It’s a good day to be PostScript. We found $5 beneath a rug we were cowering under in the corner, and the song “Someone Else’s Sugar’s Sweeter” is finally out of our heads. Our helmet is newly polished and swiffered, and we have a truly sweet, adorable comments section to scour today — the one for Richard Cohen’s tribute to his mom, who died last week just shy of age 100. Had the world been a better place for his mother, Cohen writes, she wouldn’t have had a ghetto-hungry childhood and a constant struggle for meaningful opportunities in life. A woman of her energy and competence could have, should have, been president.
It has warmed hearts inside and outside the PostScript bunker. It seems like we all have respected elders who have overcome hardship, and memorializing one helps us memorialize them all.
Mc-squared’s father-in-law also grew up poor and shaped by WWII, ending up astounded at where life has taken him:
My father in-law is 95 and is slipping deeply into Alzheimer’s. He still has his lucid moments, when he clearly remembers the men under his charge as a company 1st Sargeant in WWII and his days as the son of a PA coal-miner. Somehow he has forgotten the hunger and the hard times as a child and only remembers the good times and the value of work and obligation to one another.
One day about 10 years ago, we were playing golf at the local exclusive country club near where he grew up. He simply burst into laughter at the idea that he — the son of a coal miner — was affluent, healthy, and playing golf where he would have been run-off as a ragamuffin 80 years before, and that he survived WWII intact to come home and have a full and wonderful life.
Only in America indeed.
KateK-Mac’s mother also built a significant life that wouldn’t look awesome on a resume:
Your mother sounds amazing. I wish I had known her! My younger brother once said that our mother hadn’t done very much. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. My answer: How many lives did my own mother touch? Change? Thousands, through her volunteer work (Red Cross, La Leche League, Scouts, PTA, and many more).
Johnson0572’s mother’s lack of opportunity taught her son determination:
Yep, told my mom 55 years ago I was going to quit the football team, didn’t think I’d make the first team and didn’t want to sit on the bench. She said firmly: “No you’re not, I’ve had to sit on the bench all my life and you’re never going to quit!” As it turned out I made the all-conference team that year and the next.
Sandnsmith is in awe of Pearl Cohen and her own mother, who shared a special quality perhaps tempered by surviving adversity:
Mr. Cohen, you made me cry today. Your mother was as special as my mother. Whom I lost at age 85 two years ago. She too was an immigrant. She went through extreme poverty and the usual poor treatment women in her day were forced to endure.
I recently found a memoir she had written about her life and I will always cherish it. She talks of hardships and wars. Deaths and injustice growing up. But she reveals in her words as well as her mother’s, the feistiness that only survivors had that allowed them to survive the odds.
This can’t be true but it seems that they don’t make them like that anymore. True grit. Courage. Honor and above love. Bon voyage to heaven, Pearl, please say hi to my mother, Anastacia.
Sometimes we in the PostScript bunker wonder if there has to be a bunker at all. If we and all these sweet people who comment could remove our helmets, put down our pointed sticks and wipe the war paint off our faces and acknowledge that our beloved respected elders are so much better than we are, and maybe we need not have painted our faces in the first place.
Alas, we never get to wonder that for very long. We’ll go out, with a sigh, on this one:
Wow . . . Cohen . . . plying your trade on the back of your dead mother. Shame on you. And shame on you for continuing to shill for Obama, the worst president in US history. Hope and Change has morphed into “Bush Did It - so reelect me.”