Mom, thank you for all your sacrificing for our behalf. Thanks again for all your devotion to our needs and interest for always having time to console us, laugh and cry with us. I have always been astounded from where you summoned your endless energy and patience. We three boys have always remembered and appreciated your unselfish nature in having parties for all of us during the school years in the motel lounge and those great Luaus around the pool. You were always the gracious class mother to each of us. . . finding energy left over from making beds, cleaning, meeting the public, and renting rooms. Mom, those were the days. It was a lot of work. I was so glad to see your mutual retirement from the motel business and that you bought a motor coach to see the United States. Thank you for providing me with my first taste of European study and culture and sharing a major part of your inheritance.
Most of all thank you for accepting my invitation to join me in California after Dad's death, to pack a few suitcases and move to the hill leaving all your lovely furniture and selling the great house you and Dad built for us.
You never looked back. You never complained. You were never a Pollyanna. You always had a firm understanding of reality and were forever optimistic and gave me your full love and support in any and all of my creative endeavors. You are my mom, and will forever be within my every thought. You were so amazing in doing so many tasks so well, most at the same time. You managed to 'crochet' the fibers of education, religion, cultural, social and civic responsibilities into a safety net of family and business, allowing us to know we always came first. The greatest energy force on this earth is not gravity. It is Mom. Moms are great sculptors . . . they shape our existence through exposure and balance. My appreciation of this life and universe bears her fingerprints . . like the pot to the potter. She loved Christmas and snow anytime. She loved her family and her extended family. She adored her grandchildren and took great pride in them. During her hospital stay a picture of Taylor, her great granddaughter, hung below the clock. She loved that child. She delighted in playing bridge and delivering 'Meals on Wheels' with Dad driving. What joy she found in plants and animals. . . the money she spent on Miracle Grow. She loved the Women's Club, the garden department and her church. She loved Wilson and all her friends there. She loved the idea of winning . . . played the Lotto every week and religiously watched the TV at 2 minutes to 8 p.m. to get the numbers. The most she won in nine years was $11.00. When they introduced the Mega number, life got hard. It was such a struggle to win. It was hard all the time, but that damn Mega number. Often I would yell down from upstairs while working at the computer just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday nights . . . "Did you win anything?" Got 3! Got 2! Got 6! But they were all on different lines . . . that she got any numbers brought some degree of happiness. What would have happened had all the numbers shown up? I can only smile at what might have been. Last week I had gone to the nurse's station to retrieve her favorite "Starbucks Mocha Frappuchino Lite" from the staff's refrigerator at Horizons, her last rehabilitation clinic. Over the address system came "Bingo in the assembly room at 10:30 Tuesday". I know she heard it. When I returned to her bedside I heard her say, "Maybe the next game."
Without you being here on this hill I would never have summoned up the sustaining courage to start the stone walls, terraces, fountains and gallery. I will forever regret that it has taken so long to be completed. I feel the past three years in working so hard has deprived us of leisure and travel in our retirement . . . but Mom, you know and I know the joy of creative accomplishment.
Thank you for bringing me life and being the light of my life. I discovered this morning, the day before the hillside ceremony, your poem "A Dream Come Awake". I am going to share that with all of your friends tomorrow.
As Dad said upon dropping "us" off at the hospital's curb in route to opening his Shell Station, "Have a nice BABY !"
Mom, have a nice ETERNITY !