Rushville Republican

Columns

June 5, 2013

Stuart: Plagiarizing my mom

RUSHVILLE — I usually get quite a few e-mails from readers around this time of year; dozens of messages, always with the same pointed, uh, point: “Make sure you write SOMETHING about your mom on Mother’s Day!!!” They’re all signed the same: “Love always, Mom.”

Totally kidding! My mother is at the very front of the line of People Who Would NEVER Call Attention To Themselves.

Which is why it’s always a bit of mischievous fun to embarrass her with a column around this time of year, which still has the afterglow of that Mother’s Day time of year, and is also right around her birthday time of year.

I turn for inspiration to my Mom’s “Grandparent Book,” a project she did for all her grandkids, which includes her personal answers to dozens of questions about her life and times.

I read the book again this week, harboring the same hope I have every time I pick it up: please, please, puh-leez let me channel just a little bit of her wisdom and patience before her three youngest grandsons send me RANTING MANIACALLY THROUGH THE STREETS! Who better than you, Mom, to provide a surefire prescription for a severe case of maniacal street-ranting, having “been there, done that” with your own five kids?

With her “Grandparent Book” in hand, and it being nearly her birthday and all, I hereby take this opportunity to plagiarize (I mean, pay homage to) Mom!

Let’s begin at the very beginning. The path that led to my mom’s co-authorship of this column began when she met my dad, an encounter she describes thusly in her “Grandparent Book”: “I met him on a blind date in March, 1946, when my dorm at DePauw University had a dance. The dancing area was so dark (one blue light bulb in the corner) that he asked me for another date in the daytime so we could see what each other looked like.”

Fortunately, she liked what she saw, or I suppose I wouldn’t be here.

My mom remembers this about her wedding day: “Rev. Carl Shafer, the assistant pastor, performed the ceremony, and it was his first wedding. He was young, and was so nervous that he could hardly hold his Bible, his hands were shaking so much.”

Of course, Mom was a little excited by that day too, even 50 years later, when she wrote in her “Grandparent Book” that she was also “very neervous.” (As a first-grade teacher for 26 years, and an impeccable speller, Mom will not be happy I mentioned this; I’ll probably be grounded for a few weeks.)

Mom had her five kids in slightly less than nine years, starting in a year I can’t mention because it would reveal my big sister’s age, and ending in a year I can’t mention because it would reveal my little sister’s age. And if I reveal them, they would both ground me for life.

Regardless, what happened from that first unmentionable year on became Mom’s answer to the “Grandparent Book” question “What was your most important learning experience?” Mom answers, “Raising a family,” adding, “We tried to raise children who would amount to something and not turn out to be mixed-up little dopes.” (I’m going to wait a few years before I let No. 3, 4 and 5 sons read that part of the “Grandparent Book,” perhaps at some far-off time when they stop thinking that I turned out to be the latter.)

Mom’s answer goes on. Here’s the rest, uninterrupted:

“We tried to be honest and decent parents. We wanted a healthy family, where we would like each other and have fun with each other. Even with disagreements and struggles and pain and frustrations, we could forgive and smile and love each other.

“We found much happiness, even though there were struggles and sacrifices and responsibilities along the way. There was joy and happiness in the course of our family life.”

To appreciate what kind of person my mom is, simply update these last few sentences to the present tense. She’s still doing things large and small to share joy and happiness. Still living by one of her favorite sayings: “Good examples have more value than good advice.”

Thanks, Mom, for your life of good examples. I love you.

Contact: TakefiveT5@yahoo.com

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • There's something about Maryland My family unit has just returned from a death march – oops, make that, “vacation” – in Annapolis, Maryland. In spite of constant 96-degree temps (though it dropped as low as 95.7 at night), and the stifling humidity, we had lots of dolgurn fun. Mainl

    July 22, 2014

  • Learning to say goodbye From as far back as I can remember, saying hello has been a part of nearly each day.During my youth, it was used when I met new people my parents introduced me to and was frequently followed by a handshake. I couldn’t count the number of times I used

    July 18, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 15, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 15, 2014

  • Soothing '60's Surf Sounds I’m sitting in my home office enjoying a serenade of rhythmic pulsations emanating from the outside wall. It’s coming from our water spigot. No. 5 son (age 13) and his buddies are using it to fill water balloons. 1,500 water balloons to be exact. 1,5

    July 15, 2014

  • Soccer-stopping Storm a Lousy Treat What a great way to spend a Saturday morning in July: I’m sitting in my car with rain cascading on the roof, lightning skittering all over the sky, and thunder sockin’ it to the atmosphere with such force that I feel a rumbling in my bum.I’m staring

    July 8, 2014

  • Only in America - Top 10 As we move into the glorious months of summer, I thought you might be amused by reading the Top Ten List of what Canadians supposedly think of how things are going in this country. It’s a lot like David Letterman’s “top ten list.”Number 10: Only in A

    July 8, 2014

  • Government today is way too intrusive What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    July 8, 2014

  • Gone in the blink of an eye Over the holiday weekend I was able to enjoy three days, (somewhat) off work. Three day weekends are always a highlight for me and I am sure most of you will agree.I went fishing to wrap up my Sunday evening. While sitting in the old John boat castin

    July 8, 2014

  • Mum Mum If my grandmother were alive today, she would be 125, and she would still, no doubt, be walking around in her six-inch-high heels, the ones she asked to be buried in—and she’d have a Marlboro in her fingers. She demanded to be called Mum Mum because

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.