Mother and Child

Dolly is without pedigree papers, so her date of birth is unknown. I’m told she was born on a farm in mid-May, so I designate Mother’s Day as her birthday. Today, she’s two years old.

Since I’m without mother or child, I take the birthday girl for a walk, hoping to generate enough serotonin to lift the funk of this motherless child.  There are many middle-aged single women living on my lane, and I notice they all seem to be home alone. From that observation, I surmise that on this day designated to honor our earthly source of life, many mothers are not with their adult children. And many adult children are not with their mothers.

After I moved four hours away from my hometown, I seldom saw my mother on Mother’s Day. We postponed paying homage to motherhood each year to keep peace in our family. My father’s birthday followed by less than two weeks, so we’d celebrate both on the same day – his day. To have done the opposite would have been unthinkable…to him. So, my mother was one of those women without her children on Mother’s Day. She always assured me that a phone call would suffice until we gathered for his birthday. “It’s not that big a deal to me. Really.”

I now wonder if it might have been a bigger deal than she let on. Like most mothers, she was used to sacrificing. Now that my parents are gone, I wish we’d had two celebrations. But at the time, one was all I could handle due to the accompanying family drama.

In a bizarre way, this neighborhood scene – all these women alone on Mother’s Day – gives me comfort: Even if I’d had children, I might still be alone today. There are no guarantees of affiliation or proximity. But it also makes me want to shout out, to rent a billboard, to sound the warning: If you still have a mother on this earthly plane, spend as much time with her as you can. Because too soon, she’ll be gone forever.  

(excerpt from Chapter XV of manuscript Healing with Dolly Lama: Finding God in Dog by Patricia A. Nugent)

 

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One Ticket to Safer Schools, Please

To honor those students lifting their voices today against gun violence…

https://voxpopulisphere.com/2018/03/24/patricia-a-nugent-one-ticket-to-safer-schools-please/

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Rush to Judgment

I’m embarrassed to post this story, yet recognize the value of exposing our own shortcomings, in hopes that we and others will learn from them.

‘Tis the season…click below.

Rush to Judgment

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Resurrecting Jesus

Click below to read how a Muslim helped me find Jesus…again.  My Easter message as published by Vox Populi.

Resurrecting Jesus

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Where Have All the Mexicans Gone?

Workers on the landscaping crew look different this spring. They’re typical American guys now – overweight, sporting baseball caps and tattoos.

The Mexicans used to bug me somewhat – they didn’t speak English so it wasn’t possible to communicate with them as they worked in neighbors’ yards. But they were very friendly and polite. And everyone vouched that they were meticulous, hard workers: “Try to get them if you have a project,” I was repeatedly advised. One neighbor used to let them use his cell phone on their breaks, so they could call across the border to speak to loved ones. They wept in gratitude, it had been so long since family contact.

Five Mexicans used to jump off the truck in years gone by to tackle spring clean-ups. Today three Americans have arrived instead. Probably for the same price.

“Looks like a whole new crew this year,” I commented to the three rakers as I walked past.

“Yup,” one said. “Sure is.”

“Where’d the other guys go?” I didn’t slow my pace, just kept walking my dog, trying not to act all that interested.

One stopped raking and started to say, “Well….” and was immediately cut off by the other shaking his head and saying, “We don’t know. We don’t know.”

The third was on his cell phone.

As I walked away, I heard them laugh. Snigger, maybe’s more like it.

I don’t know if the Mexican workers were fired due to lack of documentation, are in hiding, or have been rounded up by I.C.E. I do know that I could never understand how Germans could have allowed their neighbors to simply disappear and not ask more questions, not demand that it be stopped.

Yet now, I flounder not knowing the best course of action to stop this madness in my own country.

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Only a Nazi Should be Called a Nazi

My latest essay, published by Vox Populi, February 16, 2016.

Only a Nazi Should be Called a Nazi

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Killing

My essay as recorded at the WAMC studios, Albany, NY on January 11, 2017

http://wamc.org/post/listener-essay-killing

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