Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today is Mothers Day. I thought I would share a commentary from Ben Stein. He wrote this the first Mothers Day after my mother died. I miss her terribly, but I have nothing but good memories of her so that helps greatly.

Take care of your Mother and tell her you love her.



The most permanent feature of life, when you are a child, is your mother. She is always there telling you to study more, to stand straighter, to clean up your room, to speak more clearly. She is always warning you, cautioning you, telling you what a bleak future you are going to have if you don't mend your ways.

That, at least, was my mother. She had grown up with a father who died when she was nine, had to make it through the Great Depression by studying super hard and getting scholarships, and that was the way she saw life.

And, truth to tell, I didn't like her much for it. I didn't like her paying so much attention to me. I wanted her to leave me alone.

Time passed. My mother didn't leave me alone.

When I went off to college in a city where I knew hardly a soul, a city called New York, my mother wrote me a letter, sometimes two, every day, so I would have something in my mail box at Columbia. There were no e-mails then and long distance was expensive so she sat down with a pen and paper and wrote me letters, often hilarious, about her life in Maryland.

I had a girlfriend at the University of Chicago one year and my mother insisted on sending me a plane ticket to go see her--again, so I would not be lonely.

When I went to law school in New Haven, my mother also wrote me every day. She did not want me to be alone or lonely. She had been a lonely child and she knew it hurt.

When I got married, she called my wife or me every few days and wrote us frequent letters.

When I lost my job at the White House because my boss, Mr. Nixon, resigned, my mother called her high powered friends until she got me not just one but many job offers. I didn't take any of them, but there she was, not leaving me alone, again.

She loved dogs and she loved to travel. She was in France when my beloved Weimaraner, Mary, died. She offered to come home to help bury Mary. To Los Angeles.

When she grew old, I would go once a month to visit her and my Pop in Washington. When I would leave, she would follow me down the hallway at The Watergate and look at me as if she were trying to work me into her immortal soul forever. Wherever I went, she would be on the phone calling me before anyone else. She would not let me alone.

My mother died unexpectedly of heart failure on April 21, 1997. She left me alone, and I hate it. I hate that there are no more letters from her, no more long last looks as walk down the hall at The Watergate. I still look to see if there are any messages from her at the hotels where I spend most of my time. I have a great wife and she pays attention to me, and I am old by now anyway. But I miss having someone telling me what to do, paying attention to me every single second at every moment of my life. When you are a child, it's a pain and a burden. But love it anyway. The time will come when your mother does leave you alone, and the silence is deafening. And, yes, it's lonely.


-Ben Stein, Mothers Day 2005


To leave it on a lighter note...

1 comment:

KB said...

Excellent post Hast. Damn, that video reminds me of Dawson and I.