I describe a lot of the women in my life as indomitable. I think that is sometimes a thing that is put upon people - because they are mistreated, because sexism and misogyny exists - but I'm willing to recognize superpowers where they exist.
My mother is one of those indomitable ones.
Now, one day, she is going to have an electronic device she actually checks; and that means that one day she will stumble across this blog and read it without me there to wave my hands and laugh awkwardly, so...
I can't imagine how hard it must be to be her on a daily basis.
I am ill. Like, properly ill. But she has a combination of health conditions that make me look positively healthy.
Despite that, she goes about her day like some kind of titan of industry. She is on point and on task, and knows how to get from A to B. I like to think that a certain amount of my appreciation for organisation and planning came from her guidance. No faffing about, no leaving stuff drifting in the wind. Contingencies and consideration.
She has a storehouse of patience that is truly impressive to behold - for those deserving of it. When some people say they "don't suffer fools" they often mean they don't suffer anyone. She and I may sometimes disagree on how much sympathy a specific individual deserves but she has time for almost everyone.
I was a weird kid. I was into a lot of stuff that must have driven her to absolute despair and distraction - why science fiction? Why fantasy? Why so fascinated with machines and guff? But she always tried to be interested. She always paid attention to things I liked, tried to keep up with trends, tried to remember which band I was fascinated with at any given time. She even liked some of them, which changed quite rapidly when I discovered Snoop Doggy Dogg and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.
I know I can't have been the easiest son to love. To want kids so much, and a bunch of them too - and to wind up with an only son, loaded down with medical and physical problems. Who will argue with her about the DUMBEST shit, and has made even dumber decisions in his life, some of which still bite him in the ass to this day.
Despite all that she loves me without question, and will never hesitate to help me.
Like I mean, never hesitate. Like sometimes it is a problem. Like sometimes I kind of just want to be left alone but there she be.
Anyway all of this is just leading up to an excuse to tell you about a story she told me once that she might not appreciate me repeating, but how often am I going to have this chance?
Once upon a time, seriously good bands would come tour the Isle of Wight club circuit. One of those bands was Free.
Paul Rodgers, there? Frontman? Also frontman for Bad Company. This Bad Company.
Yeah. So my mum is front row with a bunch of friends, and at one point, Paul Rodgers (who apparently played guitar at gigs with Free, despite only recording guitar with Bad Company, according to the lady herself) spins around - and these are the days before crowd barriers, so she is within literally touching distance. Which also means she is within distance for him to smack her in the side of the head with the neck of his guitar.
ACCIDENTALLY. This isn't a cancelling.
So my mum, suitably poleaxed from being caught in the temple by a guitar, drops like a sack of potatos. And he stoops to help her up, gets her back onto her feet.
"You okay!?" he shouts to her, over the sound of the band continuing to play.
"Yeah!" she says back with a big smile.
"Sorry!" he shouts.
"It's okay!" she shouts back.
"You want to get a drink after the show!?" he shouts to her.
"No thanks!" she shouts back.
And that, dear reader, is how my dad could have been Paul Rodgers but wasn't. A tale in one part.
I love you, mum. Happy Mothering Sunday.
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