Saturday, May 7, 2022

Sorry I Haven't Written Lately - Happy Mother's Day!

After last year's flurry of activity during National Poetry Month in April, I haven't posted on this blog lately. What a difference a year makes, in so many ways.

In April 2022, I wrote all of one poem, but I can't print it here because "this is a family publication" (as a recent viewing of "All the President's Men" reminded me).

I plan to post soon about my hometown, its 100th anniversary celebration, and the odd history of our local Burger King. In the meantime...

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Even though I haven't written, I did at least call my mother every day in April.

And now that it's Mother's Day Eve, I can post my favorite photo of her and me... the one where I'm grabbing a handful of her hair with a maniacal smile on my innocent face.

There are better old photos of Mom. Like this one of her mugging for the camera in Clifton, NJ, in the 1950s. But I'm not in any of those!

I've posted here before about Mom's extraordinary beauty, and she still looks and acts much younger than her years. She turned 90 a few months ago.

Mom doesn't like the impermanent beauty of cut flowers. Over the years, I've given her just about every other kind of Mother's Day gift and probably every "Peanuts"-themed Mother's Day card that Charles Schulz ever produced.

For this year's gift, I've signed Mom up for a Storyworth account. This is a service that, once a week, will email her (aka "me") a question about her life, which we'll answer by email (after I ask Mom about it and record her thoughts). At the end of a year, these 52 stories will be bound into a keepsake book.

My daughters gave me this gift last Father's Day, so I'm almost finished answering a year's worth of questions about myself. In line with the Mother's Day theme, this week's question about my own life is, "What is a favorite memory of your mother?"

My answer will be about the parish festivals years ago at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church on Lanza Avenue in Garfield, NJ. It was my mother's family parish when she grew up, and all the Masses there were in Polish.

A favorite memory of my childhood was watching Mom and sisters in traditional peasant dress, joyously dancing polkas at the annual parish festivals.

With a big smile on her face, she would beckon me to join her. Even then, I was the world's worst dancer. I hopped around with Mom on the temporary stage in the church parking lot. Her skirt billowed, accordion music blared, and the crowd sang and cheered.

For me, was a fleeting moment of pure delight.

Thanks, Mom. You'll always be a handful, but you've always encouraged me to join in the dance.

May 2022