Monday Smiles – 2/3/2014

momndad0001Yesterday, as I was scribbling the date at the top of my Morning Pages, I noticed that today is my mother’s birthday.  I suppose the correct phrase is would have been my mother’s birthday, since she passed away from the cumulative effects of diabetes in 1990. She would have been 94.   If you had been a fly on the wall observing my life … and that wall had been one of the dozens of offices I’d occupied as a practicing electrical engineer, you’d say I took after my Dad.   He gave me my analytical mind and my commitment to doing the job right, whatever the job was.  The fact that he regretted his decision to join the Army instead of going to engineering school probably heavily influenced my choice to be an engineer, even though I didn’t know exactly what an engineer did.   My career was my Dad’s.  And truthfully, my Inner Curmudgeon sounds an awful lot like my Dad sometimes.  Just ask Muri.

But my Mom brought music into our house, Broadway musicals and Big Bands and classical music.  Oh, yes, Beverly Sills.

And when I expanded on her tastes by bringing home the Modern Jazz Quartet and Peter Gunn, she didn’t especially care for the sounds … but she didn’t stop me from playing it, either.   She brought home books on the art of the masters and when she took oil painting lessons at the local high school, she taught me what she’d learned, even letting me use her paints.  She was a devout Catholic but was comfortable discussing the moral implications of missionaries or psychics like Jean Dixon.  Though she died regretting that I hadn’t followed Catholicism, my spirituality springs from her example.  She taught me to love reading, especially fiction, even if it was from Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.  She’d call me to the kitchen window every time a Scarlet Tanager made an appearance at the birdfeeder and woke me in the middle of the night to lie on a blanket and watch the Perseids meteor shower.  I am an observer of life because I watched my mother do it first.  Though she never uttered the word mindfulness, she was my first example of what it meant.  My retirement … and those avocations that make my retirement fulfilling … are my Mom’s.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  And thank you.  It’s Monday … I’m smiling.

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8 Comments on “Monday Smiles – 2/3/2014”

  1. Muriel Reed Says:

    Very nice. She would be pleased:).

  2. Charles kenney Says:

    Brings back fond memories. Happy Birthday Mrs. Reed

  3. Charles kenney Says:

    Hey Bud I don’t know if you remember this but when your mom was taking classes at night she forgot something when she went home, so the next day she called the school and asked them to send it home with my brother Bob. What she didn’t know was my brother skipped school that day. He got caught and got detention for 2weeks and had to walk the 2miles home, she felt so bad for getting him in trouble.

  4. territerri Says:

    If there was a “LOVE” button on this post, I’d have pushed it. This is such a loving dedication to your mother and her influence in your life. I am quite sure you have made her very proud.


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