Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mom's Dreams

Mom’s Dreams


            My mom is great, I love my mom. I mean C’mon, who doesn’t love their mom? Here you can insert all the clichés that everyone says about their mom, and they all apply to my mom. And like most people, I really don’t believe I deserved all she sacrificed and gave for me.

One of the things I love about my mom is she has always been a dreamer. It’s like she and my stepfather were these old vaudeville actors and they had this tired old bit, talking about their dreams, that they trotted out every show like it was fresh and new. All you could really do is watch the show and smile and nod and be as sincerely interested as you could fake being.

My mom is almost seventy-five years old and you know what she did this spring? She planted an orchard! A pecan orchard or something. She’s imagining in a few years she will stroll along the orchard lanes with a basket harvesting pecans, or whatever she’s growing in her orchard. In five years she’ll be almost eighty! But that’s my mom.

I was in junior high when she married my step-father. They are a match made in heaven. No truly, they are. There is no way that two people who both live on dreams should live in the real world. This mundane world has no place for them. They keep toiling on life’s lower rungs, but they’re happy, very happy. Just up around the next bend the rainbow is going to open up and cast its gold their way.

Like I say, I was in junior high when I first heard their dreams, and I believed them, every word. By the time I was sixteen I was beginning to wonder when this was all supposed to happen. By the time I was eighteen I knew it was never ever going to happen. They didn’t have the business sense to make a million dollars, so they had to rely on dreams instead. For most this would be a poor trade, but it worked for them.

I think deep down they didn’t want the dreams to come true, that wasn’t what their dreams were for. They understood the joy was in the wanting, not the possessing, and they were rich in want. Usually, folks burn out on the wanting and give up their dreaming. Not my folks, not my mom. Wants were her wants. Her dreams never stopped feeding her.

My wife and I are more pragmatic. My wife is much more pragmatic. I just accepted that that was how my mom operated, but it would just drive my wife up the wall. “How can they be so silly?” As if there was an answer why puppies and kitties were so cute. They just are.

So when the time came, when I was lying in a coma in the hospital, and the doctors were advising my family to start looking into long term care facilities, that I saw the value in my mom’s dreams. My young fiancé had a white knuckle grip on the hope that the nightmare would end and I would be okay. Everybody, absolutely everybody, was advising her that she should make a quiet exit. No one believed I would be anything more than a vegetable. In fact, vegetable was too optimistic, I was destined to be parsley, simply brushed aside as a useless annoyance in the meal of life.

Except my mom. As I lay dying, “Mike is going to be alright. You watch, he’ll come through this better than ever.” And my then fiancé, now my wife, always the pragmatic practical one, chose that one time to believe my mom’s dream talk--and that one single solitary time my mom’s dream was spot on. If she has lived her whole life on dreams and scant else, just so that she could be the one to say I’d be okay that one time, and give Linda a foundation of hope to build her own dream on, then I say humbly, thank you, mom.

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