Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mom, Baseball, and Apple Pie

The neighbors across the street have known me my whole life. They were helpful in every way my parents would allow as things became more difficult for us all and have been very kind and helpful since my parents died. One of their favorite things to do is to give us fresh vegetables and fruit they grow. Today they gave me a huge bag of apples that have me thinking about my Mom who made really good apple pie. No matter how old I got everything my Mom made tasted better than anybody else’s, even my own, and I am a pretty slick customer in the kitchen myself. It was like since my Mommy made it, it was special, and better. My Mom was really good at most stuff.

My Mom seriously kicked everybody’s ass in Trivial Pursuit, suckered us all in gin rummy, and really should have gone on jeopardy since I never saw her answer wrong. My Mom loved baseball. She was a rabid fan who never forgave the Dodgers for leaving Brooklyn where she grew up. In our home we were forbidden to watch American League games, and I rebelled by secretly being a Red Sox fan, and not really following baseball all that much at all anyway. The Yankees are the Anti-Christ. My Mom always felt so sorry for Billy Martin. She thought he and George Steinbrenner had a co-dependent abusive relationship. She really hated George Steinbrenner.

In our family it was weird, my Mom was the one who knew all about all kinds of sports. My brother played Little League, and was something like the third string kicker on the high school football team. My Mom liked to go to the games. She would cheer like a maniac, and was really proud of my brother. Girls were not really allowed to do sports back then, and I don’t think any of us wanted to anyway. It was fun to play in the neighborhood. There were tons of kids around when we were growing up, and everybody liked to play in our yard. My Mom liked all the kids and liked having them around.

My Mom was one of the smartest people I have ever met. She was one of the smartest people everybody who met her ever met. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of the just about anything that had ever interested her, and was absolutely fascinating to talk to about anything. The cruelest thing about her becoming ill was not her increasing physical limitations, but the diminishment of her intellectual acuity, and trips in and out of lucidity. She was aware she was "losing her marbles" and it terrified her and pissed her off immensely. Me too.

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