Who Doesn’t Love A Good Bear Story? A Tribute To My Mother
Let me start out by saying this article has nothing to do with Bozeman. Nor does it have anything to do with Montana. Although it does have to do with a Bear...kind of.
It's about one of the greatest people I've ever known and the first person I ever loved. It's about my Mother.
One year ago today, I saw my Mother for the last time. She wasn't able to talk to me because she was on a ventilator, although she did nod when I would ask her questions. She would pass away two days later on Halloween.
Mom had COPD and then tested positive for Covid-19. They hoped that she would be able to beat it, but her lungs and body just couldn't overcome the virus. Now, before someone says "Covid isn't...blah blah blah" I'm not hear to debate any of that.
This is about the woman that taught me how to be a good person.
My Mom worked in a grocery store most of her adult life. She was a cashier. She didn't have a college degree, nor did she live in a fancy house. She never got to travel the world, or even the United States. By the worlds standards, my Mother was very ordinary.
She enjoyed people and literally thought that everyone was her friend. She didn't see a whole lot of bad in the world. She would give everyone a second, third, and fourth chance. Everyone got the benefit of the doubt with my Mom. She loved everyone, even those that might not have deserved it.
Once she went on oxygen, she discovered Facebook and spent a whole lot of time on it. I would get frustrated with her and tell her she wasn't following "Social Media Protocol" when she would comment on different posts. She would just laugh and tell me to "worry about yourself". Oddly enough, when she passed, tons of people of all ages sent me messages telling me that they would miss her and her comments on their posts, plus the private messages she would send just to check on them.
There is nothing she wouldn't do for her boys and if anyone got in the way, look out! She had no issue doing what she had to do to make sure she got her point across. This often resulted in her embarrassing my brother and me.
A couple of stories about my Mom:
I was a 13 year old fat kid, like, Big and Tall Store fat. Growing up in Missouri we would go shopping in Kansas City for school clothes. That was a big deal because we would always stay at my Aunt and Uncle's. I woke up on the living room floor and overheard my Mom talking to my Uncle (her Brother), she said. "I just decided that I don't care how much it costs, I want to make sure that Derek has clothes like everyone else. I just want him to feel normal."
It was at that moment that I felt a tremendous amount of love for her. Don't get me wrong, I loved her before, but this was different. It was then that I understood that she loved me way more than she loved herself.
From the time I was young, I wanted to be on the radio in a big city. I worked really hard and by 25, I was on the air in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, my time there was short lived. When they let me go, my Mom called the General Manager of the station. She wanted to let him know that she didn't think it was fair that I was fired. She had heard all the other DJ's and her boy was better than any of them.
I was horrified.
I told her that I was a grown man and she had no right to call and she better never do that again. She responded, "You're my son and you will always be my son and I'm not going to put up with anyone treating you poorly."
She was one of a kind and I miss her every day. Every good thing that is in me, came from her. It doesn't matter how old you are, when you lose a parent there is a void that is never replaced. However, my faith tells me that I will see her again and I still feel her presence from time to time.
So no, this isn't about Bozeman or Montana, but it is about a Bear...a Mama Bear.