Mother’s Day 2019

Everyone has one and this Sunday, we salute that special person we’ve come to know as mom.

Yes, dad was involved with bringing you into the world, but mom was seriously invested in the process. Remember, she probably had to give up smoking and drinking for 9 months, out of concern for the little monster she would be bringing into the world. That’s dedication.

In my case, I was the first one to come along, followed by two sisters. Dad was a mechanic out at United Airlines, while mom was a stay-at-home until the mid-1960s when women in the neighborhood began to start working outside the home.  First, she tried her hand at retail over at J.C. Penney’s and then, she worked for Home Savings, which eventually became Washington Mutual. Mom had a chance to become a manager, but opted not to, because it would have meant being sent to a God-forsaken branch somewhere around Los Angeles. She climbed the ranks to head teller and stayed there and in Torrance until she retired.

Mom has threatened to write her life story down over the years and has a few notes jotted down. A few years back, I video-taped her telling about how she ended up in California. She was raised on a farm in South Dakota and the story I remember most happened when she graduated from 8th grade. She told us she remembers crying when her parents said that she couldn’t go to high school because they needed her to work on the farm. Eventually, she moved to the big city of Aberdeen and worked there until she was 18. When her roommate and best friend headed out to California, she went out to visit for her wedding. She was the maid of honor, and my dad, was the best man. That’s where they met which eventually resulted in me.

It’s so funny, but if you ask me to remember mom stories from growing up, I could bring up the fact she was a Cub Scout den mother or some nice memory, but what always comes to mind is sitting in back seat of our Ford Fairlane after being picked up at school and how she got pulled over just down from our house by a motorcycle cop for failing to use her blinker when she turned into our neighborhood.  She was mortified. I’ve often thought of writing to the governor to ask for clemency.

Oh and another story I remember. Mom was determined to graduate from high school, so she went back and got her G.E.D. from Torrance High School, the same high school me and my sisters graduated from.

I’ve always been a big fan of everyone getting their life stories written down for future generations to enjoy. I’d love to hear all those details about the big decisions they had to make or the setbacks along the way. It’s an assurance that we all somehow manage to pull through; that as much as we think we’ve got it either tougher or easier, we all go through our own versions of life.

Last weekend, my sister Debbie and my mom came up for a visit. It’s been years since she’s been up here and we were able to do one of those bucket list things for her–catching the Skagit Valley tulips in bloom. She was blown away.

Mom is 90 and turns 91 in August. We threw her a big party last year and, if you never saw it, I put together a fun video to salute her, which I’ll stick in here, in case you haven’t seen it.



So, as we approach another Mother’s Day, I have to express my gratitude to the powers that be that allow me to still chat with my mom on a daily basis. She’s in Torrance, but all three kids give her a call once a day, just to check in. In the meantime, she continues to enjoy life–gardening in her yard, hitting the Dollar Store for deals, reading her newspapers and continually trying to get caught up with all the shows on her DVR.

It’s a good life and knowing what all she had to go through in raising me, a well-deserved one.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ma!

Tim Hunter

OK, Now THAT’S Weird

The co-worker walked into my office, as most do after a weekend, to compare notes, chit-chat, not work, just for a moment.

His story began with, “You want to hear something strange!”

This is the point where, at most work places, some people might start dialing up HR.  I, on the other hand, know that a good one is coming my way.  This was a really good one.

Last Friday was the one-year anniversary of the death of this co-worker’s mom.  She had a fight with cancer that turned into a monster that overtook her.  She passed away on May 10th, 2012.

At 6:28pm, the co-worker’s cell phone rang.  It was across the room, so his wife picked it up.  It continued to ring as she stared at the phone number. The iPhone identified the call as coming from his mom’s cell phone.  By the time his wife brought it over to him and he stared at the phone for  a moment, it quit ringing.

No message was left.  The co-worker has called the number several times, hoping to find out who might have accidentally called. Accidentally?  His mom’s cell phone service was turned off 10 months ago.  Sure, the number was probably put back into service and it had a new owner–but how did they get his number?   What are the odds that someone with his late mom’s cell phone number would accidentally call her son exactly one year after passing?

He still occasionally tries calling the number, just to see who is at the other end. There’s no answer, no recorded message.

Maybe we just aren’t supposed to figure everything out in this world.  But what a bizarre thing to happen on the one-year anniversary of his mom’s passing, on Mother’s Day weekend!

Just weird enough, I had to share.

Tim Hunter