Tuesday, October 2, 2012



I will soon return to writing about politics, there is just too much to say while this campaign is going on not to.  I can’t resist commenting on it some.  For example, I know what Mitt Romney could do to turn his campaign around and still win, but I don’t want to say anything until it is too late.
For reasons I don’t quite understand I want to write about the saddest thing I ever witnessed.  Why?  Well, we are obsessed with the ultimate in everything:  The fastest man; the fastest swimmer, the richest person in the world.  Additionally, we reflect on ourselves in our own extreme moments:  The happiest moment; the most wonderful moment; our best teacher; our best friend.  And so, I want to reflect on what is not necessarily the saddest moment of my life, (which probably had something to do with dropping an ice cream cone on the hot black top when I was a toddler), but the saddest thing that I saw, that I ever saw, and was caused to reflect upon.  Here goes,
I had gone to an assisted living facility, (i.e. retirement home, {i.i.e. old folks waiting to die place}) to meet two elderly women so I could give them a ride to church.  (I know, I know, what type of person other than elderly was I going to meet at an assisted living facility?)
I entered through a side gate and met one of the women in a little courtyard where several of the residents went to smoke.  The first woman went to get the second woman while I waited in the courtyard.  While waiting I could not but help notice a woman I did not know staring at me intently.  Concern and worry were stamped all over her face.  She started to approach me, thought better of it and turned away, and then thought even better of that and approached me anyway.
She laid an almost weightless hand on my arm and with a voice laden with anxiety asked me, “Are you my son?”
Now, if you didn’t pause after reading that last sentence, take a second right now and pause to consider the profundity of that question.
Did you pause?  OK.  I hesitate in telling this story because I would like to be a hero in it.  But I am not.  I gently told her “No, I am not your son” and she turned away from me and redirected her anxiety to the gate that led into the courtyard.  At that moment the two women I had come to meet showed up and I gave them a ride to church.
What happened to this third elderly woman?  I don’t know.  I really, really hope that her son showed up in the next few minutes and took her out of that facility and treated her to lovely brunch, afterwards buying her a huge bouquet of roses.  But something in my heart tells me that no son showed up and that she waited in vain.
Is there a greater tragedy than when our bodies betray us and our minds desert us?  This woman no longer had the faculties to know for sure if her son was coming or the ability to recognize him if he showed.  She was only left with the desire for him to come, whatever he may look like.  Damn him if he didn’t come.
In truth we are all large headed jerks who don’t or haven’t done enough for our mothers.  Call your mother; you can never repay her, and all she probably wants is a little attention from you.
I’ll try and be funny next week.



  1. This is my favorite one so far. You might have said no, but you are a hero for caring. May we all work on not being pig headed jerks.

  2. So very sad.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Thank you for your comments. I am not sure why I wrote that blog, must have been a weird day.