Mother’s Day 2020 Tribute

MY MOM STRANGLED ME, that much is true.

I can’t count the times Mom tried to make me feel special. Her most impressive story was how she had strangled me at birth. The Doctors at St. Francis Hospital told her that the umbilical cord had silenced her 5th babies’ cry for good. She wouldn’t give up.

She often recounted her prayers to let me live. And how that led to a second chance.

Of course, her unintentional strangulation didn’t work all those years ago but prayers did. So, I prize above all her prayers. Wherever I was in the world, from that first breathe to now I knew she was praying.

I had seen her tears and prayers for my brothers in Vietnam, her other children — when she didn’t know I was watching. That comforted me on more than one occasion, as when running from thugs firing guns into the night and shouting “Death to America” in then socialist Peru on Christmas Eve in the Andes 1972.

There were many other dangerous occasions, almost too numerous, and never recounted; but one I’ll share. Two weeks before I came home on a cliffside dirt road at midnight in the Andes again, peering down 1,000’s of feet to a river below from a rickey bus filled with people, chickens, pigs (right out of movie “Romancing the Stone”) I prayed, thought of my mother, and said, “Now I know I am going to die.”

About a year before she passed away she emailed me a photo of one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It was a typical one-lane winding dirt highway up in the Andes which I had been familiar with. “Jim, were you ever on a road like that during your mission in Peru?” she asked.

I chuckled and simply answered, “Yes Mom. And thanks for your prayers.”
Why is it boys at war or far from home always worry about their Mom’s feelings in those desperate moments they don’t or can’t write home about.

I could write a book about it…

Oh, yeah. I did.

Tributes to Greatest Generation parents and 12 Timeless Principles every boy should learn.

MOM, The Woman Who (Still) Made Oatmeal Stick to My Ribs

So many things still affect me from growing up years, and those years as an adult where Mom was always there.  The “Golden Rule” was one of those things. Gently hammered into me whenever I left the nest, and even as an adult I still hear Mom’s voice.

The value of a mother cannot be underestimated. They are the nurturers of the world, the caretakers of the homes, the providers along with fathers of nourishment, clothing, and a safe place to live.

I include the final chapter to a book being revised for republishing, but available from Amazon online in eBook and used copies in hard and soft cover format. I include an audio link here of the nearly complete audiobook for those who wish to listen to an excerpt:

   Though we age, and though we become the surviving members of a generation of people from slower, less complicated times, we all in our later years give thanks, credit, love from our hearts to our Mom, who gave us life, and in some cases even saved us.

With a smile as I close my eyes, I can see her call out to me as I run out the front door, “Remember Jimmy, do unto others as you would have them to do to you.”

Thanks for the unnumbered prayers for me. Thanks for all the tireless efforts when I didn’t notice. And thanks for the unseen tears. Still trying to behave Mom.  Still trying to live the Golden Rule… But whatever else may be, or however far short I have fallen from your expectations, I announce to the world this: “I love you, Mom.