Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mom and Chicken Soup

I read this morning of a friend who was sick. Her mother came over and made her homemade chicken and vegetable soup. My wife did that recently for one of our sons.

One of the things every one of us shares is having a mother; I had two. One was my birth-mother and the other was a lady who could not have children and adopted me when I was three months old. She is the only one I ever knew as a mother.

Due to various health problems, my mom was sick a lot. It was serious stuff and fills a lot of my childhood memories. She died when I was sixteen.

As a devoted mother, my mom did the best she could with me. My guess is that chicken soup made its appearance somewhere during my early years.

It's not easy being a mother to a child like I was; even harder when your own health is bad.

I have two distinct memories of times when I was sick with a cold and cough. Now this was back before all the candy flavored medicines came out. One time my mom was trying to give me some Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup. I don't know if it was as bad tasting as I remember or if it was just the contrary child at work but she actually had to chase me through the house. Finally I was cornered in the bathroom shower where I sobbed.  At that point my memory goes blank so I don't know who prevailed.

Another time I was given a Faustin formula for cough which was called a "strong drink". Normally it consisted of Old Stagg Bourbon and 7UP which was similar to Sprite. I hated the taste of Bourbon which ended up helping a lot in my teen years. There was always a bottle around our house but even with a passion for getting drunk I had to force the stuff down while holding my nose. Now I am thankful for that bit of external restraint.

Anyway, on this occasion the mixture was Bourbon and honey. I think the theory was that the honey would coat the throat with the "medicinal" properties of the Bourbon. Well as usual, I was an uncooperative patient and would not drink the mixture. It was left sitting on the night stand.  Sometime during the night my continued cough convinced me I should submit. I reached for the cup and took a drink. What you need to know is that by then, the honey had settled to the bottom so I got a mouthful of horrible tasting fire-water. That went a long way towards keeping me abstinent for a few more years.

So what struck me this morning as I thought about the chicken soup was what I missed. I didn't get to have a mom during my adult years. She wasn't at my wedding, I didn't get to see her playing with my children and she didn't get to pass on Faustin stuff to my wife. I could go on for a long time.

Be thankful for your mother even if she is less than ideal. If you are an adult and have a mother in your life it is usually a great blessing and one that can be taken for granted.

Thank her and be thankful.

Philip

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