Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Day 7 - Momma
Mother did the best she could to raise a child like me, and it wasn't until I was older that I began to realize the toll that raising a child such as myself had taken on her mental health. I started doing stupid stuff like swallowing Grandma's heart medicine , eating Ex-Lax chocolate squares out of the medicine cabinet, sneakin a turtle into the toilet when Great Grandma was babysitting, lighting the barn on fire, burying her whipping belt in Grandma's tulip bed, etc. There seemed to be no end to the my imagination and my sheer disregard for the always "obvious-to-anyone-with-half -a-brain" consequences of my actions. No comprehension what-so-ever.
I was as baffled as she was. To this day I think of all the times that I stood before my dear departed mother as aboy , Her face red as Santas' hat, and hollerin' like I set the cat on fire or something (just the tail) -green eyes shooting arcs of electricity right at my fuzzy little head. As always, I would stand stone still with knees-knocking like maracas. clenching my soon to be tenderized little ass in the palms of my hands , like I was telling my cheeks I was sorry.
Momma wasn't the gentle type, and the question was always the same. A pleading urgent question screeched in a voice undescribable with vowels and consonants to this day - at 110+decibels from a 100 lb sack of pissed-off, with all the attitude and sensitivity of a mother Grizzly administering a horse-shaped and hippo-sized suppository with a bazooka.....(without lubrication......tough love)
My answer remained consistent throughout the years in all occasions. Best part - I wasn't lying a bit. "I HAVE NO IDEA ???".
Never did have a clue why I did dumb stuff - still don't. If my Momma God rest her soul, or any other woman on earth for that matter, asks me today, why I did something else stupid, the answer's still the same - and I mean it. I really am that dumb, even now. I'm smarter when I live with dogs than with women. I'm not wrong half as much. I go right to the head of the class. (thumbs :-)
I discerned at some point as a child , that by the time Mother had (and every other woman I've ever known to posit that fateful question), actually reached that screaming, "fuck-you-up-with-a wooden-spoon" point-of-no-return -she no longer expected or needed to know the answer. She just wants to scream it REALLY LOUD at my fuzzy little shit-stained head, and beat my ass like a dirty rug!!!!! . It worked then and still does today. When Momma got like that I was scared straight, scared sideways, and scared shitless.
The answer to her painful question ,(You really that dumb?), and to everyone in the familys suspicion, even then, was as plain as the blank, bug-eating, stare on my uncomprehending little face. Noone said much for a few years and after awhile the family just took it in stride. Learned not to expect a whole lot out of me. Everyone's still surprised that I can make vowel sounds and recognize light..
At that point Mom she knew she was outgunned. She knew she needed a man around to help. Her intentions were good but her game plan lacked foresight . Inexperienced and not ever knowing she could ever do any better, she swung for the lowest branches first. A whole mess of knot-heads fell out of the tree.
She was a kid from a "challenged" family and green as the grass in spring. She didn't know she was pretty. She didn't know what some men could do out of sheer meanness. She didn't know how wickedly smart and funny she was, and she really had no idea what it was like to be loved with kindness and without ridicule.
The years were hard,and hard on her spirit , as husbands came and went with what seemed nearly seasonal regularity usually, leaving a shitstorm of grief behind them on their departure.
I will always be grateful that she did finally find that gentle and good love she'd always dreamed of, many years later. Her 6th and last husband had had a crush on her when they were kids back in Sidney. He was just too bashful back then to do anything about it until they ran into each other in a Railroad Cafe in Ogden 40 yrs later. Mom was in between husbands and Eugene Bauer thought she looked just as lovely as she had at 15 back in Sidney Nebraska.
They married a few months later and were together for 35 years until lung-cancer took Cookie badly, and then took Mother 2 years later. She found the love and kindness she had always wanted. She faced the world with an unquenchable good spirit and an honest to God love for anything and everything beautiful and funny. For a time she went straight through hell with me on her back and never loved me one iota less for her own hardships.
Love ya and miss ya Momma
"Don't take any wooden nickels"
Till tomorrow -