By Greg Ritchie
Editor’s note: Greg’s Corner is an editorial (opinion) section where Messenger Reporter Greg Ritchie shares odds and ends from the job and unusual or interesting facts from across the world and across time.
MESSENGER OFFICE – I lost my mother a couple of years ago. It was during the big freeze and I could barely get out of my house, much less down to the Houston area to see her. She had suffered a seizure and by the time I arrived, three days later, it was too late. She was on those dreadful machines and passed away a few hours after I left. I like to think she hung on, waiting to hear my voice. I stayed with her and talked to her. I joked with her – mom always got my sometimes dark humor.
I spent many years of my life out of the country, so coming home to see mom could be both a highlight and a chore. Always proud of whatever I was doing, always taking my side even when I was in the wrong, (especially when I was in the wrong) anytime I needed to feel better about myself, I could always call home and mom would be there, ready to listen, ready to laugh, whatever was called for.
We should love and respect our parents, most of all, because they gave us life. Mom wasn’t perfect. I bet your mom wasn’t, either. When I think back on some of the meals she “whipped up” after a long day at work, there was a lot of taste but not always a lot of nutrition.
I am ashamed now, when I think about what a jerk I was as a teenager. Like all teenagers, I had it all figured out. Besides, mom wouldn’t understand, anyway. They didn’t have problems like mine back in her day…when the world was still in black and white.
I believe in heaven and I believe in hell and I know mom is still looking down and looking out for me. I know she is proud of my humble little job at the local newspaper. No one can understand you like mom. No one can feel more pain for you than mom. It’s just what they do.
I look back now and I realize she was only 22 when I was born, only a couple years into marriage. 22. She made mistakes and made me mad and embarrassed me only about 10,000 times before I was 13. She never stopped bragging about me, never stopped telling that same story about that one time when I did this or that. “Oh, don’t be embarrassed by that, it was cute,” she would say as I cringed.
We can be hard on moms. We forget they age, make mistakes, have regrets, have good days and bad. They are too hard on us, sometimes, but looking back, I usually deserved it and learned from it.
But when you need a rock, someone to count on, someone to tell you how great you are – someone to forgive you for the 100th time – only a mom will do. We seldom realize how much we can hurt them with just a phrase or a look – the person who gave us life – and would give theirs for us without thinking.
I miss you mom, every day. There are a thousand things I never said, a thousand hugs never given, a thousand stories I never heard for the thousandth time.
Wherever your mom is this Sunday, whatever relationship you had or have, whatever hurt feelings or time and distance lie between you – reach out. Call her, take her out, look to the heavens and know she is smiling from the clouds.
To the mothers, thank you for giving us a life and a life worth living.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]