Sunday is Mother’s Day.
My mom, the model used for all fantastic mothers, passed on in 1976, but I’ll still think of her. She did without a lot so I could have everything. I look forward to someday (in due time) being with her again.
But it isn’t my mother I want to write about.
It’s Joshua’s. And Justin’s. And Quentin’s.
Risë Jan Crissman was a young high school girl serving beer and pizza in a neighborhood dive when I met her in 1974. When she came out of the kitchen carrying a pizza headed for the table next to me, I thought, “Cute...young, but cute.”
She was, too. Young...but cute. Long red hair. Jeans. Hippy-looking.
But I was a big tough over-the-road truck driver. I was hard-drinking and easily antagonized. I was the here-today-gone-tomorrow type. I sure didn’t have time to spend with a kid.
I teased her. “What time do you get off?”
“Eleven,” she answered.
“Past my bedtime,” I joked, and walked out.
That was our first meeting.
Later, she called me up and begged me for a date. Offered me her car and $10. I said o.k.
A mutual friend who was the assistant manager at the pizza place got us together. I owe him. Big time.
But this isn’t about dating, it’s about mothering.
Risë turned out to be the best at it. She had three wonderful sons and she loved them dearly. She was always there for them. With cookies, fudge, and a swift slap on the butt when needed. She was a righteous mother in Zion who loved the Lord and taught her sons to love the Lord. Sometimes they wandered, but she always reined them in. She went to ball games, school concerts, and parent-teacher conferences. I went to airports, out-of-town hotels, and meetings.
She sang Primary songs with them and taught them to wash dishes and do the laundry.
She was there when they came home from school each day.
I started college when the boys were small, so in addition to my job I had years and years of school. She was there for me and them.
I could go on, but that “righteous mother in Zion” pretty well says it all.
Risë is a terrific mom.
And the best friend I ever had.
Thanks, babe. I love you.
Happy Mother’s Day!