Dad and Mom, Christmas 2000
But I digress. I am writing this post because I wanted to share some thoughts about Mothers. It is a topic I enjoy. Because although Mother's Day can be a bummer, I believe that for 23 years of my life, I had it pretty good. So I am going to share a story which is random and sweet and is one of my favorite memories of my Mom, since it happened right before she passed.
Let me give you some background. Out of my parents, my Mom was the mechanically inclined person. She was capable of changing oil, popping a clutch, changing tires, and knew all kinds of crazy things about belts and I have seen her hotwire a car. She talked shop with mechanics. She was THAT Mom. Not to say my Dad was a slouch by any stretch but it was typically my Mom that would ask her children about the well being of their vehicles and tires. She was very big on getting tires rotated and checked.
At this particular time in my life I had an '82 VW Jetta. I was fortunate enough to purchase this car for $100 from my brother Jeremy and his wife Kimmi. And it was a great car. It has its little quirks but it worked and served my needs in college. At this particular time, I got a flat tire. Not just a flat tire but more of a tire implosion (I think the tires were from 1982). Luckily, I knew how to change a tire (my Momma taught me right) so I put on the spare tire. Since it wasn't a donut tire, I had no intention of getting it truly replaced. This was a topic that worried my Mom greatly when she called me. One of the questions she typically asked during the conversation was, "Did you get a new spare tire? You should always have a spare tire in your trunk." To which I would breezily reply, "Yeah yeah, I am going to get one soon."
Around Thanksgiving, I called my Mom (which I must admit, I did quite often) and she answered the phone crying. When I asked what happened, she told me that she had been very stressed. She was planning Thanksgiving in Arizona for all of her Bluth cousins and wanted to play games and have some sort of a program. Well she had talked to a few family members who shot down all of her ideas. And she was stressed and discouraged and felt bad. At this point, she sensed my first instinct to call these people and let them know exactly how I felt about ANYONE making my Mom cry, and she made me promise that I would not call them. I was sad because I didn't think I could made it to Thanksgiving to help her so I did the next best thing I could. I called my brother Tim. I told him a short story about what happened and told him he needed to be at Mom's disposal for Thanksgiving. (She didn't say I couldn't tell other people :)) Tim promptly called Mom and told her that it would be a great time and he was there to help with whatever she wanted to do.
These events happened within the course of an hour. What do they have to do with a tire? I promise I will get there. On my way to work Mom calls.
Me: Hi Mom
Mom: Hi Nikki-gal - Tim just called me. You didn't happen to tell him what happened did you?
Me: I only promised not to call those people, I didn't promise I wouldn't call anyone else.
Mom: Thank you, it was a huge relief to get that call. That really helped.
Me: No problem. It will be a great weekend.
Mom: Where are you headed to right now?
Mom: Did you get your spare tire?
Me: Ummm, yeah, I will get that when I get home. Huge priority.
Mom: Long lecture about how dangerous it is to drive without a spare.
I got off the phone as fast as I could and went into work. When I came out almost 6 hours later, I was surprised to find a brand new tire on my back seat. No note, just the tire. I never locked my car because who steals an '82 Jetta? If it ran out of gas, it would be totaled. But the tire was there. It came from Mom because she was the only person who cared. Which means my Mom jumped in her car, went and bought the tire. Since she is a car person, she knew which tire to purchase. Then she drove 45 minutes from Salt Lake City to Orem to put the tire on my back seat to show her love for me. She didn't call me, or come into my work. She just drove home. Some Moms make quilts and some Moms write eloquent notes to show their love but I am glad I had a Mom who simply bought a tire. And to me that's love.
As a little sidenote there was a great article in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman (thanks Corey). His mother recently passed and he paid tribute to her. At the end he wrote, Call your mother, I sure wish I could call mine. I couldn't agree with him more.