Happy Mother's Day Mom - I miss you
By Patrick Robinson
My mom was an artist of course. She taught herself to paint (she took some “correspondence courses” back in the day and had some large figure drawing books for reference. It was cool.
She would draw and paint and write and play piano and sing. She was quite gifted at all of them.
And again.. completely self taught.
She suffered from what we now call bi-polar disorder but back then, it was just called the blues.
I recall many late afternoons when my father was away at work, she would play sad music on the piano, the melodies drifting up through the house expressing her personal anguish.
She had a right to it of course.
When she was a baby, she was abandoned by her mother who was 16 when she bore my mom. She was raised by foster parents, Nana and Papa and I recall going to visit them when I was a very young boy, marveling at Papa’s replica of a sailing ship with brass sails and intricate rigging.
It wasn’t until many years later I learned that Papa had molested my Mom. She carried that psychological scar like she carried herself, with undeniable grace.
She had polio as a girl and wore braces on her legs but over came that too.
Then she lost her teeth. She always told me it was because she chewed on toothpicks but I believe she ground them away in response to her own pain.
My mom had the most beautiful handwriting. Absolutely gorgeous long hand script, ruler straight and an example of the art she tried to express in most of her personality. I could never master it myself so I ended up mostly doing just print letters. Even my signature today is a weak simulation of her gift.
My mom and dad both smoked cigarettes. My dad smoked Winstons, the butts mashed out in piles in his big red and yellow glass ashtray in his office at the White Center News. My Mom smoked Kent cigarettes because they seemed so classy I guess, and I remember her telling a friend how much she enjoyed smoking. A sad thought now because it led to her death.
She had overcome so much, and learned so much. She bore five children, all boys, and as honestly as I can tell you, we all loved her (and love her still) but we were terrible to her. She was so thoughtful and caring, she made us all individual laundry boxes out of cardboard and black and white contact paper each with our names on it so beautifully lettered so our dirty clothes would be easier to manage. I think the boxes got used about ten times. We were bad boys.
Toward the end of her life she was very ill and went to the hospital for an operation on her heart.
She was about to go into surgery and the doctor expressed doubts. Not the best thing to hear. But she told him, “Cut or quit” in her typically courageous style. Her last words.
My Dad came home from the hospital and looked stricken. He looked at me and said softly, “We lost your Mom.”
A phrase that makes me sob even at this moment.
You never really get over losing your Mother. You just get used to it.
From my mother I learned the value of art, patience, tolerance and while it seems like a grand statement, the meaning of unconditional love. In the end that’s all that remains.
Thank you Mom. I miss you. I love you. I’ll be seeing you.
I remember your sweet Mother when you lived in Fentonwood. To a young lad, she was beautiful and I so remember her Triumph red conv? that was parked in your carport. Your Father was kind to me beyond words to express. May they both rest in Peace.