|Honored by:||Peg Augspurger and Mike Augspurger|
|Brick location:||A:11 map|
MOM CALMS KIDS CALVES
Mom is bottle-feeding twins again. One has that bulky, bully face. The other calf has a cute, heifer look, Mom says. She's tickled about her newest motherly task. The cow claims the two black and white youngsters, but her milk supply runs low. That's where Mom helps--providing a bottle or two of milk replacer to fill the twins' tummies. And Mom's given her two adopted offspring names -Elmer and Ethel.
This spring is much different than it was a year ago. Mom has been helping drive the tractor, disking the ground ahead of Dad with his grain planter. Last spring she was being driven back and forth to a series of hospital stays battling heart problems. She has fought her health ordeal with the gumption of a soldier battling an invisible enemy. Little by little, though, she continues to recover. Of course, she can't do all the tasks she used to do. Mowing the yard this spring for example was a major accomplishment.
Mom enjoys life and often serves as a pillar for others. That's where Elmer and Ethel are lucky -- they have my mother to help raise them. Mom has always watched over her two children, but has always been careful not to control our lives. Now that we're both diabetic -- my sister Peggy has been taking insulin for years; I've been on pills for about 1 1/2 years -- she watches us with a special interest. Peggy's feet keep breaking because of her weak bones and I've lost about 60 pounds over the past year. A diabetic for decades, Mom knows the ins and outs of the disease. Her eyesight isn't as good as it once was, nor her heart, but she is always there to offer some wisdom make a suggestion or be used as a listening post.
Peggy, who lives in Iowa City, will be meeting us halfway in a Fairfield restaurant on Sunday to celebrate another day of Motherhood. Her foot in another cast, Peggy will be "gimping" into the building. Mom will be walking cautiously, giving her eyes plenty of time to adjust to the light change. We'll probably draw attention -- just like last year. And we'll probably tell some jokes and get the giggles -- just as before. And when we give Mom a gift or two, she'll probably get a little tear in her eyes.
Elmer and Edith no doubt will be part of our dinner's conversation. Mom will tell the most recent antics involving the twins and their mother, a protective one that has already chased Dad in the feed lot a couple of times. But for some reason the cow hasn't bothered Mom. She seems to have that instinct that the woman in the red coveralls is there to help. The cow doesn't mind when Mom is nudged by Edith looking for that bottle with the large, red nipple on the end of it. The cow apparently knows the little animals, like Mom's own children have done so often, know where to search for some extra motherly love.
There she was again --- that woman! Her deep, dark tan was still lingering in the now dead cold of winter. She always attended these basketball games to join in the hoopla of the crowd. She never appeared to have a special player on the team since she cheered for all the girls, myself included. I'll never forget her face as I sat on the bench, scanning the crowd for familiar faces. Her's always had a certain glow, and sometimes our eyes would meet and I could feel a very special bond between us. Then I would see her strong hand slowly raise in a very delicate manner and she would wave to me. I in turn responded with a smile and a wave of my own --- and I would be at peace.
I couldn't begin to count the hours "that woman" sat and cheered for the teams I played on. All the girls knew her and nearly everyone called her "Mom." She became our nurse, chauffeur, cheerleader, and friend. Whatever we needed, "Mom" knew how, when, and where it could be delivered. "Mom" was an athlete herself. She could out run a few of us and easily beat all of us in arm wrestling. She farmed the land and tended to her livestock with the intensity of a forward driving through the lane to jam the basketball into the hoop.
"Mom" nearly always had fun with whatever she did. She appeared contented. I discovered early in my athletic career that "Mom" never fully reached her potential as an athlete. At the age of sixteen, she was hit with the hard, cold reality that she was about to become a mom. Adulthood came suddenly. Maybe that's why athletics became so important to me. Maybe in a sense I wanted "Mom" to still feel a part of a team. Maybe we could live dreams together.
But those days are over for both of us now. After twenty years of playing or coaching, I've decided to take a break. I often think of "that woman" in the crowd, yelling her support and cheering for all that I do. She's always been there and she still is there with her glowing, tan, warm eyes, tender heart, and contagious smile. That Woman, the one in the crowd, she really is MY MOM!