That was one very active my bear.
I was digging through my junk box the other day in an underwhelming attempt to clean up and organize when I came across a Mother’s Day card I had given to my mom nearly 30 years ago.
I have so many cards and notes that I’ve given or received from my parents over the years and I just can’t part with them.
This particular card was the one I had given to my mom on Mother’s Day 1988 when I was moving out of my home in Brooklyn to take a job at the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, Pa.
I was so worried about starting a new job and relocating to a new town that I had unthinkingly agreed to take the position without realizing that I was leaving for my new home was the very day that we’re supposed honor our mothers.
So, in addition to worry, fear, and creeping terror, I added an unhealthy serving of guilt a la mode that pretty much squashed any remaining traces of sanity that I had left.
But it’s not like I was moving to New Zealand. I was heading up the Poconos, which was only about 90 minutes away. Some people actually commute to New York every day, for God’s sake.
Going to the card store was a grim affair as I alternated between anguish about the new job—which I was convinced I couldn’t handle—and shame for deserting my mother on this most special holiday.
I stumbled around the aisles trying to find something suitable—and that’s what I came upon the traveling bear
The card has the image of a young bear riding on the back of an elephant and standing on sail boat as he travels the world.
“To Mom, with Love,” the copy reads, “Wherever I wander...wherever I roam…”
Upon opening the card, the young bear is approaching his family home and ready to step in to loving arms of his mother.
“…wherever my mother is will always be home,” the card concludes.
I cried the first time I saw this card and I’m in pretty rough shape right now. My mom has been gone for 15 years, but Mother’s Day can be a real trial.
During my junk box search I also rediscovered a couple of my mother’s old notebooks, including one with a portrait of William Shakespeare on the cover that I had bought for her during a vacation in London circa 1990.
Most of the pages are blank, but there are some notes in her handwriting, listing books, stores, and films and other items of interest.
How to Become Financially Successful by Owning Your Own Business, is the title of one of the books my mother wanted to buy, showing how she was always looking for ways to get ahead.
My mother also wrote down the name of a Columbia University film professor who had founded an independent film company.
Given my interest in filmmaking, I’m convinced my mother wrote this down for my benefit. She probably told me about it, too, but, dope that I am, I doubt if I followed up on it.
We eventually got through that Mother’s Day, and I lived in Pennsylvania for five years before moving to Connecticut and finally back to New York in 1998.
I didn’t wander like that greeting card bear, but I’m so grateful I had a mother who always made me feel at home.