Tuesday, May 12, 2015

All About My Mom

Mothers Day 2015 has come and gone. Facebook was full of pictures of peoples' mothers. There were words of how much they loved theirs and also how much some of them missed theirs. I was a part of  that.

Let me tell you a bit more about mine.

Her name was Dolores Marguerite McEwen but I always knew her as Mom.

One of my earliest memories is of me having to swim the width of the pool in San Antonio to prove I could be in the deep end. I was a peanut.

Couldn't do it.

But the way my Mom hugged me afterwards and dried my tears was so loving, I've never forgotten.

Growing up, it seemed to me that there were so many McEwens, that our house was this circus of diapers, and bikes, and dogs, and... Let's not forget we had one bathroom.

We also traveled a bunch too, my Mom married a man in the Air Force, my Dad, so we were constantly packing and unpacking. If she had anything bad to say about it, I never heard it.

Mom was born in New York, her maiden name was Johnson, and she had a brother, Harold. He was always Uncle Junior to me because he was named after my grandfather. Her mother, my grandmother, was Hazel Francis. We used to go visit her in The Big Apple. One thing I remember is she used to eat her morning cereal using coffee in place of the milk. Also, when the tooth fairy visited me once there, I found subway tokens mixed in with the change under my pillow.

We went to Germany and my life was a blur of brothers and sisters. We had six kids.

My Mom was in the Officers Wives Club. She bowled, packed our lunches, and laughed a lot. I remember Sam and Dave on the radio and Mom dancing along.

She was a great parent. How many times today do you see kids telling their mom or dad what they will or will not do? Not in my house. That doesn't mean she wasn't our friend, because she was, it just meant, "I'm the parent and I decide."

Years later, I must have been twelve, Mom came to a baseball game of mine. We had moved again, and lived in Maryland at the time. The bases were loaded when I came up and I can still hear her say, "Clean 'em up, Mark!" I hit the only grand slam home run I ever hit and she saw it.

After we were older, Mom went back into the workforce. She packed her lunch, and went to work at Citizens National Bank. She started as the receptionist and ended up a Vice President.  I used to work summers as a teller because of her.

I went to college at the University of Maryland, and to show you how long ago that was, I used to hitchhike home. Tell someone that now and I can guarantee a 'oh no you didn't' look. I used to come home with dirty laundry and Mom would wash it, feed me, and back I went.

I left school and went to Los Angeles to do standup comedy. Came back home, got into rock and roll radio and that led me to Detroit. While there, I was about to buy my first new car. It was a choice between a small station wagon and a Fiat convertible. My Dad, the reader of Consumer Reports, advised me to get the wagon.  My Mom said, "Get the two seater! You don't want to be sixty and say I shoulda, coulda, woulda."

Guess which one I got?

One of the joys of my life is that my Mom got to see me on CBS. She'd watch me every morning and was just so proud. One time she and my Dad were guests on the show and they had a limo take them from the hotel to the Broadcast Center. She had never been in a limo before.
 Another joy was that she met and loved her granddaughter, my daughter, Maya. Maya loved her and used to play with her cane.

The reason she had one is Mom suffered from congestive heart failure. She used to take a handful of pills. She never complained. It's funny, when we meet our parents they're these big oak trees that we think will be here forever.

Mom passed June 4, 1999.

I was born on September 16th or 9/16. Every time I happen to glance at a clock and it's 9:16, I say a silent hello to Mom. It's like she's watching over me.

I regret she never got to meet my twins. I'm glad she never got to see my stroke.

I miss her every day.

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