Hi Mom

May 8, 2010

in The BEST of TRC

mom in 1948

Mom in 1948

Hi mom,

How are things up there? It’s been a while since we’ve talked. What was it, late 1993? Yeah, you sure had to go all of a sudden. I know it wasn’t your idea, but still..

Well here it is again, another Mother’s Day, and here I am again, thinking about you. I wonder what our relationship would be like now, in this context, now that I’m older? I think we’d be pretty chill. HAHA, that means “cool,” or getting along well. You were never up on the latest lingo, were you. Not that I am, lol!

That means “Lots of Laughs.”

There’s this “Internet” thing that was just getting started when you left, and it’s kind of taken over the world now. Everyone is connected in some way, and there are computers not only in every home but almost in every hand, as people carry around tiny ones that are a part of their wireless phones. They send each other messages and a whole new language has sprouted off from English that would have you completely befuddled.

You’re not missing anything, really.

But just so you know, I’m putting this letter to you on the “Internet” so that anyone who wants to can see it on their computer or little phone thingy anytime they want. This is because I’ve found that it’s kind of hard to message you directly, so I figure this is the next best thing, and maybe people will get an idea of how positively awesome you were when you were down here.

Mary Ann Kelly and Iona Volkman

Mom and her good friend Iona Volkman in 1970

I’m still with Dorian. We live in San Francisco now and next month we’ll have been married twenty years, can you believe that? She says hi, and she misses you too. The kids thing never happened for us, but we did have that one little four-legged “furkid” you left behind named Rufus. He was with us for a good ten years after you left, but I’m sure you know all about that. Did he arrive okay? He loves to be brushed, just so you know, but go with the fur and not against or he panics.

Rufus needing a brushing

Rufus insists on being brushed WITH the fur and not against

A noisy scamp named Ian

We sent a noisy scamp named Ian to keep you and Rufus company

He probably had a companion named Ian show up shortly thereafter and even though you never knew Ian down here, no doubt you’ve become well-acquainted by now, lol!

Sorry about the barking at night, but maybe it’s okay up there. Maybe in heaven it sounds like violins or something.

Despite the noise, or music, Ian will love you unconditionally and he’ll be your best friend forever if you let him.

So how’s dad? He sure did suffer horribly way back when, just before he left back in ’76. You always said you’d be joining him again someday, so I’m hopeful that all worked out okay. The suffering’s over now, right? We had a hard time, he and I, but I miss him dearly too.

Tell him that, please?

I still remember the nurse on duty in the hospital that morning, when we arrived in response to a vague phone call, breathless and panic-stricken. She matter-of-factly handed you some of dad’s stuff and said, “I regret to inform you that Mr. Rhodes expired earlier today.”

“EXPIRED”.. like he was a carton of milk or something.

He was more than that. He was amazing.

He was a real man, tough as nails but not afraid to love and show it.

He just never “got me,” and I didn’t get him. But man, that old guy loved you! For a scant sixteen years he loved you like a man never loved a woman, and he’s a big part of how much I love Dorian as we come up on our twenty years together, because he taught me that. I’ve seen plenty of love in action since then, but he was the first.

I didn’t realize until much later that he really loved me after all, in spite of everything. I sure do miss him.

Tell dad Hi.

Mom and Dad, around 1960 in Stockton California

Mom and Dad, around 1960 in Stockton California

I still can’t believe you married old Bill down the road just a few years after dad left, but I guess you were lonely since your only son was overseas in the Navy. Bill could be a crotchety old bastard, but you patiently saw him to his grave through a long, painful illness  just as you later did with your younger brother, Les.

What was it about you and commitment? You would just never leave a person, would you! I don’t know where you got that from but I hope I got some of it from you.

I saw how you cared for and nursed them until they “expired,” and they walked into that cloud of light knowing they had been loved. Nobody around you died lonely, neglected and brokenhearted.

I hope it’s the same way for me. I don’t have very many people close to me these days except her, some of her family and a friend or two, but I hope they know I love them.

I probably don’t tell them nearly enough.

So how does it work up there, anyway? I mean with crotchety old Bill waiting for you but you always wanting to be with your true love, my dad. I’ve often wondered about that, which is what we mortals do down here. We spend an inordinate amount of time pondering such things before we just shrug and say, “Guess it all works out somehow.” We’re pretty sure it does, though.

Tell Bill Hi.

Well as I’ve said, it’s Mother’s Day again, and I want you to know that I’ve been well taken care of in the “mother” department! Do you remember meeting Dorian’s mom, Phyllis, and her grandma Peg back when we got married? They both remember you, and they liked you very much, just so you know.

Grandma Peg “adopted” me back when, so I turned to her on occasion for motherly advice. She went the same way you did just last year, so maybe you’ve met up again.

Tell Grandma Peg Hi.

Dorian visits with an angel named Grandma Peg, Christmas of 2003

Phyllis is a rockin’ mom, and probably the grooviest mother-in-law a guy could ever hope for! We’re more like pals since she’s really only a few years older than me, and we have a blast whenever she comes around for a visit. I occasionally hit her up for motherly advice too, because she’s so darned reasonable and stuff.

Phyllis says Hi.

Phyllis and Dorian

Phyllis and Dorian have kept me pretty good company in your absence

Okay, I should wrap it up. I’m busying myself these days just writing and taking care of the other half, which I know you’d approve of. There was a lot you didn’t approve of back in days gone by, but I know we’re all past that now. But every now and then, when my dark side gets the best of me, I ask myself what you would think and the answer usually keeps my demons at bay.

Thanks for hanging in there with me all these years.

Mary Ann Kelly

Mom in Colorado in 1974

I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon, although not terribly soon I hope! We have eternity ahead of us, while there are things down here I need to get straight and eventually wrap up.

But that will be an awesome day, when we meet again. We’ll have a lot to talk about, LOL!

Happy Mother’s Day, and keep in mind how much I keep you in my heart.

Loving you and missing you every day of my life,

Your Son, Dave

Writing to her

Tell the WORLD..
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly Block (@mollyblock) May 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm

What a lovely tribute, Dave.
.-= Molly Block (@mollyblock)´s brilliant blustering.. For years I thought, “Why should Mother’s Day be different from… =-.


2 RhodesTer May 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Thanks Molly ;-)


3 mum May 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Wow, Dave, that was beautiful! And thank you for including me & for the very kind words. I think ‘rockin’ is a bit of a stretch, but I love it! It is an amazing tribute to your mom & I feel very sure she has read it too!


4 RhodesTer May 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Thank YOU, Phyllis-MUM! See? You Rock without even realizing it!


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