I think it was Jim Carrey who said, “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.” Ok, maybe that’s not always the case, but there are several women who have fundamentally shaped my life. Here’s my short list of Happy Mother’s Day recipients:
Mother: For obvious reasons (“I wouldn’t be here without you”), I honor you first. I remain only a couple of pounds heavier than I was in college because you raised us to believe that carob was tastier than chocolate and that a good orange is sweeter than ice cream. And thanks for the ongoing reminders to wear a coat when I go outside.
Oma (Grandmother) Turek: Although eulogized in this forum after your death at 99 years of age, you still inspire me daily to make a difference, never stop learning, do things well or not at all, and fight for what you believe. And, by the way, thank you for single handedly bringing our family to America from Czechoslovakia through Nazi Germany so that we could start a new life.
Tante (Aunt) Betty: Your life of 90 years was a study of consistency and habit. You were the family clock, sending cards on every occasion to everyone every year. Thanks for the $5 bill in each birthday card from you for 48 years and for teaching me the value of ritual to a full and considered life.
Sister Karin: Thanks for being that older sibling who always got better grades than I did in elementary school and for making straight A’s in school de rigueur for Mom and Dad. Never bothered me a bit that you could smoke all your classes and be a varsity athlete in I don’t know how many different sports.
Mother-in-law Thelma: Hard to believe that I am one of those guys who actually likes and admires his mother-in-law. Given your background as a published writer and English major, thank you for not constantly correcting my spoken word and for letting me wax as colloquially as I wish in my blog.
Dearest Ashley: How do I thank you? Wife, lover, friend, ally, competitor, teacher, closet politician, therapist and mother of our children. No limerick can hold a candle to your beauty and grace. And kudos to you for always letting me believe that I am running the show, and for never letting me see you rolling your eyes.