This post is a guest post by my wonderful wife, Roxanne, about her mother, Mary. We both love and respect Mary very, very much.
“My mom did not fit the mold of our small rural town in WAY up north Michigan. She painted her fingernails different colors (sometimes just the pinkies) and wore silver rings all up and down her fingers. She walked long distances all over town, before it became a fitness craze, and while she walked, wore a big old camo jacket she got at an Army surplus store. She also had a fashionable and sophisticated wardrobe that was the envy of even her young high school students. She drank whiskey and water out of a plastic tupperware cup, and she swore like a sailor, all while constantly correcting our grammar. She spoke French and loved to turn up the hi fi and sing out loud to Neil Diamond while we danced. She is a yooper transplant that can help my dad butcher a deer one day, and go model for her local artist’s life drawing class the next.
All the things that made her amazingly weird and wonderful was lost on me in my youth. I was a child who desperately wanted nothing more than to just fit in. It took me a long time to understand just how magnificent my mother is. How it is so much better to be one in a million, rather than one of the herd. This is, and always will be, her lasting legacy to me. It is still a lesson I am trying to master after all these years. When I find myself bowing to the system, I often think of her and decide instead to buck it.
Being tied to a tree with a chainsaw makes absolutely NO sense. Except, that it somehow makes perfect sense coming from my mom. If you don’t know what it means, let me tell you brothers and sisters, it can never be explained. “