Monday, January 25, 2010

In Memorial: Family Ties

We all inherit things from our parents. From my father, I inherited the cooking ability, the love of long drives across the country, and my photographic eye.

From my mother I inherited so much. So much more than just the love of family and the closeness I feel for them. Thank god, though I didn’t inherit her penchant for wigs and silly hats!

So, what did I get from mom? Well, for one, I make a mean thanksgiving dinner. Although, I refuse to make glorified rice... though, I have never heard any complaints about that.

I inherited a senses of fun from mom, a quirky sense of humor that others is often on a different plane of reality from others, and the occasional feeling that something has just happened that I missed-out on. I also love animals and I know that came from Mom. (Though these days Dad and his dog are almost inseparable! Had St. Cloud Hospital not insisted, I think Sunshine would have gone to the hospital with him last month. But, I digress...)

I also think that I must have gotten the flair for the dramatic from that side of the family. I can vaguely remember this evening. Mom had somewhere found a dog that had been trained to perform a specific trick. The trick was ignoring all the "usual" commands one gives a dog. Sit, roll-over, shake hands, and lay down were pretty much meaningless gibberish for the dog. As I recall it, the dog had been trained to do this specific comedy act.

The trick was that the dog had been trained to do these things only when the person giving the command had their back to him. He would sit there looking at her "uncomprehendingly" when she insisted that he roll-over. But when she turned to the audience imploringly "...I just don’t know what is wrong with Duke, perhaps he isn’t feeling well..." the dog would be doing what ever trick Mom had asked it to do a few minutes earlier. It was brilliant!

I also got my skill at organization from her. Mom could pull-together a church carnival at the drop of a hat. There were times that that was about all she had! One year she stepped-in a week before the carnival was to start at the request of the carnival committee and pulled it together on time.

The coolest carnival, though, had to be the time she got one of the local television stations to send their Sunday Morning Children's show team out for an autograph session. Wayne Chandler and Toby the Robot showed-up and were practically mobbed by fans.

Not too long ago, I down in Miami on a business trip and mentioned to the person at the station that I had grown up watching the station… she introduced me to the person wearing the robot costume hugging my mom. We chatted a bit and he asked me if I was related to the woman who used to run the Carnivals out in Southwest Miami, as he recalled she'd had my name.

Floored that he remembered after all those years, I admitted she had been my mother. I guess I should not have been surprised though, mom made an impression on you. You either loved her or you didn't; but the thing is, you remembered her.

And so I remember my mother on what would have been her twenty-third birthday. Happy birthday, mom!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will have a good day. Call your mother, she would be glad to hear from you!

Don Bergquist – January 25, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA


Cathy W said...

Don, what a nice post about your mother. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

And you do make a mean Thanksgiving dinner!

Anonymous said...

"...her twenty-third birthday."???

Didn't you recently say that you had been with your company 20 years? What's up with that?

An Anonymous Reader

Don Bergquist said...

Dear Cathy,


Yes, she was one-of-a-kind.

Oh, and thanks... I do enjoy me a good turkey now and again!


Don Bergquist said...

Dear Anonymous Reader:

Thanks for your comment.

Yes. 23rd birthday.

My mother lived in a special universe of her very own where it was possible that the 2000' journey from her house to the school bus stop could mystically morph to a harrowing trek of anywhere up to ten miles each way; uphill both ways.

This mythic momiverse was also somewhat mathematically bizarre in that no matter what the date, the difference between the current year and the year of her birth was never greater than 23.

As long as I can remember the answer to the question "Mom, how old are you?" was always the same; "23."

So I have to assume that although she was born in 1935, were she alive today she would be celebrating her 23th birthday.

Thanks again for reading and commenting on my blog.