Happy Mother’s Day to all the MLC mom’s out there!
This post it dedicated to all the mom’s out there. Share any stories, songs, rhymes, lessons learned – anything to do with Mothers. For with out them, we wouldn’t be here today.
My mom was tough. After all, she raised 4 boys (no girls, poor thing). Mom wasn’t one to show much emotion. You could never tell when she was sad. Or happy. But I used to do things to try and make her laugh. Usually all I got was a little smile. But that was good enough for me.
Mom used to start her day waking up early to make my dad his sandwich for lunch. Then once my dad would leave for work, mom would sit at the table with her coffee and toast and read the previous night’s Star-Bulletin newspaper – while listening to Aku on the radio. Then her day of work would start once she started waking up all of us boys. Preparing breakfast, making sure we were groomed properly, and getting us to school in her powder blue Valiant.
Then she would come home and get a load of laundry going. Mom washed clothes a lot. Because there wasn’t just the clothes, but the towels and bedsheets too. And mom had to be part weather-forecaster too because she didn’t have a dryer. Mom had to determine whether it would be a sunny enough day to hang clothes on the line in the back yard. Although we did have some clothes lines in our garage for when those unexpected showers popped up. And mom had to rush out there and pull the clothes off the line balancing them on her arm while making sure that all the clothes pins made it into the clothes-pin bag.
Then there was the vacuuming and mopping. Since we didn’t have carpet – it meant that mom had to mop the hardwood floors. I still remember that Mr. Clean smell from when mom used to mop.
Then on some days when mom didn’t have to wash clothes or clean the house, she used to get dressed up and take a drive out to Kailua town to do some banking, maybe squeeze in a little stop at Liberty House, then grocery shopping. I remember mom always asking me – or more like just thinking out loud – “What should we eat for dinner tonight”. Mom had to come up with the menu, prepare the dinner, and time it so that it would be ready at 6:30 PM – after Bob Sevey, Tim Tindal, and Joe Moore finished the KGMB Channel 9 News.
Then after dinner and putting away the leftovers, mom’s day was pau – as we had to do the dishes. Then mom would lay down for a bit and take a well deserved nap – only to wake up after most of us were already sleeping – and be the last one to bocha.
But on some nights when the ironing piled up, mom would bust out the ironing board in my bedroom, tune the radio to the Japanese station, and get the ironing done. Of course, I’d be lying on the bed, smelling that aroma of heated spray starch and fall asleep almost immediately – just knowing that mom was there. There would be some nights too when instead of ironing, mom would be in my room at the sewing machine – hemming up pants, fixing the pukas in our jeans, or making something creative like a patch-quilt. And again, lying on the bed, I would almost fall asleep in no time with just feeling the presence of mom in the room. I felt safe. I felt secure.
Mom was never one to like a lot of jewelry. Or perfume. She liked her nice dresses with just a little bit of make-up. But she did have quite of bit of clothes. Hey, maybe that’s where I got the shopping gene from! I can never have enough clothes. Or shoes.
Mom actually had a job as a real estate agent. Somehow between raising all of us – mom was out hosting open houses, showing clients homes, and selling homes. I never talked to her about her work so I had no idea how many homes she actually sold. Or what was the most expensive home she ever sold. But mom enjoyed her work. It was about the only social life she had as the real estate office would go on a caravan on Saturdays looking at homes that were recently listed. And the Wednesday night meetings often ended up at a bar or cocktail lounge someplace where mom would get “tipsy” – as she put it. I’m glad that she had at least that little outlet of time for herself.
Mom was one tough cookie. But as tough as she was – she could not fend off the Dementia that slowly took her away from us. Mom went to heaven a little over a year ago. But she taught me a lot – not by sitting me down and talking to me – but just through her actions. Mom taught me resilience. Mom taught me to hang in there when the going gets tough because it will all shake out in the end. Mom taught me to work hard, but take time to stop and smell the new clothes in the store. Mom taught me to live a pure life – from the heart.