Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mom and the Magnolia

Picture of my mom and me circa 1966.
My mother, Adelaida Bedelia Palacios, was the oldest child of twelve. She was a post-World War II baby, so I guess she is considered part of the Baby Boomer generation. When my mom was about twelve years old, her mother Guadalupe died from what we now know was Lupus.

After the death of her mother, mom went to go live with her grandmother as did most or all of the other children.  While living there she got to spend a lot of time with her tia Mary, who worked at a local drug store. Mary would bring home the leftover DC comic books and other magazines.  In those days, the stores would rip off the covers, send those back and throw away the books.  This is how my mother grew up reading Superman, Wonder Woman, Nancy Drew and others.  

This love of reading has stayed with my mom all of these years. I can not think of time she did not have a book with her on the couch or on her end table. I mentioned in a previous post that she was a huge advocate of my early reading. Because of her I was already reading and writing when I showed up for first grade.  That pissed off my first grade teacher, Ms. Pearl, but that is for another post.

A few years ago I was having lunch with mom for mother's day when we started sharing book studies. Then she told me a story that so floored me I just started crying. When I was sophomore or junior in college, I had a semester when my financial aid fell short and I didn't have enough money to buy my books.  Naturally, I called mom and dad asking for help. I didn't know at the time that they did not have the money to help me. My mother started praying for a solution. Around this same time, we had a magnolia tree growing in the front yard that was destroying the sidewalk. Mom had been pestering dad for months to do something about it. The deadline for buying my books was drawing near. At this point, my mother probably invoked the intercession of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Then there was a knock on the door.  It was a man who owned a landscaping company and he was asking about the magnolia tree. At first, mom thought he was asking for work to fix the sidewalk. Instead, he offered to buy the magnolia tree and remove it.  Her prayers had been answered and she now had the money to give me for my books.  I never knew this while I was attending school. Now, any time I see a magnolia tree, I think of my mother's love for me.

So needless to say, one of my traditions with my mom on Christmas, birthdays and Mother's Day is to give the gift of books and sometimes see a movie.  This year, I am getting her a book, probably Dean Koontz (her favorite author) and taking her to see Thor.

I love you Mom.


Bach said...

Your mom sounds like such a blessing. Enjoy every moment with her, as it sounds like you already do. I loved reading your post!

Liz said...

What a thoughtful post, and a wonderful mom.

Don A. Gonzalez said...

Thanks Bach and Liz for your comments. I hoped the post conveyed two of the most important influences my mom has had on my life: the power of prayer and a life long love of reading.

As a teacher, I find so many kids today who don't read because their parents do not read either. It's sad.

Anyway thanks again for reading my blog and sharing your thoughts.

Cibol said...

Don, i loved your story!!!!!! My sister is awesome!!!!!!!!!She is our memories keeper. I am very proud of all that you. Seek, strive,and never yeild!!!