Mother’s Day and my birthday have fallen together on the same Sunday sporadically since I can remember. On those particular days, my mother and I would share the same cake; and in one year, we shared the same present. My father was very frugal; and that’s not to call him a tightwad. He was a very generous man, but let’s just say he was extremely careful with spending his money.
I guess he figured he’d save a trip to the store, spend the same amount he normally would have on two gifts, and put the cash toward one purchase. Thrilled on that very occasion, my ninth birthday, I tore away the wrapping paper and opened a box which weighed as much as one of my dad’s power tools. A fine Remington typewriter awaited me, not quite a power tool; yet it was an occupational implement that required an operational skill I would utilize for the rest of my life.
Call me a nerd, but the contraption was what I really wanted at the time. Learning to type is probably in the top-five best things I could have ever done for myself. My mother, however, didn’t seem to be so enthused. That’s like buying a woman a new vacuum cleaner, or a set of pots and pans for her special day, I suppose; although she had mentioned a typewriter would come in handy, for she would take in some clerical work at home to help with the finances. Ah, so now do you see my father’s reasoning?
The homework entailed typing names and addresses on stick-on labels, well before the days computers started doing such mundane tasks. I helped her out. That was fun time for me, playing with my new toy, and making me the fastest two-fingered typist on this side of the Hackensack River. In the meantime, she’d bake me something scrumptious, a win-win situation for me. A high-school typing class provided my present ability to use all my digits while pounding the keyboard.
I get sentimental every Mother’s Day, thinking about how great my mother was. Unfortunately, I lost her at a young age to cancer; but the memory of her enthusiastic, insatiable thirst for life has lived on in my heart since her untimely death. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum, wherever you are. Happy birthday to me, if I may be so self-serving; and Happy Mother’s Day to all women who have delivered and nurtured a living being in this world. May your day be special.