Monday, March 12, 2018


My Mom turned 88 today.

I capitalize "Mom," no matter how I use it grammatically, because she always deserves the capital letter.


She was born just after the beginning of the Depression. Survived. Was raised by one of the meanest women I ever know. Survived. Her asshole husband--my father--left her. Survived. Raised two kids by herself. Survived.

After she retired, she converted from surviving to enjoying. We were out of the house. For the first time in decades, she had time to herself. She was able to think about herself again.

This is one of my favorite stories about Mom.

She started smoking when she was 15, or maybe it was 14, and smoked into her 60s. It was a fundamental quality of her life. She didn't smoke that much, but she smoked.

I tried to get her to quit. For decades.

One day, I went to see her, and she said she had quit. I was astonished.

"How was it?" I asked.

She said, "Hard."

I can't say enough good things about Mom (they're all good things). That old saying about character winning out is very true, at least when it comes to her. She is tough and principled and loving.

That's a very good combination for raising children, or being a human being.

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