Happy Mother’s Day
By Roshi Genro Grover Gauntt
My older brother, Grover, wrote this to our mother, Barbara Case Gauntt, on July 29, 2005. I found it in her safe deposit box after she passed away in 2012. Mom had written on the outside of its envelope “I love it!” Precious doesn’t begin to describe it.
Grover wrote it for Mom’s 84th birthday, but I think it is so perfect to share on Mother’s Day, as he so eloquently and vulnerably describes his childhood and his very special bond with our mother. My brother wrote something beautiful.
With Gratitude Dear Mom,
Thank you for bringing me into this marvelous adventure we call life.
Thank you for holding me when I cried,
for countless diaper changes before Pampers cuddly clothes and blankets,
rocking me to sleep, feeding me, tolerating me, loving me.
Thank you for blocks and jack in the boxes,
bubble blowers and bubble blowers (I really liked them),
coloring books and records and squirt guns.
For trips to see Santa and eating the cookies.
Thank you for Casey and Copper for Crystal Scarborough swimming lessons
and the outdoor ring pool, squirt guns and trips to Deer Run.
Cowboy boots with Hopalong spurs.
And every other day at the beach when we lived at Park La Brea.
Thank you for many turtle pets with palm tree island homes,
for my garden at the back of Covina,
for fur-wrapped bourbon and Chesterfield goodnight kisses,
for naps and sweet Fridays, and for KoKo.
Thank you for surprise bags for car trips,
for wipe-on tattoos, for crew cuts and sneakers and allowance.
Thank you for rides to school and bike after bike,
for being in the audiences and at the games for encouragement.
Thank you for telling me I could do better than average,
for being a stay-at home-mom,
for school day lunches at home on the TV tray in the basement,
for peanut butter and jelly, diced olives, deviled ham,
and lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches,
for Halloween costumes, Fourth of July sparklers and Easter eggs.
Thank you for gardening lessons, McDonald’s hamburgers and our debut appearance on Captain Jet.
For Sheriff John birthday announcements and birthday parties,
for tennis lessons and golf lessons for no piano lessons.
Thank you for tamales and tacos and green beans and potatoes,
for clean clothes and sneakers and flattops at John’s,
for sleds and toboggans, hot chocolate and cinnamon toast,
for tea with milk and the cookie jar.
Thank you for Laura and Riley and my basement room,
for not telling Dad….. a number of things,
for a million loads of laundry and for washing my new clothes before I wore them.
Thank you for helping decorating my bike for Memorial Day,
for a Davy Crockett coonskin cap,
for trusting me and being a friend.
Thank you for tolerating my worry about being small,
and deciding I would probably have to be a jockey,
for pre-school trips to the men’s store in Glen Ellyn,
for a transistor radio set and kites galore.
Thank you for phone calls and letters when I left home,
for backing me up at the Air Force Academy,
for Connie Wedburg at USC and
for your spirit, for your opinions and your steel;
for your sensitivity and your tears
Thank you for shouldering the burden when Dad left,
for packing up a life in a week.
Thank you for refuge when I was seeing what others didn’t,
for your support on many difficult recurrences,
for making a home wherever you are,
for taking care of strangers and talking to anyone;
for being positive.
Thank you for mail packages and letters,
for cards and birthday presents,
for phone calls and concern for news and current events,
for clipped articles and magazines,
for Three Musketeers and Peanut Butter Cups.
Thank you for enjoying Old Fashions and cigarettes,
for gin rummy and potato salad,
for that desert where you put cream between chocolate wafers,
and for flowers everywhere.
Thank you for being a Mom for far beyond what many people ever get.
for being there for me at every step of the way,
for holding me in your heart for always.
I am eternally grateful with more love than you can imagine.