Saturday, May 12, 2018


NONE OF US KNOWS HOW MUCH OF OUR CHARACTER WE INHERITED FROM OUR PARENTS.  In my case, I am confident that I inherited my best qualities from my mother.  She was the oldest of 9 children and I knew all of them.  Almost uniformally, they were cheerful, fun to be with individuals.  My friends who find me generally cheerful have my inheritance to thank.

I show you the front of my rig this morning so you can see that I keep her picture forever in front of me. (on the cabinet)
When I was 12 I was given a poem to memorize and perform for a community mother's day ritual:


As I was walking down the street the other day
I heard a little urchin to his comrad turn and say:
Jimmy let me tell you,  I'd be happy as a clam
If I could be the fellow that my mommy thinks I am.

She thinks I'm a wonder, she knows her little lad
could never mix with anything that was ugly mean or bad.
Jimmy let me tell you, I'd be happy as a clam
if I could be the fellow that my mommy thinks I am.

My mother told me that a beautiful poem in the head is a treasure in the heart and she started a project by teaching me the poem FLANDERS FIELD.  I memorized it and as the years went by I memorized a hundred more of the classics at a rate of one or two a year.  When I came home each time she would take me to her senior center, introduce me and have me recite one or more of  them from my repertoire.  It  made her very proud.
When we went to church together and were singing along with the congregation from the hymnal, she would sometimes smile at me and close the hymnal challenging me to sing the words from memory. She could do it and often I could too.
She loved me with a great obviousness.  I had the pleasure of taking care of her in the last months of her life and I was with her when she died.  What she said on her deathbed is nothing short of astonishing.  I wrote it into a poem and placed it on her tombstone for all the world to see.  Check it out  here.


Linda Duncan said...

Hugs Randy! I too, get my cheerfulness and optimistic personality from my mother. And out of her 8 living children, they say I am the one who looks most like her. I am blessed. And we all need hugs! Linda

Anonymous said...

Very nice poem she left you with, Randy.

Thanks for sharing.