I remember being told that the delivery was challenging. Despite difficulty, on that June morning nearly 68 years ago, you brought me into the world.
A lot has happened since cancer robbed your last breath on August 31, 1992. Yet, somehow, for 39 years, you took care of me. This was despite all my imperfections.
As an infant, at times, I was a light sleeper.
Also, along the way, I was prone to ear infections.
I was very adept at car sickness. Sunday afternoon rides to Greensboro to visit relatives were often treacherous.
Potty training was a challenge too—I was a bed wetter.
Additionally, as I grew, I was overweight, quite chubby. That meant you had to look extra hard to find jeans/pants labeled husky.
Like all Pikes, I was stubborn. I still recall the cold winter morning when I refused to put on a coat. My father who loved me as much as you, took care of my stubbornness, I deserved it.
For certain, my years in school drove you nuts. Only one year, sixth grade, I made the honor roll and earned perfect attendance. After that year, my brain disappeared.
Sometimes in the summer, during the teenage years, your slug killer, a can of beer would disappear from the refrigerator. Those slugs crawling around in your flowers thanked me.
And, I broke the law too.
High school homecoming parade fall of 1970, for my friend, John Huffman, I drove a Cadillac convertible down main street in Burlington. John and Maggie Runyon sat on top of the back seat of that caddy waving to the crowd.
When we drove past you and your co-workers at the office where you worked, I thought your eyes were going to pop out of your head. That’s because you knew I didn’t have a driver’s license.
I was impatient with you after the December 1972 car crash that could have taken your life.
That concussion and other injuries were slow to heal. I could tell you weren’t the same. I should have been more patient with your healing. I wanted the mother back that I knew before the crash. No excuses, I was simply stupid.
By some miracle, I did graduate from high school. Found one college in America that would accept a fool.
Married one of the Cloud sisters, and I know you remember your now grown grandchildren. Luckily, Lauren, Andrew, and Elizabeth learned lots of good habits from their mother.
Now, you have four great grandchildren that I know you would adore. No question, you would spoil them rotten just like my wife, the commander supreme does.
Sometimes, I catch up with my pal, John Huffman. Inevitably in our conversations, one point will be made—how lucky we were to grow up when we did. And we always, always, acknowledge in those talks the key—the love from our parents.
I remember you once telling me, maybe during your last days on earth, “I only asked God for one thing, let me live long enough to see my children grown and successful.”
And while, I don’t know this for a fact, I would assume those words might have been planted by your mother, Margaret Harrod. She was quite a role model.
I keep coming back to this truth—you loved me even when I was at my worst, when disappointment weighed in your heart, and I’m sure you thought many times why did I bring this lug into the world?
And perhaps, that is what makes mothers unique— they find a way to love a son, a daughter— when no else can.
I have no idea how you loved me. But, I am forever thankful for your courage, your strength to keep loving me.
Today, Mother’s Day, I hope your angel wings take a rest in the wild blue yonder.
I love you.