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Thinking Out Loud: Centennial Birthday

I have been thinking that strong men have influential mothers. Most of us have mothers who molded us into the men we have become. My wife has done an outstanding job with our two sons. My mother did a great job with my siblings, too, considering she had me to work with. Your mother made you who you are. I really appreciated my mother.

Bruce Heberle
Bruce Heberle

Growing up my brother and I drove Mom crazy! She would become so frustrated with our shenanigans a little attitude correcting would eventually be called for. Down came the flyswatter, with Mom ready for a quick swat. Unfortunately for Mom, we usually managed to avoid that first swat. The race was on. Out the back door, down the steps, across the patio, on to the circle sidewalk around our house; my brother and I running full speed with Mom in hot pursuit. We found out early on, Mom did NOT have eyes in the back of her head as she had claimed. We would catch up to Mom on about the second lap and untie her apron strings from behind. All this in public, much to the enjoyment of the neighbors across the street!

Oh, she would be so mad, grab her apron, reverse course and chase us going back the other way.Mom was good for about two laps …then the inevitable, “…wait until your father gets home.” Mom always had cooled down by the time Dad got home, so no real damage done. I did feel guilty and dutifully would go to reconciliation every two weeks. “Bless me father for I have sinned, I disobeyed my mother 3-5 times.” My penance would be a few Hail Mary’s and, if I was on the high side of sinning, a couple of our fathers would be thrown in. All better. All forgiven.

“A man never sees all that a mother has been to him until it’s too late to let her know he sees it.” W.D. Howells. On March 25 my Mom would have been 100 years old. I lost her in 2005 at the age of 85. My siblings always said I was her favorite. I don’t know if that is true, but she was mine. After high school we were required to pay room and board to Mom while living at home. Cost us $5.00 a week. Mom did not keep accurate records. Thank God!

When I decided to go to technical college, I was on a very limited budget. Dad thought my going to college was doomed to failure, Mom wasn’t so sure. She thought I had a chance and thus supported my decision. She invested in me by waiving my room and board while I attended college and lived at home. This was our little secret from Dad.

“Let your boys test their wings. They may not be eagles, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t soar free.” C.J. Milbrandt.

I appreciated her believing in me. I tried to make her proud.

I miss my Mom. I miss our Sunday talks. She was the best mushroom hunter I ever saw. She loved the St. Louis Cardinals. She loved her kids. She loved my wife. She loved her grandchildren. She was a kind and gentle soul. She loved her church. “Bless me father for I have sinned. My last confession was a long, long time ago.”

Perhaps, this weekend I will go to reconciliation. Mom would like that. Happy 100 years Mom, I love and miss you.

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