Monday, December 08, 2008

Things My Mother Taught Me

We have been Connecticut Yankees for, well, let’s see now … pretty near 370 years. That does something to you, whether you realize it or not. Something genetic that changes your DNA and your outlook on life.

I always claimed her mother had a box in the kitchen drawer marked, “Pieces Of String Too Small To Save.” It wasn’t really so, but if you knew my grandmother, you would say that pretty much described her. I don’t recall Mom throwing much out, either.

The was an old show on tv, “Life Begins At Eighty.” She taught me the truth of that: Traveling for her began at 74, at a time when her neighbors were packing it in and looking through casket catalogs, putting undertakers on their speed dial and talking vaguely about “that dress” or “that suit.” When she was 83 and they were taking out only one-year renewals to magazines, she was flying to the Arctic (really).

She taught me how to keep a family together when things get to that point. There’s safety in numbers and a lot of problems can be solved simply by sticking together. You’re not always going to get what you want and life’s not always going to turn out the way you planned; that’s how things are and get used to it.

She taught me not to complain. It’s not that nobody gives a ****, which they don’t, but who wants to hang around a person who is moaning and groaning over how life has treated them? You don’t keep, or make, friends that way.


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