Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sorry, Mom; I messed up
The cell phone call Friday said “Mother.”
It had been a while since we’d talked. I figured she was just calling to say “hello” and wanting to catch up on the children and their activities and all.
I said, “Hey, Mom.”
She suddenly sang, “Happy Birthday to me” on the other end of the telephone.
I gazed up at the calendar and was very stunned and embarrassed. I had forgotten my mom’s birthday for what I truly believe is the first time ever. It was Tuesday of last week, November 10, and I did not call her and wish her a “Happy Birthday.”
And, of course, since I forgot it and did not call – neither did Pam, Emma, Andy or Erin.
I was speechless – again likely for the first time ever.
I tried to cover myself – saying the week had been one of the toughest and busiest of my journalistic career. I also told her we had gone to one of Andy’s basketball games on Tuesday night, Nov. 10, and it’s just been constant “go-go-go” for the Burlesons.
She said she understood.
But truth is, she shouldn’t understand.
Truth is, I messed up – badly.
It was totally my fault. There is no excuse – period.
I told Mother I was obviously too busy and too stressed.
Of course, she’s told me before I need to slow down.
She told me Erin, my 7-year-old, would be very upset when I told her we forgot “Nanny’s” birthday. She was right.
Erin called her Saturday morning, and as she should, blamed it all on her dad.
Mother turned 79 years old this year.
So needless to say, in this week’s column I’m “kissing up” to the best mom in the whole wide world.
“Happy Birthday, Mother! I love you.”
I’m 48, and I talk about my mom regularly to others and the way she raised her son – particularly in my Bible school class at church. She’s a terrific example of what’s right when it comes to raising children.
I can honestly say I am what I am today because of my mom.
She exemplifies so many traits that are good – love, caring, hard work and most of all, Christian.
She made sure I was in church every time the doors were open.
She made sure I was keeping my grades up.
She made sure I stayed involved in school activities.
She came to all my basketball games.
She was always there when I needed her – and still is today.
My dad died when I was 10. She worked at a garment factory, yet I always had everything I needed and more. She put me through four years of college and helped me get on my feet when I entered the “real world.”
I use this example all the time. As a teenager, I can never recall her telling me to be home at a certain time or else. I knew what time to be home because I respected my mom greatly and the things she had taught me and I didn’t want to disappoint her.
Maybe that’s what upset me the most last Friday. She wouldn’t admit it, but I had disappointed my mom.
So here it is one more time and, Mom, I mean it.
“Happy Birthday and I love you!”
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