Sometime in 1997 I began writing a blog. I didn’t call it a blog (that word hadn’t yet been invented). I called it a column. And it wasn’t hosted anywhere. I sent it via e-mail to a list of readers I recruited via AOL’s profile search. I had the foresight to save these columns on my computer, and then on floppy disks. I just bought a USB floppy disk drive, and much to my surprise, these almost-two-decade-old floppy disks still work, despite being stored in temperatures ranging from below zero to well above 100 degrees.
Below is a column that I wrote to honor my mom in 1998, when I was twenty years old. More than half my life ago.
Thursday marks the anniversary of one of the most important events that has affected my life. Fifty-two years ago in Long Island Jewish Hospital (2019 edit: I got the hospital wrong. My mom was born in the Bronx) my mother was born. I say that it is one of the most important events of my life because without that event, I would not be here.
Some say that the bond between a mother and her son is the strongest bond in human life. I have often wondered why that is. I guess that my mother proves the reason to me everyday. The ironic thing is that it is not any earth-shattering, groundbreaking reason. She loves me and I love her. It does not get much more simple than that.
Last week I wrote a column about my father that many people responded to and suggested that I show it to him. In that column I commented on how I do not think that there is any better father in the world. I know you all may be amazed, and I am sure that some of you disagree, but not only do I have the best father in the world, but my mother ranks second to no one either.
When I was about 4 or 5 years old my mom worked during the day and my dad worked midnights. Every morning my mom would wake me up and she would fix me breakfast before she went to work and then she would pour me an incredibly huge glass of red Kool-Aid and make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and put both of them in the refrigerator. My father slept all day and I would sit on the couch and watch the 700 Club. (I was on odd child. I also used to read the telephone book.) The highlight of my day would be when my mom would call right after lunch to be sure that I ate my sandwich and that I had enough Kool-Aid to make it through the afternoon until she got home.
She does a million little things that over the years add up and make me realize how incredible she really is. When I was 9 years old I wanted to join the Cub Scouts. At the time we lived in Springfield, Illinois and my dad was working in Michigan. He would live in Michigan during the week and on the weekends drive home and spend the weekend with us and then drive back and be in Michigan for work on Monday morning. My dad was not there during the week for about a year. My mom knew how much I wanted to join the Cub Scouts so she said that she would go to all of the meetings with me instead of my dad. It was a little odd at first. All of the boys had their dads with them and I was the only one who brought my mom. But as time went by I began liking having my mom their (2019 edit: should be “there”) and thought it was cool that she could do things with me that my dad was not able to do because he was not there. Part of Cub Scouts is that you work to earn patches. I remember working for my first patch. We had to buy this Cub Scout book that had a whole bunch of projects in it. I had to finish a certain number of projects in order to get a patch. I got a little discouraged at first when I did not think that I was going to be able to do the projects, but my mom helped me and together we finished all of the projects necessary. I earned my patch!
Now that I am 20 years old things are obviously changing a little bit. I do things for myself now but she is still always there to help me whenever I need her. Those weeks that school and work catch up to me and I am not able to do my laundry, or when I was too busy during the day to grab something to eat, she is always there to help me. Sometimes I wonder if she really knows how much I love and appreciate her. I try to tell her as often as possible but I know that it is not as much as I should.
Unfortunately I am having some major financial difficulties now and it does not look like I am going to have the money to get her a gift for her birthday. This really upsets me because she has given me a gift everyday for 20 years. But it would not matter what I got her because no gift could ever compare to the gift of love and support that I have experienced every day on this Earth. Even though I will not be able to get her a material gift, you can be sure that I will let her know how much I appreciate and love her. After all, she is my mom.
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