Location: Seekonk, Massachusetts
Music: Kanye West – Hey Mama
I have a pretty strong track record of being single. Most of the women in my life have a shorter shelf life than a carton of milk. Whether it’s something that I did (which I’m usually told it is) or just irreconcilable differences, the majority of my romantic relationships never make it past the six-month mark. When I stop and think about my (un)success in the dating market, I wonder if I am holding potential mates to too high a standard, the standard set by my momma.
The youngest of four daughters born to the late, great Rita St. Hilaire, my mom has been a strong and independent woman since birth. Whether it was taking care of her sister’s horse or crashing her brand-new Pontiac GTO, she never failed to lead an interesting life. I remember snooping around her high school yearbook and reading all the messages left by old friends that spoke about her kindness and intelligence. A woman came into the pharmacy that I worked at through high school and college, and, 40 years after the fact, told me she remembered my mother and her kindness. Among my friends, she’s often referred to as “an angel.” At first glance, she would seem to be just a woman gliding through life on her heart of gold and good looks, but on the Forbe’s list of “100 Most Powerful Women,” she was a ringer if they increased the list to include humble real estate agents/stenographers.
With 40 years in the business, she is the reason I got into stenography as a profession. Hell, she’s the only reason I got into stenography, and if it wasn’t for her pushes forward, this blog and my traveling would likely have never happened. Whenever I have a question about someone’s terrible verbiage or my own clueless grammar, she is the first and only person I need to call. She may be making up her answers on the spot, but I trust her, and so do her many faithful clients.
She started her own court reporting firm in Boston, owned her own house at an age before I even moved out of hers, and has successfully managed her time between two jobs and a family — and, yet, you will never see her in a bad mood. She gets stressed as we all do, but she doesn’t show it, and that’s a side of her that still baffles me. It could be her daily dose of a gin & tonic or two, but, still, her success story is quickly apparent to anyone who is lucky enough to meet her.
I have never been offended by the moniker “Momma’s Boy.” To me, it is a compliment. Any emulation of my mom is indeed something to be cherished, just like she is. For all the crap I have put her through and the times she has selflessly proofread my work or just listened to me bitch and moan, there is no way to repay her. All I can do is write this and hope that she knows I love her, and that she is the most amazing woman I have and will ever meet.
Happy (late) Mother’s Day, Mom.