I saw my mother tackle a police car. Seriously, she brought it to a stop. This is my first Mother’s Day without mom. Mother lost her battle with cancer in February and I was with her along with one of my brothers. The room was quiet when she passed, but her life was filled with plenty of noise.
One of my favorite stories, not moms of course, was the time she actually stopped a police car with what many WWE wrestlers would call the “Flying Southern Woman Spider Monkey Tactic.” Mother was a fiery woman and she was known to have a temper every now and then and she wasn’t afraid to go toe to toe with anyone she had a disagreement with. This incident started when mother was having a disagreement with her then husband who happened to be a policeman. I was coming up the driveway when he was leaving in his patrol car, trying the deescalate the situation. Apparently, mother wasn’t finished with her side of the disagreement and I saw her blast from the front door headed straight for the patrol car. In my wildest dreams I had no idea what was going on, but this five foot woman launched herself into midair and landed like a, well, spider monkey on the front windshield.
The car stopped. Mother tackled a police car!
The disagreement was resolved without further incident and in later years her future ex-husband would laugh about it and say he couldn’t recall what the fight was all about. Mother said she must have had her reasons too, but couldn’t remember either and thus began my joy of telling the story. Sure, there are a lot more layers to the story which can’t be told in these printed pages, but anytime I get with some of my friends from up north and we are around new folks, they urge me to tell the story.
“You folks down south are different,” several folks have said after hearing about my mom. And they are right, especially about mother.
She had four children by the time she was 20. I was the first when she was only 16 and my other brothers and sisters followed, all 11 months apart. Doctors told mother that was enough, she agreed. She was a stay at home mom, although there was no such thing as a “soccer mom” back in the 60’s, but I tend to think she was like one. She took us to ball games and all our school events and although we weren’t well off by any means, we also weren’t destitute and she made the best of things. Mother was a very pretty lady and as I grew older I became very aware of the attention she would sometimes garner from men. She was a single mom for many periods of time between marriages. She would sometimes say she liked being married, but the men seemed to be the problem. I would usually counter there really was only one common denominator in those failed relationships and she would laugh and agree.
Being only 16 years apart, as we got older, mother and I always had a lot we could talk about. For several years mother worked with me at the newspaper in Cape Coral, Florida. She was a beloved member of the staff and she worked the front desk dealing with customers and classified ads. She was a natural. I mentioned earlier she was a stay at home mom, but in later years she had to provide for us kids and she worked various jobs and she always brought a sense of humor to each one. I think it was that sense of humor that sustained her and believe she passed it on to her kids as well.
If your mother is still a part of your life let her know how much you care this Sunday. If she isn’t, then remember her spirit and her love.
If you see me, say “Hey!”
Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 876-0156.