A Mother’s Love

August 21, 2009

The receptionist from the eye specialist’s office called to advise Mairi that her new reading glasses were ready. I was called upon to accompany her Saturday morning to the Doctor’s office. Arriving early we entered by a side door. Finding ourselves alone in the waiting room we sat ourselves down and waited.
We had not seen or heard anyone in the inner offices during the first five minutes we had been there. Finally a rush of footsteps running up the stairs followed the opening of the outside door. The one we had entered. A few moments later the running feet descended quickly the door slammed closed with a resounding final bang.
I feeling of discomfort began to crawl up my spine when the telephone continued to ring and no one answered it. Nervously I walked through to the back office in search of a secretary. Much to my dismay I found it empty. Mom and I quickly prepared to leave by the same door we had entered. To our disbelief we found it locked.
Mother, suggested I look up the doctor’s telephone number. Great idea. I searched behind the receptionist’s desk and within moments produced the doctor’s telephone number. Removing the receiver from its cradle I handed it to my mother. “You call” she said sweetly. “Me! No way! Not me.” I quickly replied. She insisted, her voice showing her growing angry, I resisted, my voice beginning to show my near state of hysteria. I could not longer contain the gales of laugher pushing up, bursting out, uncontrollably.
Eventually, knowing there was no other help; Mairi angrily dialled the unsuspecting doctor’s telephone number. Within moments the telephone in the doctor’s home was answered. In a very sweet, small voice she explained the circumstance we found ourselves in, while I fought desperately to stop laughing.
Unfortunately the doctor and his family were just leaving for a week-end vacation. Nevertheless, he was quite gracious about the inconvenience. Arriving at his office, he politely informed us if we had called ten seconds later he would not have been there. We would have had to telephone the fire department to rescue us.
Mairi blushing furiously apologized again and again to the amused doctor. I on the other hand made a quick retreat to the safety of the street leaving Mairi to face the music on her own.
Once out of the building and removed from the presence of the doctor, we bellowed with laughter all the way home, swearing we would never return….
Chauffeur Driven
In my home political discussion was a part of everyday life. The friendly bantering went on, day after day, month after month, year after year.
It always amused me when I heard my father John trying to convince my mother Mary to vote for his party. Rather than argue over politics a sweet smile would grace her gentle face and her brown eyes would look kindly on him. However, she always kept her own council.
We, as children, were taught the importance of casting our vote. It was stated “If you don’t vote you haven’t the right to complain.” If there wasn’t anyone worthy of your vote, well then, you went to the polling booth and spoiled your ballet. But you exercised your right. It was a sacred trust.
I remember one voting day in particular. My father knew my mother intended to vote for his competition. A politician my father did not like. Trying to prevent this from happening he decided to vote on his way to work leaving mom at home to make her own way to the polls.
Mary was a proficient, pro-active woman. One must remember at that time women were expected to stay home and bring up their children. A woman was expected to agree with her husband on most if not all matters. And what did women know about politics anyway?
Fortunately my father was a modern, intelligent, man who accepted my mother’s ability to think for herself. When Mary realized she would have a problem getting to the polls she telephoned me at the office. Her request was that I come home immediately after the office closed and accompany her to the polling station. It wasn’t a problem for me. During the week I left my car parked in our driveway and took public transit to work. I had intended to go home and pick up my car first anyway.
After supper mother suggested we telephone the political party of our choice and ask to have a car pick us up. An official car would save us looking for parking space and perhaps a little walk. Having done so, the car arrived. A very pleasant gentleman stood at the door patiently waiting.
I helped mom down the stairs and into the parked car. It took considerable time before we were safely and comfortably settled into the back seat.
The driver started the car, pulled the wheel hard making a U turn and pulled to the curb at the corner two doors down. Disembarking, he opened the back door, stood back and smiled politely. We were in front of our neighbours home; A 100 feet away from our very own door. Stuttering and stumbling I asked;
‘”Is this where we are to vote?”
He nodded his head politely, looked at me and softly said, “Yes Miss.” We untangled ourselves from the car. Not looking at mom, I took her arm. I choked out a thank you and said;
“Please, don’t wait for us, we will find our own way home.”
To my great embarrassment, there he was, standing at the door awaiting us as we left the building. Rather than prolong the embarrassment of refusing his insistent offer of a drive we struggled into the back seat.
A moment later, red faced and straining to hold back hysterics, we disembarked and graciously thanked our chauffeur. Staring straight ahead we made for the front door. Closing it firmly behind us we collapsed into chairs amid an explosion of laughter.

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