Saturday, March 4, 2017

My Mom

My mother passed away June 4th 1999.

I miss her every day.

Her name was Dolores. I never called her that, I called her Mom.

Facebook is full of people praising their mom, missing their mom, loving their mom. It sounds cliche but, if you can, hug your mother and tell her how much you love her. Maybe take her to dinner, maybe go visit or even call her on the phone.

That's money in the bank of life.

I guess everyone thinks their mother is special.

Mine was.

We lived in San Antonio and there was a big parking lot behind our house. When I was little I played a kind of baseball game with my Mom and my older sister. I had a glove as big as me, she'd hit a ball, I'd catch it, and roll the ball back to her bat on the ground.

If it hit the bat, popped up, and she didn't catch it, it was my turn to hit.

The key was for her to miss it and not let on it was intentional. I was never any wiser and I used to love that game.

My father's name is Alfred. Who names their kids Alfred and Dolores these days? Everyone called my father Al but my mother. She always called him Alfred.

The things you remember.

My Mom used to love bowling. Actually she loved all kinds of sports. On Saturdays we watched professional bowling on TV. Dick Weber, Don Johnson aka the Kokomo Kid, Dave Davis. Names that probably mean nothing to you but they were big in my house.

I once flew on a plane with bowling great Mike Aulby who was surprised I knew so much about the sport. That's because of my mother.

And yes his thumb looked like my big toe.

Mom was into tennis way before Serena and Rafael. Back when the names Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg were big. They were on in our house along with Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, and Ilie Nastase. I was used to 1, 2, 3, scoring not 40 love and deuce. I could never figure out who was winning.

Mom could.

The first and only time I saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar play my Mom took me. It was back in the days of the Baltimore Bullets. We went to the old B-more Civic Center to see him when he played with the Milwaukee Bucks. That was before the Lakers and what struck me was how tall all the players were. You couldn't see that when you saw them on the small screen.

You really could in person.

She was a big Tiger fan like her son.

While watching him on television I would call her on the phone and when she picked up I wouldn't even say, "Hello." I would say, "You watching this?" Without missing a beat she would say, "Yeah, Tiger was down but he's coming back."

That was my Mom.

She also taught me that it's easy to be a good winner but it's just as important to be a good loser. She always said, "That's how you play the game."

Words to live by.

My mother passed away June 4th 1999.

I miss her every day.

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