I miss my Dad. It has been 11 years now since he left this world and became one with the Force. My Mum carries on – alone.
She never had an ‘easy life’. She was the daughter of a railroad agent, and the oldest daughter. When she was just a child – and I hope I am getting her story right – during the second world war, she would help the man who owned the restaurant in her small town. She would write letters for him and help him with his book keeping. Because there was a war on she was paid in rations for her and her family. She has always had an affinity for numbers, and never a stranger to hard work. By the time she was 13 years old she was working in a tomato canning facility. She was moved up a grade early on because of her intelligence. She never went to college but she began working at a bank and became a career banker. She started as a bank teller, and moved up the banking ladder rather quickly. She became a head bank teller and moved on from there to be an executive, spending many years with the RBC.
She has told me many interesting stories about her banking life over the years. As a child I remember her telling me how the police gave the tellers a seminar on how to remember facial features when dealing with customers in the event they were robbed. She had a good time in the seminar and listened attentively. Soon after the course was over she had a pleasant conversation with a customer. When he had left, her manager asked her if she could recall any particulars. She remembered his pleasantness, his brown hair and his smile. However, the manager pointed out to her after her vague description that the customer also had no ears (true story).
She has told me about carrying a gun at her wicket as a young bank teller. It was common practice at the time. She also seemed to attract repeat customers to her wicket, and if she was on lunch it was not uncommon for her customers to wait until she returned to do their banking for them. It may have been because from the pictures I have seen of her, she was tall with dark hair. She made everyone feel at ease when they dealt with her.
What I have observed over the years as her son is that my Mum has always been a people person. She had a way of relating to everyone. It didn’t matter if a person was from a certain social class – my Mum accepted people for who they were.
As a young cub scout I remember my Mum putting on a display of her antiques for the wolf pack. She showed my fellow cubs how cylinder records worked, and was always quick with a funny story. When I am asked about my abilities at storytelling I know I get it from her – though she is way better at telling stories than I will ever be.
My Mum has also been a very private person. She was (and continues to be) a force of her own. I have noticed that her directness is sometimes taken as a harsh attitude. People have said she is tough – and she is. Her living for 11 years on her own is a testament to her strength and resilience. She simply is a woman who does not take sh$t from others. She has had to be tough. However, those that really know her know her beneath that rugged facade. She has the biggest heart out of anyone I have ever met. She often would get in trouble in the bank for helping people out. She would find the best ways to save people money – and if it meant she was out of a commission it didn’t matter as long as it helped the people who often had nothing. She cared for everybody. She was the life of the party. She seemed hard and tough to those who didn’t really know her – but the few who really did knew her for what she is – a caring and loving soul.
Over the years since my Dad passed, my Mum continues to carry on in her house – the only house I knew as a child. Her generosity has been taken advantage of more than once from many in her own family – yet she finds ways to forgive but never ever to forget.
I have written lots of things about my Dad – but I think Mums often get short-changed. I wanted to boast about my incredibly powerful and strong Mum.
I love her as a son – and I adore her as a friend. I often tell her that she is a huge inspiration. I love her more than words can ever do justice.
My blog is about how Star Wars saved my life. Well, my Mum bought me my very first Star Wars Action figure (R2D2) when I was a child. She has a great sense of humour – teasing me about watching Return of the Jedi so many times in the theatre when it came out, referring to it as “Return of the Walleye”. She taught me to have humour during the darker times. She taught me a strong work ethic when I was a child. She led by example and always jumped in to help. She was never afraid of hard work, and yet leads with grace and dignity. The day she found out I had been abused at school, she wasted no time in pulling me out immediately. Looking back I wish I had been able to tell her when the abuse first happened. She would have saved me from a lot of suffering.
It is not Mother’s day. It is not any day in particular. My Mum is my hero. She deserves so much more happiness at this stage in her life than I can ever give her. I hope she truly hears me when I tell her that I love her. If I am a Jedi – then my Mum is a Jedi Master. I am proud to be her son, and she really is the Mother of all Jedi.