Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Only Half a Word

Okay I admit, that's a kind of awful title to today's post.  And no, my godson Peter, bless him, did not suggest it to me, although I bet he's now sorry he didn't.

But wait a second ... there's mother love, motherload, mother-in-law, mother-to-be, Mother Nature, Mother Teresa, Mother Earth, Mother Mary, Mother Goose, working mother, godmother, Mother's Gefilte Fish, and of course, Mother's Day.

Today is the second Sunday in May, and that means, here in the United States, it is Mother's Day.  Different countries have different designated days, as well as different customs.  There are religious roots and affiliations in some countries, while others use it as a means of supporting their local Hallmark and florist.  What the heck, it's good for the economy.  But the one thing those days all seem to have in common is the underlying gentle reminder that moms need an occasional "thank you" and an "I love you, Mom" from their otherwise ungrateful spawn.

My son does not need Mother's Day to remember to treat me right, and truly, I have no complaints.  He has an excellent example in his own father, as well as his uncles, who have been steadfast good sons to their mother.  As I read through my Facebook page, it is very nice to see just how many of my friends have paid tribute to their mothers, and I suspect that those who are lucky enough to have their mothers still with them are not shy in expressing their love and gratitude the other 364 days of the year.

I had a somewhat difficult relationship with my adoptive mother, my maternal grandmother, but today is not the day to talk about that. The devil is in the details, and so many years after her passing away at the age of 93, the details don't matter as much as they used to.

We had our good days ... this was one of them, although I was only about 4 months old.  I lost my mother Joyce (right) much too young, and my grandmother (left) went through the worst thing that can happen to a parent, which is outliving your child.  Then she was faced with the necessity of starting over and becoming a parent to two very young children, at an age when her contemporaries were enjoying their grandchildren and their empty nests.  So in my mind, I try to cut her a little slack.  Her life wasn't happy, and it wasn't easy, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  Certainly she loved me, and throughout my life she gave me good advice, gave me a good moral foundation, and encouraged me to work hard to succeed.  It is the truth that sometimes her messages were scrambled, her manner of delivery was rough to take, and she knocked me down as often as she put me up on a pedestal.  But, what didn't kill me made me stronger, so here's to you, Mom, and to you, Joycie - Happy Mother's Day.  In my own way, I love you both.  Try not to kill each other up there in Heaven.

Speaking of mothers with less-than-ideal parenting skills, tomorrow begins the murder trial of Casey Anthony, accused of having murdered her then-two year old daughter, Caylee.  Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry, not a man known for his sense of humor, could not have realized that the date he set, almost a year ago, would land just one day after Mother's Day.  As an attorney, I have spent the last few years mentally cringing at the performance of her lead attorney.  All I will say is that what happens from here on should be interesting.  I'm not even sure Mr. Baez knows how to pick a jury.  I don't either, as I have done bench trials my entire career (there are no jury trials in juvenile court) but then I'm not defending someone facing the death penalty.  In other words, I am not pretending to be something I am not, or claiming to be competent in an area of which I am virtually ignorant.

One Kentucky Derby spectator wouldn't mind striking up a conversation on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Since I won't have anything to do with horse racing, it's not likely I will ever be faced with the dilemma of what hat to wear to the Kentucky Derby, but I love hats, and loved looking at the pictures recently featured in the Orlando Sentinel.  I'm still trying to decipher the meaning behind some of the hats worn by female guests at the Royal Wedding, but that's got to be another blog post.

Some of the hats worn to the Derby were just downright stupid, and come to think of it, were all worn by men.  These are probably the same men who own a beer-drinking hat.

Such a sexy look

I love hats like those worn by the women in "My Fair Lady" at the Ascot Opening Race.  Many of the women at the Kentucky Derby followed that tradition, although there was one female with a Wisconsin Cheese Hat that definitely spoiled the ambience.  Here's the link to the Orlando Sentinel site if you would like to pick a favorite.

Finally, a very special Mother's Day wish to a very special mother.  Although she has never given birth, she has loved and cared for and raised eight little ones like they were her own blood.

Happy Mother's Day, Teena.  I couldn't have done it without you.

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