Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Living Memorial

Please indulge me today but I’m feeling particularly sentimental as I wait for my flight out of DFW airport.  I’m leaving Dallas after another short visit with my parents, who I’m lucky enough to still have in my life.

My brave Mom has spent many of the past 10 years or so battling a series of health issues, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, knee replacement surgeries, breast cancer, chemo, near-fatal infections, MSD and now Leukemia.

Quite a list of maladies, isn’t it?  But Mom remains resolutely hopeful, a loving partner to my Dad and caring friend to so many. They still head out to Acapulco’s for breakfast many days, she manages to go to movies with her pal Trudy (apparently Gravity is on tap for this Friday), reads newspapers and magazines to stay current, roots for her favorites on “Dancing With The Stars” and continues to live her life with a faith that is truly inspiring.

At breakfast yesterday, Mom shared some fascinating stories about her childhood on the farm in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in the post-Depression years.  Maybe it was those time-tested Midwestern values that her parents instilled that helped shape her into the strong, honest, caring woman she is.  And as I listened to her and watched her recall her own family and what they endured, it made my own challenges and problems seem remarkably small.  America is a country that produces “salt of the earth” people like my Mom.  And we are extremely lucky for that.

My Mom’s doctor has given her a much-appreciated honest prognosis and she is well aware that she may not have long.  But knowing she reads this blog (like the proud mother she is!) I want to tell her once again how much she is loved and cherished by her husband, all of her children, grandchildren, other family and countless friends. You’ve been a kind, generous, beautiful person, taking care of so many of us over the years.  And every day I try to live up to the gifts you’ve given me.  Thanks, Mom. 

What Am I Reading?

TopsyJust finishing this fascinating true story of the beginnings of the modern circus, with all of its showmen, hucksters and charlatans.  In particular, Topsy focuses on the elephants whose very presence as the stars of the traveling shows could be fascinating headliners on one evening and turn into uncontrollable behemoths the next.  Topsy, the crooked-tail elephant, became famous as one of P. T. Barnum’s attractions and met a grisly end courtesy of the up-and-coming Thomas Edison.  This book presents a fascinating time in America’s developing entertainment culture and a thought-provoking perspective on how far we will go in our subjugation of some truly magnificent creatures.