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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Mom In My Own Words: Confessions Of A Practical Blonde

By Sharon Leary
12:00PM / Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sharon Leary is an iBerkshires.com columnist and a community health advocate for the REACH Community Health Foundation.
"What do you mean you’re a vegetarian?" says a lioness to her cub on the front of a Mother’s Day card I found at "Where’d You Get That!?" in Williamstown.

The inside caption read: "Happy Mother’s Day from your little non-conformist."

Well, I thought it was cute, however I didn’t purchase it. Price: $2.95. Have you seen the prices of greeting cards lately? I love my Mom, but I’m seriously thinking that I’m going to start making cards for her again! Moms always love what comes from the heart, right?

After I reminded myself that I have no artistic ability whatsoever, I reconsidered and purchased a card. A card and a hanging basket of flowers have been the standard Mother's Day gift for as long as I can remember.


My mom Marie Leary [Photo submitted by Sharon Leary]
So this year I thought I’d do something a little extra. This column is dedicated to my mom, Marie Leary.

My Mom And Bobby Vinton

I think a lot of us kind of forget that our mothers are also women who dreamed dreams, developed ambitions and set goals. They had lives before we were born.

I was kind of an un-expected bundle of joy. OK, I'm hoping that I was bundle of joy. I think I may have interrupted Mom's short-range goal of being a groupie for the Everly Brothers, Bobbie Vinton, George Harrison and Ricky Nelson. I hear she was quite the partyer back in the day.

Back then Mountain Park in Holyoke was a major big deal. They had all kinds of artists performing there. That is where I believe my mom developed her groupie tendencies. She likes to tell me that Bobby Vinton came up and sang a song to her. She was the envy of her friends that night.

My mom grew up in Chicopee in what they called "the projects." It wasn’t the greatest place to live, but her family made the best of it. She met her best friend Joanne while living there. They still talk to this day. And when they talk, she giggles and laughs like she is a teenager all over again.

I’ve noticed through the years that my mom has a compassion and patience for people with disabilities. She recently shared with me that her friend Joanne has Cerebral Palsy. Times have changed over the decades since my mom and her friend Joanne were kids. I can’t imagine growing up in the 50’s and 60’s with a disability; it had to have been difficult.

Marie, Barbara, And The '57 Chevy

When she reminisces about the days before I came along, Mom talks a lot about cars and racing. She and her friend at the time, now my crazy-fun Aunt Barbara, would drive around in a '57 Chevy with my Uncle Bernie. And they would go to the drag races around town and to the Riverside Track.

Sure sounds like a lot of fun, and it seems my Mom had a bit of a wild chick thing goin' on, but I rarely get any details, unless I’m around my Aunt Alice, Joanne or Aunt Barbara. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

So you know all those things you’ve done and you’ve said to yourself, "I hope my mom doesn’t find out about this?" Well, think about it. Your mom probably said the same thing about her mom.

Teacher At Heart

My mom never really talked in detail about what she would have done if I hadn't come along. When we got older she took some classes at Community College and her major was early childhood education. I think she would have been an excellent teacher, most likely in special education.

Instead she became a stay at home mom who managed to keep her hand in education. She was a "Lunch Mother" when my brothers’ and I were in elementary school. She volunteered at the school library. She worked for a time at a daycare center. And today, she works in the cafeteria of a high school in Springfield. So, yes, I think she was headed towards becoming a teacher. She seems to gravitate toward youth within educational surroundings.

There For Each Other

As I have matured - and I admit I'm still working on that - my relationship with my mom has evolved. Our relationship has become something like a therapist/patient. One day I’m the patient looking for advice, solace or reassurance, the next she is the patient and I am dispensing my wisdom and knowledge. I am glad that I am able to offer this emotional support. I'm thankful for her reservoir of guidance.

Our family has never been great with communication, but we are working on it. I now feel like I can tell my mom anything. And I hope that she feels the same about me.

Always Her Child And Proud Of It

I’m proud to have a mom who will come to a George Strait concert or for that matter any concert. And I’m proud that we have developed into more than just a child/parent relationship. But I also know that I will always be her child, and that she will always worry about me - no matter how much I reassure her.

That’s pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.
Your Comments
Post Comment
A VERY NICE TRIBUTE TO A VERY SPECIAL LADY!
from: GINNY HUMELon: 05-25 00:00:00-2007

I enjoyed your column! Keep up the writing!
from: Shawn Godfreyon: 05-13 00:00:00-2007


 
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