It's cool, Mom, we have it from here...
(my boy age 5 at End the Fed 11.22.08)
I don't know if the pizza joint is still there in Milwaukee but I remember listening to this song with my Mom on the jukebox (cliche huh? Reagan was still President) when we lived across the street from the hospital where she worked. That was back when you could still get candy cigarettes at the corner store, Garbage Pail Kids were cool, and I was watching Slim Goodbody in elementary school health class. Milwaukee was just starting to turn and she used to get stabbing victims dropped off at the Emergency Room by the very people who'd stabbed them. Still, we had a sweet duplex and the neighborhood was safe if you excluded what she saw at the hospital.
My Mom worked the night shift and hearing this song made me say some 7 year old thing about this being about the people she worked with and she said no, not that night shift, people who have died.
My Mom unexpectedly passed away at the age of 53 yesterday while attending a nurse's certification conference in Las Vegas. She got pregnant with me in nursing school and ended up graduating at the top of her class; if you dig hard enough, there's a picture of 2-year-old JDA in a nurse's outfit with my proud grandparents and Mom in matching outfit. Back then they made them wear those stupid hats and I did too just because that was my Mom and it was an awesome accomplishment for her. She was excited about the future, about the new certification as she loved nursing and devoured knowledge as she taught me to do no sooner than I'd popped out two weeks later than I was supposed to on Ben Bernanke's 27th birthday. (you think I'm kidding? We have the same birthday)
I'm not sure what happens next. TLP is being not-so-lazy and holding down the fort as much as he should have to while I go figure out what I have to do from here. Told you he was good people to keep around.
My own son is as old as I was when I learned the real meaning of this song. It's because of him that I do anything here on this website and I have to remember that.
I may be here. I may not. If I am, it's only because my Mom was proud of what I've been doing here and I'd like to retain some shred of normal. It's fucked up because "normal" = ripping on Bernanke but oh well, my Mom would have been prouder if she read me more often but she had Microsoft Vista and preferred Dr Phil anyway.
My Mom taught me a lot but some important lessons I got along the way:
The F word is totally OK but not on the 4th grade playground for no reason. If warranted, have at it.
Always be smarter than the people who are shittier than you.
Brains before beauty. Anyone can be pretty but not everyone can be smart.
Never lie. Unless you're lying to get backstage to see a band with your 14 year old daughter. Otherwise don't do it.
Have large cojones.
Don't take anyone's shit. Seriously. And Lesson B to that: People will give you endless amounts of it. Refuse all of it.
Cleverness will get you a long way.
She sang me to sleep with Joni Mitchell as a baby, taught me to read at 2, instilled in me the value of tipping tipped employees well, and took me to get my nose pierced at 13. She let me play with LEGOS and never forced Barbies into my hand.
You can thank my Mom for this very website you enjoy each and every day (some of you too much - yes, I saw what you did there) because without her, I wouldn't be who I am and I'd be cowering in some suburb somewhere wondering who won American Idol and worried over how to pay for my McMansion and credit card bills.
I love you, Mom. Don't work too late and don't worry, your cat is safe with me. I promise I'll take good care of her, she's doing the same for me.