On Those Not-So-Perfect Moments That Were Totally Perfect

On Those Not-So-Perfect Moments That Were Totally Perfect

My wise and wonderful friend, Lisa Dingle, of the Creative Group at Bedlam Farm, gave me some sage advice. She is good at that sage stuff, and a lot of other stuff, too, like writing an amazing blog (justponderin.com) and taking wonderful photos. I told Lisa that I am in a huge funk after my mother’s death, missing her terribly, and that I’ve been worried about my ability to write. I feel artistically frozen, stuck- even musically. I mean, my muse is gone….but then again, she’s not, really. Lisa encouraged me to kick fear to the curb (there she goes with that sage stuff again), and think about a short story with Mom that wasn’t perfect…something that was beautifully real- and boy, did Mom and I have our real moments over the years. Lisa said to think of it as a celebration post. I really like that idea, and so, let’s celebrate…

As long as I can remember, my mother has known with complete certainty that she would win the Publisher’s Clearing House grand prize. If she just kept filling out and sending in the forms- making sure to order magazines and gifts, because that would increase her chances, of course- she was bound to have that knock on the door, with the balloons, the giant novelty check, the cameras, the excitement…it would all be hers.

Now, Mom never had two nickels to rub together when I was growing up, but she found a way to pay for postage, all the magazines, and- when she could no longer go out to shop, all of her Christmas and Birthday shopping- through Publisher’s Clearing House. Even her crazy old clock that made me nuts because it never told the correct time and chimed an hour off of the actual time came from PCH. She would scour the catalogue, and then soon after, I would receive the call, “Neese, I need you to come by and check the porch. I’m expecting a package, and I don’t want it to disappear.” This would begin the vigil of me driving by day after day as soon as I could after work to scout out said package.

Invariably, that package would contain something special to be stored away for a Christmas or Birthday gift, as Mom was the absolute best and most considerate gift giver. She used to shop at garage sales for many of the gifts, but when her mobility went south, her dear old friend, PCH- at least since the early 1970s- was there to help her with her shopping fix. No matter how many times I tried to tell her it was all a big scam, she faithfully sent in her prize form. Month after month, year after year, after year. I even found PCH paperwork as I was going through her papers yesterday. And I smiled. And then I laughed. And it felt so good.

3 thoughts on “On Those Not-So-Perfect Moments That Were Totally Perfect

  1. This brought a smile. Your mom and mine could have been twins separated at birth. So very similar in so many ways. My mom, Margaret, has been gone for 3 years and the PCH mail has finally stopped coming. She played, she bought, she believed.

    I think they were a lot alike…maybe it was that shared history. Living through the Depression, a world war and the difficulty of raising a family before women had a lot of voice or the means to make a reasonable income. They were both members of the Greatest Generation in every way.

    Enjoyed the story…you have a book here, if you chose to write it.

  2. My prayers have been answered. Your human guardian angel has given you the perfect suggestion since I did not have the knowledge of you and your mother. I am thankful it allowed you to move one more step through your journey.

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