We had our moms on today. It’s always a treat. It’s always fun. And always a tad unpredictable. When we asked them to share the moment they were most proud of their children, Stacy’s mom had no problem recalling a high school performance of Stacy’s when they lived in Lexington, Ohio. My mom? All she could come up was the day I was born. Yeah, that was some pretty amazing work on my part as I recall. I came out in a timely fashion, and immediately put everyones mind ease by showing my ten fingers and ten toes. And while my mom have been stumped trying to recall one major accomplishment (she deflected by saying there were so many) it doesn’t change the one simple fact that is true. I have an awesome mom.
Christine Tripodis was a single mom in the 70′s when being a single mom wasn’t the easiest thing to be. She’s worked a 9 to 5 job for as long as I can remember and still puts in 20 hours a week at a doctor’s office in Florida at 76 years of age. And while working was a necessity, her children were always the priority by keeping a roof over our heads and food (though sometimes extremely modest) on the table.
At times, what she considered “important” didnt make sense to me, like “new clothes and shoes at Easter” but as I’m sure we’ve all come to learn – Mom’s have their reasons for doing what they do.
She worked hard. She tried her best not to show us how much of a struggle it was day to day, but there were times where her sadness and frustration in not being able to give us MORE could not be disguised or feigned.
Throughout the year my mother would try to put 5 to10 dollars aside in a Christmas Club at the bank, so by the time the holiday rolled around she already had the money she needed to buy us presents. The one particular Christmas that stood out is when there WERE gifts under the tree, but none of them wrapped in Christmas paper or foil. She had run out of money and did not have enough to buy the wrapping paper needed to enhance the anticipation of what might be in any given box. She broke down that Christmas morning and cried in front of my sister and me, “apologizing” for “ruining Christmas.” Don’t ask me where a 14 year old son came up with the wisdom and words to soothe, but I told my mother that she was wrong. That it was the best Christmas ever, because we had her for a mom and it didn’t matter if the presents were wrapped in fact- it would’nt have mattered if there were any presents at all. I know…corny and overly sentimental, but its what I remember as a defining moment from a woman who to this day asks me if I “need a few extra dollars” for something around MY house.
So, Happy Mother’s Day, Ma. And this present is wrapped. With love.