Sunday, May 13, 2012

Magpie Tales: How can you put a value on a mother's love?

The Meal by Paul Gauguin (via Magpie Tales)

Fried pork chops, fried chicken, mac n' cheese and greens in Styrofoam boxes. Sunday afternoon on mother's day, in a double wide behind Social Services.

She bought all the food at a gas station back home. They used to eat there occasionally---always on Sunday & it doesn't matter how we got here, he's just happy to see her.

'I don't like my new mom,' he says, 'She makes me do everything. I have to wash dishes, fix my breakfast, make the bed & clean my room.'

His mom fixes his plate. They eat and when he wants seconds she fixes that too. Clearing the table, she wipes the top with a disposable blue dishcloth, catching crumbs in her hand then tosses them in the trash.

He belches, then asks, 'What you want to do next?'

Out the window, the grass has grown high enough to need maintenance so i take a note.

They sit on the couch, she cuddling him close as the clock ticks off the minutes of this weeks visit.

My own mom waits be at the house with my dad, wife & boys for me to get off work. We are having ribs. No irony lost in that. What can I say, they were on sale.

How we got here, does matter.


written for Magpie Tales.

84 comments:

kaykuala said...

No.#1,Wow..Wee

Hank

kaykuala said...

Honestly it's sacrilege just thinking about it. How can we ever put a value. The happiness of having our presence is enough. But,no she must have our favorites,on the table,each with their own yearnings and she knows. Today we're all vegetarians! Happy Mother's Day. Great write, Brian!

Hank

Annmarie Pipa said...

I can picture this scene and all moms trying to do their best!

Laurie Kolp said...

All we need is love.

Mary said...

A lot to think about here. Really, what does a mom provide? What is it important for a mother to 'be'? Is it really important if it is mac n' cheese or ribs? If a person has a 'new mom,' what about the 'old mom'? Thought - provoking, as always, Brian!

DCW said...

A very clear snapshot of a very real situation.

This reminds me of a creative writing prof who once said,"Less abstraction. When you have laid enough concrete in your writing, only then do you get to use abstraction.".

You pour good foundations . . Oops! Are metaphors abstractions?

manicddaily said...

This has a very lovely feel - short, sweet, poignant - I especially like the making the plate. K.

Mama Zen said...

Wow. This is heartbreaking.

brenda w said...

This is beautiful, Brian. You're right, it does matter...it helps us sail or flounder....sometimes a bit of both.

Leovi said...

Yes, mothers are the ones that look after the whole family.

Kathe W. said...

we are how our mothers care for us-so important a responsibility...

Gloria said...

always I think the more important of life is LOVE in all things, is all we need, if you want see a picture of my past with my twins an my mom and they had two. weeks:). in my side bar!!

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww... I remember my own childhood days like these. I'm glad she hugged her son.
You're a good man Brian. Paying it forward. *Nods :)

Marie Nicole said...

So... how did he land on a new mom? What happened to the old mom? The original one? This is rather sad, yet I'm not sure about my emotions. All I do know is I need to eat ribs right about now. Thanks B'Man!

KB said...

All anyone can do is their best. Happy Mother's Day to all.

Tara Miller said...

A mother's love is unconditional ...I'm glad he got to see her today.

Grace said...

I can picture the scene very clearly. I am happy they got to spend some time together. Hope you have a nice day today with your family Brian ~

Cheers ~

flaubert said...

A beautiful write, Brian. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday with your family.

Pamela

Pat Hatt said...

Giving him a day
Where he can see and play
Just being happy
Thank God it's not Flappy
But we won't go there
As great gawk at your lair
Bringing it to light
It does matter day or night

Helen said...

This was a heartbreaking tale, Brian. I am blessed to have had one of the best moms .. this morning my youngest son who lives far away told me 'mom you are my rock and you rock!' What a compliment ... Happy Mother's Day to your wife and to your mother!

Secret Agent Woman said...

This is a mixed day for me, so I'm ambivalent about Mother's Day.

Betsy said...

very interesting peek into their Mother's Day. I'm sure there is a story there.

and I hope you enjoyed the ribs...a favorite here. :) My men served me a bucket of chicken with homemade mashed potates and green beans...which I didn't have to cook or clean up (I did, however show how to run the mixer) lol...so that was wonderful. ha.

happy mothers day to your mom and tara. xo

Myrna R. said...

I know the feeling of witnessing those supervised visits, the criticism of the foster moms, the yearning for what could/should have been.

I does matter how we got here.

Hope you, wife and family enjoyed a wonderful mother's day.

Daniel said...

It's tough man. Despite our best intentions going in, sometimes life just gets in our way.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

i go with Laurie, all we need is love...

JJRod'z

happygirl said...

Mom, no matter which or how or who. Mom doing the best they can with what they have. Thanks for the tribute to moms. I hope your wife had a special day. :)

Magpie said...

It's about the people who love us and moments we can share.

Fred Rutherford said...

Touching scene, really great use of voice here, the entire displaced family still finding family subtext here is outstanding. Yeah, how you get there does matter, very nicely stated. But the food, now that sounds so good though, I don't think I'd care where that meal came from, mmm..you had me at mac n' cheese. Thanks Brian, give your wife a happy mother's day shout from all us bloggers all about

Yvonne Osborne said...

How we got here does matter. Cuddling close as the clock ticks away the time. A touching scene.

Happy Mother's Day to the mother's in your life.

Karen S. said...

No it doesn't. But thankfully you did! Very inspiring, and the answer to a value on a mother's love? Priceless!

Steve E said...

When I am with friendly Peeps, all food is 'comfort' food. (Been years since the 'fried Pork Chop' Days.)

And it mattered how we got there.
If it not mattered--we NOT there.

You're still the best, Brian. You OWN the title, no matter HOW you got there--grin!

Raven said...

You are so right! How we got here does matter. And it really does not matter whether or not the arrival was good, loving and satisfying ... it matters what we do with it ... how we react. I really liked this poem ... it possesses great empathy.

janaki nagaraj said...

A hug can do what the words sometimes cant...lovely bit of writing.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
I agree with you, one-hundred percent...
..."How we got here, does matter"
As your very [descriptive]
Magpie Tales poem spells out in a [very] straighforward-way!

Tks, for sharing the image [The Meal by Paul Gauguin (via Magpie Tales)] that compliment your poem too!
deedee :-D

MorningAJ said...

I love the way you use words. (I've said that before) There is always so much emotion behind them.

She scribbles said...

Mother's love is priceless.

Valerie said...

Sadly, I shake my head. The reason... not to be broadcast on another's blog. However, as always I enjoyed reading your words.

Gail said...

Good, sad and happy in the same mix.

Dave King said...

An ingenious and apt response to the prompt and the fact that it was Mothers' Day - for some, though not here. This worked for me and gave a lot of pleasure.

izzy said...

Now that we have established the important stuff- like MOMS!-
let me say rough beginnings can be
over come & I like your piece.
(I have had some wonderful non relative Moms- as well as related ones!)

Paige + Shauna said...

brian as always you go for the emotional heart strings and in
an intelligent fashion.

comfort food and a quiet time hug
go such a long way...deep into
each person's soul of need.

thank you.

Stephanie said...

Counting my blessings....

AmyLK said...

I can picture this in my head. I can see them snuggled up on the couch together. You are wonderful to provide them with that time together.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Yes it does matter...it shapes us and makes/warps the relationship.
Ribs...a feast!
Hugs
SueAnn

Shawna said...

"How we got here, does matter." Oh wow, what a powerful closing line. You must be made of serious stuff to endure the heartbreak you see on a daily basis, and keep smiling anyway. (I'm sure writing helps.) I know it makes you hug Tara and the boys so much tighter every night to see the things you see during the day.

ladyfi said...

Ah - so touching!

Alice Audrey said...

Modern families have so many more ins and outs than most families from when I was a kid.

Barbara said...

Fabulous post, Brian. Happy, sad, love all rolled into one.

Lorraine said...

my mom no one has ever loved me tht much, and I' ve loved my son with the heart of my mom

Trellissimo said...

Layers of life overlap and blur, as we are all a part of one picture in reality...

rosaria williams said...

Oh, our strongest tie is not so strong for some children. The sad reality is that we take our luck for granted, when we should make sure that every child who comes into this world has the same chance to feel this much love and devotion.

Sue said...

I love Mother's. And sons.
And Mother's Day.

And this one got my water works going a little bit...

=)

Lyn said...

This keeps getting deeper...and starting with what we call,"comfort food"..just like Mother's.

Claudia said...

ugh...moved me deeply..for whatever reason he can't live with her, glad he was able to visit and share that meal..

wordwand said...

a lovely post Brian , one's paarents are a precious treasure, I vivit my parents twice a week and I feel it's not enough compared to what they 've been doing for me .
http://wordwand.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/blackout/

Al_One said...

I wish my mom was still around. We'd play cards probably. Doesn't matter if it's a fancy occasion or a fancy scene. That's mom.

FrankandMary said...

How they color & shape our days, our lives & our loves, surely does matter. My relationship with my parents was(& is) very central to my sense of self.~Mary

Linda said...

Babies are not delivered with manuals and you do not need parenting courses to have a child, but it is the most important work anyone has to do. It does take a community to raise a child because without support systems in place, families collapse under strain, with nowhere to go. Thank you for sharing your poem and reminding us that all maternal relationships are not functional.

Helena said...

Found this very touching. Family dynamics are awfully stretched at times and sometimes - just for bit - we need outside help to monitor the occasion. Life's values come with a price, it's who's wearing the price tag that matters.

hedgewitch said...

Nice one, brian--the feeling of family runs all through it.

ninotaziz said...

As a mother, and daughter, this moved me Brian. Days when everything is not as sunny or cheery, a hug would be all it takes.
Thank you.

ninotaziz said...

Brian, love and regards to your Mum for having such a fine son in you.

Carrie Burtt said...

What a powerful write Brian....I read it 3 times!!!

Yousei Hime said...

Lovely writing. I adore how I'm still thinking about it as I comment. Makes me miss my mom that much more. Can't wait until I see her again.

Jim Swindle said...

Powerfully written, as usual.

Stranger said...

I love the way she's being a mom on mother's day, providing for the kid that was for some reason removed from her. My mother was far from perfect, but I always love her. When she was in rehab, I hated living away from her.

farmlady said...

It's so complicated...

Margaret said...

...cuddling him close as the clock ticks...

Oh, Brian!

oceangirl said...

A beautiful yet heavy write Brian. When I look at my children, they are the value of my love but they pay me more.

RD said...

the ribs don't fall far from the tree

I always liked the phrase
"place settings"

and I like this...and you

and pie.....I do like pie

Peace

^.^ said...

Lucky you ... blessed you, Brian and family ... wife and boys ... blssed you, my friend. Love, cat.

Dave King said...

Yes, I agree: how we got here does matter - and the matter-of-factness of this matters too, for it is used to worthy ends and beautifully done.

Jenny Woolf said...

An original and interesting take on this prompt. You manage to come up with consistently good stuff.

poeticlicensee said...

How we got here, does matter. Agreed fully...

poeticlicensee said...

How we got here, does matter. Agreed fully...

Kat Mortensen said...

"he's just happy to see her."

That's what's important.

The last line is great. (They all are, really.)

Tess Kincaid said...

Thought provoking write...Mother's Day is always difficult for me...

zongrik said...

how we got here does matter, but how did Gaugin get there?


quick heat quick art

missing moments said...

there are all kinds ... as your words illustrate. Lovely.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so love this....all the ways of mothering.......love the "how we got here" references. One can read some history in those lines.

Syd said...

Very sad. I feel lucky to have had one mother who loved me. And yet, she expected me to do things and to not be waited on. I learned so much from her.

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderfully thoughtful and penned with such heart...Love it.

adan said...

very touching, glad i got back to this finally ;-)

and yes, agree, how we got there does matter ;-)

william said...

well said mate its hard to put a value on the things we love..