Here's the mother and the sister in a Taxi from the last time they visited me in NYC. That was back in December 2000 if memory serves.
What can I say? My mom is the shit. Growing up, I used to suspect sometimes that she as much as me was the reason my friends would hang out at my house so much. My mom has a way of taking people in that's really something special.
She also gives good advice. She and Bill and my Dad collectively managed to counter the pervasive consumer virus in raising me, imparting that it's more important to love what you do than love what you own, because why else are you doing what you do? The things you own can't love you back, dig?
Mom has done many things in her days and has gone through many personal changes. I remember one day seeing a photo of some redhead knockout in a family album, and then being more than a little embarassed to realize it was her. Right now she's a marketing genius working to drag the byzantine bureaucracy of the Univeristy of Oregon forward, kicking and screaming.
When I was but a wee babe, there was a simple list of rules from my mom to me:
- Don't call me "ma'am"
- Don't sell the house
- Don't drink goldfish water
- Don't eat yellow snow
- (Later on we added "Don't put me in an old-folks home")
Maybe the greatest thing about mom is that she's past cynicism. She's one of those people who never needed to take drugs to open her mind, because she's always willing to get into whatever's going on, and be fully there. Dispite all the embarassment this caused me as a child and teen, I can now tell her fully, "rock on with your bad self."
I really want to sit down with my mother (and all my parent-figures) and interrogate them about their pasts, learn their stories, because I think it's encredible way to understand people and connect to them. Our stories, even if they're not entirely factual, are the truth about us, because they more than anything else are how we understand ourselves. Letting other people in on that is a profound act of trust. Hey, that's why I'm doing this doodad right here.
Thanks for everything, ma.