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    Posted May 13, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What makes your Mother's Day special?

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    Miss You Mom

    This picture was taken in 1976. I am the stocky kid wearing the utterly amazing light blue checkered blazer and sporting the flop mop hair….both of which are long gone. My older brother is the tall gangly kid wearing the electric blue velvet suit and I think he still has it and wears it when no one is looking. It’s my sister’s first communion…she looked so pretty that day. The angry little waif next to her is my kid sister who was mad at whatever made her mad that day; I think it was because she couldn’t wear what the communion girl was wearing as they were apt to do. That’s my mom, standing tall in the middle of the crowd, her children around her right before we went to the church.

    This is my favorite picture of my mother. It was taken with my first camera, a plastic no named nothing that used 110 film. I love the lighting and shading. I love the backdrop, the street I grew up on and played on day and night, rain or shine, and especially in the snow. I love the expressions we have on, each indicative of our future selves and personalities; the nerdy bookworm has a gov’t job, I worked in nightclubs when I was younger (and still tilt my head that way and prefer blazers), my sister still smiles that way when she’s happy and the other still frowns that way when she’s mad. Mom frowned a lot but she also smiled a lot, especially on occasions that meant something. Mostly I love that we’re all crowding around her together, like Peter Rabbit and his siblings around the mother in the book I read as a child; the picture was the same.

    Around her and together….two things gone now…

    Mom and Dad struggled a lot in the early years just to feed and clothe us, and some years were leaner than others. Life wasn’t easy for Dad who worked all the time and it was just as hard on Mom being a housewife and mother to four active kids. She yelled a lot, safe to say, but she also cared for us well. I still remember when she retired that old overcoat and was able to buy herself a new one. I was so happy for her that day when I saw her smile. They wanted, we didn’t. We had food, clean clothes, some toys, a good school, good doctors, great friends, great neighbors, lots of rules and punishment if they were broken. We were made to work first then play and I never ever remember my mother telling me not to play too hard. Life was ok, and even though Dad worked and brought home the bacon, it was Mom who did everything else for us. She raised us, and taught some pretty good lessons throughout the years without ever letting on. Most especially, I’ve carried with me my whole life her one, all important, all-purpose lesson for how to live your life. Be nice. That’s it. That’s all there is. Doesn’t matter what you do, where you are, what you pray to, why you do what you do….be nice. She didn’t know another way to be and I don’t want to know another way.

    Things are different now. Dad died twenty years ago of a sudden heart attack and the family fractured after that. Mom died two years ago after a struggle with cancer that's made me hate the disease with all my being. My siblings and I went our separate ways throughout the years to one degree or another, for one reason or another. My wife and I have four children in all and we’re making a nice life for ourselves and she is an amazing, wonderful woman and mother. We live a thousand miles away from that picture but for me it’s lifetimes ago. Sometimes, not too often anymore but sometimes, I wish it was 1976. Not for the muscle cars, the music, having no responsibility, or to even to have it all back to do over. It’s just that on some days, like Mother’s Day, I wish I was still that little chubby kid peeking out from behind his mom like Peter Rabbit.

    I miss you Mom.
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