My mom, everyone called her ‘Morm’

Last week one of my dear and old friends Em made a comment on my FB wall about my mom which got me thinking about her today as I couch potate {https://www.facebook.com/tonyscouch). I smile a whole lot when I think about my mom. At an early age, she insisted we learn to ‘fly’ and would always encourage us to jump off the cliff and soar. So today I am sitting here thinking about Mom.

 Most people called my mother, Morm. Total strangers would approach her and call her Morm. I bet not too many people knew her real name.

You may recall that one of my chores as a kid was to help care for the many animals I grew up with (if you don… See More’t know what I am talking about go to my wall and read my previous postings). After school I would have to go get food for the rabbits and guinea pigs, mostly up La Guerite. I would always have a friend with me; back then it was very far. We would save the grass that we picked in a crocus bag.

This one day, not sure exactly how old I was, but pretty young, after we had gathered the feed, we saw a train going by packed with sugar cane. We dropped the bag, ran after the train and managed to pull a few canes. It was quite dangerous, but you know kids are invincible. Now the smart thing to do would have been to gather the bag of grass and leave with our cane haul. Instead we decided to sit on the ground and enjoy the cane, that way we didn’t have to share. We weren’t there very long when my friend shouted, ‘run’ and in a flash he was gone. I looked up and coming straight at me was the watchman. I made my second mistake that day, rather than running, I decided to get the bag of grass first, I was just too slow.

The watchman cornered and grabbed me. After he scolded me in a stern way, he asked me who I belong to. If I was thinking I would have said Mrs L, we looked like family, but instinct took over and I shouted Morm. To my surprise he release me, told me he would deal with me later, I think he must have heard me wrong; I grabbed my bag and the pieces of cane and ran off laughing.

Later that afternoon I happened to be sitting on the front steps when the watchman showed up at my house. I asked him how he found me; he said he knew Morm well, damn. I won’t tell you what happened to my butt, it was not pretty.

My mom read a lot, novels, Readers Digest, but mostly the Bible. If you have little kids you know it is not easy to have quiet time and enjoy reading. There are 4 of us close in ages and we would all snuggle up to her while she read. I guess like baby chickens hiding under the mother hen wings. She would sometimes read to us but mostly it was about being close to her. She would often use the time to teach us about life. My mom had words of wisdom from the bible and sometimes from famous men to handle every situation. I guess that was one of the attractions to her by the villagers. Everyone came to her for advice and words of inspiration (for my niece Carol).

A side bar, scene setting.

At the bottom of Cardin Avenue where I lived there was a house that was surrounded by a high stone wall. The Ryan’s,  lived there ( I always wondered what he did for a living).The wall was so high that it was impossible for a kid to climb, besides on the other side there were angry dogs. Also on the other side of the wall were lots of fruit trees, mango trees. My favourite. I don’t think the family liked mangoes, but the gardeners would take all the mangoes and not share. Quite a dilemma if you wanted some mangoes.

Back to my mom. We went to church every Sunday, the Methodist Church at the top of Cardin Avenue. The non church going villagers must have thought we were a humorous looking family on our way to church. Some of us (me not included of course) did not really want to go so we would lag behind my mom, walking very slowly in the middle of the street single file, everyone wanted to be last. Pitiful sight, but we went.

As you know ministers would always tell you to take the story from their sermons and apply it to your life, especially the Ten Commandments. They didn’t always take into consideration that there were also talking to little kids. Mostly I would tune out until the singing, the best part of church. One Sunday the minister’s sermon was about Joshua and the walls of Jericho, he managed to get my attention, I am thinking ‘now there is a solution I can apply to one of my many problems’. Remember I was a dreamer.

A couple days after that interesting sermon and after much thought I told my mom I was going to try to ‘bring down’ the Ryan’s wall. I had mangoes on my mind, besides who needed a wall like that. My mom was a real multi-tasker so as she read her book and without looking up she uttered one of her favourite quotes:

‘Nothing beats a trail but a failure’. Not sure exactly what it meant but to me that was a go ahead.

I made up a chant which included the song “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and walls came a-tumblin’ down.” and added a line about my rights to the mangoes. When I had it down pat, I walked around the wall’s perimeter 3 or 4 times and chanting softly of course, didn’t want people to think I was crazy.

50 years later I suspect the wall is probably still perfectly in place.

Of course I went back to my mom to report my failure and again without looking up and not even a smile she said:
“If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again”

My mom also had a great sense of humour, probably her most endearing quality. Her name was Catherine in case you were wondering, god rest her soul.

Thanks Em. These things are getting longer, i may have to find another way to express myself.

1/20 of Kittitians in Calgary but the only couch potato.

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