I meant to post this yesterday, but got sidetracked…
Mother’s Day forever changed for my wife Jaci, as her mom (Zita) passed away (somewhat unexpectedly) on April 6th. So it was a bittersweet day (without much of the sweet).
Then I called my own mom, whose first words were “Hi Mark.”
Actually, that was not sad, but funny (she fires on all cylinders, but has been doing that “couple tries to get to the right name” thing for decades. Once, when beginning to reprimand me, she even included the dog’s name.). Anyway, I made sure to tell her I love her, something I don’t like overdoing just by rote. But none of us are getting any younger.
The blog title is in reference to another kind of “honoring our mothers” story, one told by our own John Thomas (again this year’s Harp Guitar Gathering co-host). Between Zita’s funeral and my leaving for France, I read his homage to the unsung women workers at the Gibson guitar company: Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII.
What a work of dedicated sleuthing and passion! It, too, was bittersweet, as several of the “stars” of the story passed away before seeing the finished result. But his testament to these mothers and grandmothers (all initially flabbergasted, but ultimately honored by the attention) will serve as a lasting legacy. John toned down his trademark wit just the right respectful amount, but remains a fascinating storyteller and ridiculously gifted writer. Buy it and read it if you haven’t already done so.
And remember – Moms rule!
I’m sorry to hear about Jaci’s mother. My own mother, the last of Dorothy’s and my parents, died in December, also somewhat unexpectedly. She missed by two months witnessing the publication of “Kalamazoo Gals.” I did send her the early PDF of the full book but still regret that I didn’t finish it in time for her to hold it in her hands. That would have meant a lot to her, and to me.
Thanks for the kind words about the book. Researching and writing it led me on an extraordinary journey. The culmination occurred in March when I returned to Kalamazoo and hosted on, final afternoon tea for the surviving Gals and the families of all of the Gals.