Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Most Wonderful Mother in the Universe: this is what I called my Mom whenever I was very sick as a child and she played nurse to me. I also called her The Best Mother in the Universe when she showed special kindness or understanding towards me, which was most of the time.
I have so many fond memories of my mother, I don't know where to start. When I was growing up, she took care of my brother and my dad and me, not to mention all of the animals we collected over the years: three dogs, one cat, two gerbils, one iguana, one lizard from Barbados, and I don't know how many tadpoles. She had such a loving and caring nature, those were just some of the things I loved about her and try to emulate.
She was also a very optimistic person, and cheerful. She would always go around the house singing and dancing. She would sing songs to me and my brother Bruce, songs like "Baby Face," "Bicycle Built for Two," and "I'm in the Mood for Love." She and Dad would play music from the 30's and 40's and Mom would say, "the Depression wasn't that bad, actually it was really fun! We used to sit around your Grandma's piano and sing all the new hits."
My friend Kaitlin said she'll always remember my Mom saying, "Boy, wasn't that a humdinger!" when she saw a trans person walk by in really wild dress. My Mom used to tell me that she was like Grandpa Dixon in that they could strike up a conversation with anyone and at any time. It was true; whenever I met her on our regular Tuesdays at Tim Horton's, she would tell me about people she had talked to on the subway or bus, and she made friends with the other regulars at Tim Horton's and Cafe California. Everybody loved my Mom because she was sweet and chatty, and could tell you stories the length of your arm.
Yet Mom had a certain fire within her, too. I remember one time, I told my Mom I had gone to the hospital for a procedure on my esophagus, and they had only sedated me, not completely knocked me out with anesthetic. I had been so scared because nobody had warned me that they were going to do that. So, the next time I went to the hospital, I could hear Mom yelling at the doctors saying, "don't you dare hurt my baby! Put her right under!"
I always felt like Mom was in my corner, and she sure was the best PR person! She would tell total strangers about my life and talent.
I have so many more memories of my Mom, like her baking banana cake, and Bruce and I would fight over who would lick the bowl. I remember Mom doing a shtick at a lodge with my Aunt Joyce and two other women, and they sang "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue." In Mom's latter years, I introduced her to Gay Pride Week and the annual Underwear Show at Cafe California. Much to my delight and amusement, Mom especially liked the Underwear Show!
Sadly, my Mom, Verna Georgene Abbott, passed away from complications of congestive heart failure on Tuesday, August 21st at 5:15 am. There are no words in the English language to describe how much I'll miss her, and how much I love her.
Mom, wherever you are, I love you. You gave me a great life, and I'm happy you always said I made your life more interesting. Thank you for making me the person I am today. You were and are the Best Mother in the Universe.