some people are simply born lucky.
i don’t know why.
it’s certainly not because we’ve done anything special.
it’s just the way it is.
many people have mothers that they never should have had.
there is nothing sadder to me than a mother who is not a good kind
because it’s the greatest thing you can give another human being . . .
a good start in this hard old world. a start with love
and compassion and preparation for anything and everything to come.
it was my marine’s and my good fortune to have such a wonderful little
she was a lot of heart packed into one tiny package. she never weighed
over 100 pounds in her life. except when carrying us!
mother and i in new york
unwrapping a doggy treat for usie . . .
the one on the right . . . a star! even in childhood playing dressup! lol.
this post is part of a letter i wrote to that little mother . . .
she lived in new york. i lived in oklahoma. for too many years.
we were lucky if we got to see each other once a year.
sometimes every other year.
i loved her so.
there was never enough time.
we kept the mailmen busy. it was before computers.
. . . . my bob is as sweet as ever. except for a really bad habit.
yesterday when i was cleaning the bath tub – a gallon of water gushed
down on my head from the shower. he has this habit of just turning off
the faucets when he finishes showering instead of pushing down the little
knob. now this is NOT a welcome trait. and i told him so – without
mincing any words. he said he would have to nominate me for the academy award.
i must have been pretty good . . . cause i hadn’t even started emoting yet!
dee just called. and while i was talking, maxine the neighbor’s kitten – she’s not quite
a cat yet – was at the patio door, so i let her in. she’s the softest cuddliest
cat i’ve ever known. usually they’re so independent. she laid under the
rocking chair here in the living room and batted her paw at usie a few times.
she always wants to play and usie wags around playfully too. but i don’t
think she knows how to play with a cat really. i put maxine out and now
usie is lying in the sunshine.
this is not the newsiest letter you’ve ever had! let’s see . . . i’ve covered
the weather and my supper plans on page one . . .
and now on page two the livestock.
did you know that the mooses (meese?) are coming into fairbanks
because they’re starving? and the state of alaska says they can’t afford
to feed them all. this is the worst winter they’ve had there. and there’ll
be more months of it. so sad.
hug gram for me. and say hi to mrs hancock.
your north country is beautiful and treacherous at the same time.
take care my snow bunny.
i don’t want to leave you! i should wrap this up. it’s always too long i know.
‘i love you’ is a worn out phrase.
i just feel so happy inside when i think of you.
and it’s enough to know you’re around.
certain things make me think about you . . .
like banana nut bread and good looking clothes ~ tailored but sharp ~
you know, like stanwyck. also though ~ sneakers and jeans and
sunning in bathing suits with assorted dogs from eddie to usie to savage
panting and dripping and plundering over us! and you laughing . . .
and being the sport that you are.
don’t you know by now why people love you so? because you’re a sport.
you will remain ageless and fun because of this.
and man . . . that’s better than geritol!
when i see you in my mind . . . i also see bowls of popcorn
and dry frosted flakes. you really need to eat more vegetables.
instant coffee or cocoa and a messy cup.
i never could figure that one out ~ how all those drips get on the outside
of your cup. the only thing i can come up with is . . .
your mouth must leak.
i hear music always when i think of you. because it’s such a part of you.
everybody dreams. some of us dream in technicolor.
but i bet you’re the only one who dreams in stereo!
i love it when you sing. you’re good.
i think about your laugh too. because it makes me laugh.
you say hahahaha. and i like that.
also, i know this about you . . . people notice your eyes.
maybe because you’re a scorpio and this is a characteristic of that sign.
but mostly because they twinkle. eyes are so interesting.
not everybody’s eyes twinkle you know. but your’s do mother.
and who orders shrimp cocktail for their whole dinner when we
accidentally took you to a restaurant we couldn’t afford?
because it was the cheapest thing on the menu next to a glass of water ~
and laughs and twinkles through the whole meal ~
down to the last naked shrimp?
who but a nutty buddy would drive through a blizzard in dead of winter
to bawl through “back street” and be one of only three entire
people in the whole theater ~ that . . . including me and thee and
the poor projectionist! and then we sat there crying ~
til he walked down the aisle to us and said “ladies . . .
can we please go home now?” poor guy. hahahahaha.
when most people hear “mame” they think of auntie mame on broadway.
but bob and i think of you.
because deep down in your heart ~ this is your theme song.
every time i hear it i think of you. and tears come to my eyes.
to have the talent you have. i’m just so glad you’re my mother. but…
i know secretly you were born in a trunk and you belong on the stage!
you claim you can’t draw a straight line. but you draw people like honey.
the world is full of aspiring artists who draw everything with anything.
but you draw with your heart and use love for a pencil.
and that’s the kind of pictures this world needs.
you’re a funny kind of little person really. part clown and part lady.
all these years you’ve been the best friend i’ll ever have, disguised as
money can flow through your fingers like water and sometimes you use
common sense only as a last resort.
but i’ve never seen it fail.
you come back grinning.
underneath all that smoke and coffee . . . you’re 99 pounds of
where it’s at. and that’s peace.
the angels smile and say . . . “her? oh yeah.
that’s the cotton candy haired kid. she’s okay. she’s on our side!”
and admiration from one of the reasons
why you’re just a mother instead of a star.
did i say i miss you?
this letter was written in december of 1970.
my little mother kept this letter and every other one i’d ever written
to her. as well as those she’d received from her marine when he was in
at the time of this letter ~
we had no idea she was dying of lung cancer.
she became a real angel exactly one year later.
december 3o, 1971.
i was 26 years old. the marine was 22.
her earthly name was rena reed.
there is a little star over broadway now.