Out of This World

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

As I travel down the memory lane of Mother’s Days past, there is one that really stands out in my mind as bigger than life. The celebration was not for me of course, as I am only the mother of cats. Four years of fertility drugs, sex in weird positions, boxers for my husband rather than jockey shorts, temperature taking, artificial insemination and two shots in the butt for two weeks straight, got me nothing but beautiful four-legged children, whom, I must admit, I truly adore.

It was about 1980 when my sister Donna and I decided to do something very special for our very crazy mom as her Mother’s Day treat. Oh, you have probably read some of my previous articles about how my mom is very non-traditional to say the least. Just recently, on her eightieth birthday, she showed up at my house for her birthday party with her stomach all bulged out as if she was pregnant, wearing lots of rhinestone jewelry and decked to the hilt. When I questioned why the baby bump, she said that she wanted to do something that no other eighty year old had ever done! Well I guess she did.

What can you get for a mom like this year after year? It had to be over-the-top. So, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, we got Mom’s Christmas tree out of her attic while she and my dad were at a picnic, and set it up in the front yard. And yes, we decorated it to the hilt with all sorts of tacky ornaments. But the best part of all was a sign we made for her that read: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Flowers wouldn’t do for a Mom like you!” The neighbors loved it, knowing Mom as the person who might hang underwear on their tree while they were out of town, or fill their mailbox with popcorn, or put a yard-sale sign in their yard early on Saturday morning. But no one loved it better than Mom. She relished every car that drove by and beeped the horn, giggling like a little kid. She even had a note from the mailman saying how much he liked the Christmas/Mother’s Day tree. And she left it up for nearly a month!

Each year I am more grateful to have my mom when so many friends have lost theirs. I can’t imagine life without her. She has been my rock, my head-cheerleader, my guardian angel and my best friend. Most of all, she is my biggest source of laughter, as you can imagine. At the most serious moments Mom will have something to say that will crack me up.

Right before her cataract surgery last week, as I kissed her goodbye as they wheeled her out of the waiting area, she said “Tell the doctor to be careful. I am not wearing a bra!” And even though I try to make each Mother’s Day special, it’s been hard to out-do that 1980 whiff of genius, for a mom who is not only “out of the box” but “out of this world.”

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