“Lights out!” for MotherJam

The Blogger Idol people asked contestants to introduce themselves by writing their own eulogy.  They also invited those of us who were already axed from the competition to contribute.    As a ghost in the machine, “also ran,” how could I resist?  


To be delivered by MotherJam’s aggrieved son, aged 88, sometime after February of 2093:

IMG_3253When my mother told me that she was going to live to be 120 years old, I didn’t believe that she would actually do it.

How could the lady who couldn’t convince me to put my socks on (you’ll note that I am barefoot today) and who, well into adulthood, still cried when she thought about not being invited to a birthday party in 7th grade—How could she ever be so competent to achieve such a feat?

This is the lady who never learned to cook.

This is the person who spent my youth storming around the house and announcing, One of these days I am going to get this place cleaned up!–and never did.

This is the woman who got an epidural about 20 seconds into labor.

Who knew she had such strength to stay alive so long?

When I was growing up she always claimed to be on the verge of a heart attack. Every time my sister and I refused to hold her hand in a parking lot and, later, every time we were out even a minute past curfew she claims we almost killed her.  In fact, if she is to be believed, we were responsible for her near demise about  3 million times before we turned 21.

But we didn’t kill her.  Nor did her absolute and unwavering contempt for Time Warner Cable, a company which really should have passed in 2013 when it was unable to provide anything to its customers other than long hold times and an “appreciation” for their patience.

Oh how I am sad she is gone!  Devastated, really.  She was pretty awesome.  A nice person with big dreams that never quite came true.  A great person.  And not just because she would be horrified by the number of sentence fragments here.

She loved life almost as much as she loved coffee.  She was a good talker and a much better secret keeper.  A great friend but a little scattered.  Up for anything but maybe not the best at making plans.

She loved me and my sister more than anything.  And despite her inability to get us dressed in a timely manner or to convince us to ever use a napkin, she was a great mother.  Not because she was full of sage advice or the right answers but because she let us pursue our own dreams and make our own mistakes.

She did this, for the most part, without interjecting her own aspirations.  Sure, she was happy for me when I became a world renown architect/playwright/humanitarian and fire fighter.  And she was delighted to see my sister bring a certain “Barbie in the White House” flair to her Presidency.  But my sister and I both know that our mother would have been just as happy with us had we trod along more pedestrian avenues…So long as we were kind, didn’t litter, tried hard, and never lied except maybe to tell her yes, really, she was a good dancer.

Even though she has passed on,  her legacy lives.  I pledge to continue to alternate as I should in the ski lift line and to merge like a gentleman even though I am a driver from New Jersey.

I will miss her.

I will cry the next time the extreme oldies radio station plays Earth Wind and Fire and she is not going to be around to waive her cane and shout, “Watch me get jiggy with this one!”  I will get a little misty when I hear “Midnight Train to Georgia” and understand, yes yes I know how she must have felt.

And yet, now that I am almost 90 years old and standing over her dead body I am more than a little psyched that I can finally go hang-gliding.

Thank you all for coming.  She would be happy to see that so many cool people showed up.


That’s it. Now go check out the other entries at the blogging contest, vote for your favorite, and then tell me you liked mine more.

About MotherJam

Trying to be insightful. But mostly just avoiding housework and ignoring my children.
This entry was posted in Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to “Lights out!” for MotherJam

  1. David says:

    Of course yours was better! Here’s why:
    1) You lived a lot longer. 120? That’s great!
    2) You were already on my favorite list. OK, that’s cheating.
    3) You revealed the true secret to happy music listening: “Midnight Train to Georgia”. Who knew?
    4) Your eulogy happened far into the future. Does your phone number start with 1-900?
    5) You’re just so good at letting your writing stab yourself in the eye (which one?) without seeming pathetic.
    6) You almost got me to sign up for Facebook.

  2. WOW. I felt like I could relate to you so much! Especially: “A nice person with big dreams that never quite came true.” Nice post.

  3. Not sure if the internet ate my comment, but I thought this was a nice post. I can relate a TON, especially: “A nice person with big dreams that never quite came true.” (Except I’m not always a nice person.)

  4. Owahns says:

    DUH!!!! MotherJam is the best!!! It is not even a contest as far as I am concerned. In fact, I think that is why you didn’t make the finals – The Blogger Idol people didn’t want one contestant to be so obviously the winner…

  5. Diane says:

    No one appreciates how extremely intelligent this person is . She needs to go on and leave the blogging behind. Write a book be a judge on tv / this women is talented , gorgeous , and a Harvard Magna

  6. Jess says:

    Such a great post, as always. Clever and touching. Your stuff doesn’t come everyday but when it does I know I am in for a treat. Thanks 🙂 I hope you win Blog AI.

    • MotherJam says:

      Aw, thanks. It means a lot to me that you always check in! How I wish I could be more prolific. The summer totally killed my already challenged productivity. But here I am at the beginning of the school year and a messy apartment with no children—what could be more motivating! Now see if I also had a full time job like some bloggers I know, I am sure I would be publishing even less often.
      I always look forward to reading your stuff too. And I will definitely buy your book, go to your movie, or watch whatever TV show you are working on now.

      • Jess says:

        Aww thanks. You’re sweet. Actually, I bet if you had a full time job you’d have more time to post 🙂 (Depending on the boringness of your job).

  7. Oh this is just wonderful! Well done!

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