Blog: Memories of Mom

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Burt Ross

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I often think of my mom, Rose Ross, who died back in 2000 at the ripe old age of 91. The truth is, I think of her almost every day. It doesn’t matter how many years ago she died or how old she was when she passed on.

Each year around this time, I hope to share with you some of my memories of Mom. Even when the memories are at her expense, she wouldn’t mind one bit.  Mom loved to laugh, and I get much of my self-deprecating humor from her. 

Mom loved to eat, and few people make it to 91 eating the way she did. The real eating started just a few minutes after dinner when Mom had a sudden urge to devour a roll. And then the eating went into an even higher gear. Her favorite pastime was to locate my father’s secret stash of candy, and this she did with the skill of a Sherlock Holmes. 

One night, Dad was fast asleep in his living room chair when he heard the unmistakable sound of Mom’s walker steadily approaching the kitchen where he had intentionally hidden his candy on a high shelf. As Mom opened the cabinet where the candy was, Dad did not panic because he knew Mom could only reach it by climbing a ladder and that was out of the question.

But Mom was a most resourceful human being and this was not the first time Dad underestimated her. Mom took her cane and hit that upper shelf like you’d whack a piñata. Before my Dad could rise out of his chair, the candy flew all over the kitchen floor, much to the delight of Mom. The bear had gotten the honey once again.

Mom was not very handy, to put it mildly (another trait she passed down directly to me), and before disposable diapers came on the scene, she had to diaper me with the old cloth ones. Safety pins weren’t particularly safe in her hands, but I managed to survive an occasional stabbing. The problem was the diaper hung way down clearing the floor by only an inch or two. For the first two years of my life, people thought I was particularly well endowed.

On a serious note, there was almost nothing Mom wouldn’t do for me. She was the ultimate Jewish mother and I was her Jewish American prince. She taught me I could do anything I put my mind to. Of course, I proved her wrong on many occasions, but at least she gave me the confidence to try, and isn’t that what life’s all about? I was fortunate indeed that Rose Ross was my mother.  She still is and always will be.