11-Love Letters from Vietnam - "Nothin' Says Lovin'..."
Mom, This Hub's for You
This episode of "Tim and Kate Plus Fate" is dedicated to my mother, Lorraine. My mother died in 1989 at the age of 72. She was a character as the 10:00 pm-cookie-baking incident referred to in this letter would seem to indicate.
My mother was proud when I started dating Tim in 1968. He was tall and dark and articulate. Through the months that she came to know him before he went to Vietnam, I think she became a bit intimidated with his left-brained scientific mind. Tim's family's background was as humble as ours, but Tim was smart and had become refined through his studies. My mother had dropped out of school when she was 16 because her family couldn't afford to buy her a gym suit, but she was well-read and always tried to appear quite educated. When I was little, she'd recited Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith" and Rudyard Kipling's "If" over and over to me at bedtime. She would sing sad songs from World War II to put me to sleep. But my mother was more than aspiring, she had an empathetic nature which I think is reflected in the favorite of her bedtime repertoire:
"If I have wounded any soul today,
if I have caused one foot to go astray,
if I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive.
If I have uttered unkind word or vain
If I have looked aside from want or pain
If I offend somebody through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive
Most people sensed my mother's kindly nature and other boys I had dated had gone a bit overboard about my mother's obvious warmth and openness. But Tim was aloof by nature and he was more enthralled with me than my parents which was lovely for me. But my mother loved Tim as a son and I think always hoped he would love her equally in return.
Quotes My Mother Loved!
On Cooking: "The difference between a good cook and a bad cook is a pound of butter." (before all the research about saturated fat)
On Relationships: "The person you are seeking is also seeking you."
On Finding a Job: "The job you are seeking is also seeking you."
On Finding a House: "The house you are seeking is also seeking you."
On Making Decisions: "Measure seven times, cut once."
On Men She Didn't Like: "I wouldn't have him if he was overlaid with platinum that I could peel off and hock at the jewelers."
On Money: "What good is money, even the pigs won't eat it. (I never understood that one.)
On Curing Ailments" "Just put a little Vick's on it."
On Cleaning: "It's beneath me."
On Pregnancy: "If you don't want to go to Chicago, don't get on the train.
A while back I wrote an essay about my mother which might be appropriate to post with the "Tim and Kate..." hubs. I'll try to do that soon.
Until then - Mom, this hub's for you!
28 June, 1969
Never underestimate the energy of a mother. I'm sitting in the kitchen, it's 10:00 pm, and mom is starting to bake some cookies for you. We just came back from the do-it-yourself dry cleaning place and before that we were cleaning the house. I'm just about ready for bed, but mom's just ready to swing. Too bad energy's not transferable in this case.
It's cooled off this evening, but the weather was beautiful today. It was windy enough to make things pleasant.
I tutored the one little girl this morning. This tutoring hasn't been as successful a time as the other little deaf girl's lessons have been. Guess I'll have to read up on some better techniques.
(note: the 28th was a Saturday and I must have been working at camp during the week and tutoring on Saturdays. I don't exactly know why I would take this on during summer vacation from teaching, except that I could and perhaps was asked to. I must have accepted the job to fill the void of Tim's absence.)
Ellen* called today and wants me to go camping with her and her sister over the 4th of July weekend. She's been staying up in Wausau for the summer. Mom almost had a fit, but she'll let me go. (note: I was 23, but an only child and still living at home, so my mom worried about things like - well, like driving!) One thing about Mom - she worries like crazy, but she never stops me from doing anything reasonable (well, mostly never). Maybe I shouldn't make Mom worry so by doing these things, but worrying is such a waste and the only way to stop worrying is to have experiences which are successful and fail to justify the worrying. But like I always have said, parents probably worry because subconsciously they think it will pay for their child's safety.
Will you be off on the 4th, Tim? It certainly would be unpatriotic if soldiers didn't get off on that day! Hey, I wonder if it's kosher to wish on a firework. Know what? I'm going to do it - that is, if they shoot them off in the Wausau wilderness. I'll wish for all kinds of good stuff for that special, special person whom I'm so grateful for having met.
Mom's still baking the cookies (and worrying about them). I'm going to bake some peanut butter ones manana, because that's my favorite day of the whole week - the day you call.
Tim, I love you and I'll always love you. I know I will. I hope I can bring you happiness and can be good for you.
PS I just tasted one of the cookies and it was pretty good.
*Kate's college roommate in senior year