This is my Mother. Despite popular belief that I was hatched from some quasar during a particularly spectacular Libra Dragon season, I was actually conceived and delivered the normal way by two pretty great parents.
At 77, my Mother is in seriously good shape for her age. (And, if you need confirmation, just ask her. ) She’s been through polio at 2 years old, leaving her with a paralyzed left arm, her oldest child was found to be deaf at 9 months old, she had a major brain surgery in her early ’50s that would have killed a weaker person, and she watched her loving husband of 57 years suffer extreme pain for over ten years and die an agonizing death. She’s been rich, poor and in between, but she never lost faith nor wavered in her love of life….and of her children.
At an early age, she instilled a love of music in me that I’m eternally grateful for. My childhood was filled with wonderful harmonies and encouragement to sing and play musical instruments. I never did have the patience to master piano and guitar, but I was definitely given the opportunity. The house was always filled with tuneage growing up, either from the radio in my nursery (the ’60s version of white noise) or the actual “live” music with friends on Friday nights.
There are several songs that, for me, are forever linked to my mother.
All I Have to do is Dream, The Everly Brothers
Many times, in the car, driving around, I’d beg my mother to sing “Dream” with me. She taught me the harmonies and it is one of my favorite and most indelible memories of my mother.
Prisoner of Love, Billy Eckstine
A family favorite, Prisoner of Love still holds a special place in my heart. My Godmother, her daughter, my Mother and I all have sung this song 100 times — in four part harmony. Those times are among my favorite memories.
C C Rider, Elvis Presley
Another memory from those Friday night “jam sessions”, C C Rider seemed to be my Mother’s “riscque” song. Must say, she sang it with conviction.
A Good Man is Hard to Find
My Mother and Godmother actually worked out the Cajun French version of this…Et Bon Homme et Deur a Trouvier. I mastered both versions before my 13th birthday. To this day, it is Mr. D’s favorite song.
Whole Lotta Shakin’, Jerry Lee Lewis
My Mother adores piano and piano players. Since “The Killah” is from Ferriday, Louisiana, he is/was like a local god for the Cajun folks in the 50s and 60s.
I am her baby, the youngest of three. For years, I denied my obvious resemblance and now I’ve come to realize that it’s an honor. While she is the most aggravating person I have ever come across, she is also the most loving and endearing. She is passionate and caring, independent and sensitive. And, I’m sooooooo glad that she’s still here.
To my wonderful Mother and all the Mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Mother’s Day with the peace that you are loved unconditionally by your children.
And, Mamma, thanks for the music.