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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No Place Like Home 3

No Place Like Home 3

Earlier posts of “There is No Place Like Home and No Place Like Home 2” were posted on March 22nd, and March 24th respectively.

I owe my life to my mother and father, but the largest influence in my life was definitely from my mother.  Because of my love for my mother, and the wonderful memories, I have an enormous appreciation and respect for the gender. My father had many qualities that if all I did was emulate him I would definitely be a good or great person, but I wasn’t raised by him, and I can only wonder what might have been.

When you think of a momma’s boy, the image that comes to mind is that of a pampered, whiny young man, that can’t stand on his own two feet, and can be easily manipulated, or bullied. Not the case here. My mother understood that because I was being raised without my father’s influence, I was going to be raised with lots of love and a strong firm discipline. When my mother gave me instructions on a task that had to be performed, I could see the determination in her eyes for getting it accomplished. Actually what I saw in her face was the look her mother (my maternal grandmother) had when passing out orders.

Soon after we moved to Texas from California my mother had to have surgery, and we stayed with my grandmother at her home in Mexico while my mother recovered (a very long two weeks). During this time if I learned one thing for sure, is that I was glad my mother was my mother. My grandmother was so strict that I was afraid to be in her presence alone. I know for a fact that she was capable of showing love and emotion but very sparingly. As my grandmother lived on a tropical island, there were animals running free everywhere chickens, horses, donkeys, dogs, duck, seagulls, Flamingos and more.

Legend was, according to my 22 year old uncle, that grandmother would never chase you; she was an expert with a whip, and could wrap your feet with the whip from twenty feet away. Well, this very hot and sunny day, I was chasing (herding) a herd of donkeys (Burros). My grandmother stuck her head out the kitchen window, and yelled an order, that I should leave the Burros alone and get out of the sun. I looked over my shoulder and yelled back that I would. Time passed and then almost as if by premonition, I looked behind me, just in time to see my grandmother twirling the whip over her head. I didn't pause to measure the distance to see if she could reach me. Being a fan of comic books and an expert of playing cowboys (whip wielding Lash La Rue cowboy of television series fame) and Indians, I concentrated and timed my jump perfectly so that I jumped just as the whip snapped under me. I ran like the wind and hid in bed behind my mother.

My mother was on a doctor prescribed bed rest. The temperature must have been 100 plus degree in a tropical climate, and I was covered from head to toe by a blanket, hiding from the person that I am sure inspired the Indiana Jones character.  She went by my mother's room and asked my mother if she had seen me go by. I heard my mother answer that she had not seen or heard me go by. In retrospect, I can just see my mother winking at grandma to indicate that I was behind her. Just the same the legend was continued unquestioned.

I always suspected that my mother inherited her mother’s pioneer spirit, and strength but I decided at a very early age that I was not going to test my suspicions.  I never ever saw the streak of seriousness (read that meanness) in my mother that I saw in my grandmother.  I always knew that I loved both my mother and grandmother, but looking back, what I felt for my grandmother was tempered by fear.  Much more to follow.  Next post will be “No Place Like Home 4.”  The best is yet to come…..

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