surprising plan, I asked how did they know they could make that happen? Mom said they really hadn't thought it all out and just assumed they could somehow make it work.

But, when dad went to report in, instead of being told when he was shipping out to Europe, he was told he was being mustered out of the Army.

So, mom and dad decided to make a loop of their return to the west coast, heading down the east coast to Florida, and then across the south, including driving through Texas. 

When mom and dad retired they sort of recreated that cross country trip from the 1950s.

Without going to NYC.

Towards the end of that long roadtrip mom and dad managed to be in Las Vegas when I was there, staying at Treasure Island. This was over Thanksgiving weekend of 1995.

I don't know how well mom would have managed with this COVID nightmare. We would have had to go multiple repeats explaining why we can't do the free sample circuit at Costco, or get a Costco hotdog, or go to Penny's McDonald's.

Mom would have greatly enjoyed the end of Donald Trump. Being appalled at Donald Trump provided a lot of good stimulation for my mom. I remember being in Arizona when Trump made an ass of himself with Putin. I think it was in Helsinki. Mom and I sat there listening, with mom just shaking her head. 

One time when we were listening to Trump be stupid mom actually asked how come there is no Lee Harvey Oswald when most of the world would welcome him? A few seconds later Trump said something incredibly dumb, and a lie, to which I said something like "How can someone be his age and be so ignorant?"

To which mom said something like "You shouldn't speak disrespectfully of the president." 

To which I said "Just a minute ago you were wishing for a Lee Harvey Oswald to rid the world of Trump!"

Mom had a tendency to be contradictory like that.

During my final visits with mom she would bring up making sure she got reunited with dad, when the time came. I'd say something like we will make sure that happens.

But, that still has not happened. Mom is in a cabin on Harstine Island, about 150 miles southwest of dad. 

The reunification should take place, I hope, well before mom and dad's next birthdays...

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