Sue Morrow: Memories of a mother who went the extra mile
Mother’s Day will be in two weeks, and I fervently hope those who still have their moms observe that day with special recognition of the women who reared and nurtured them.
I lost my precious mother almost 28 years ago. There isn’t a day I don’t think of her and miss her.
Mom grew up as the daughter of an Army doctor and married a dashing young naval officer.
She was accustomed to the constant moves as an Army brat, so there was no question of adjusting as a Navy wife.
My parents had three children, my big brother, my twin brother and me, who arrived 10 1/2 months later.
Mom hated separations from my dad so her motto was to “follow the ship.” She’d drive with the three of us from coast to coast. In those days there were no freeways, so the trips could last as long as six days.
We kids would sometimes get bored with the monotony of the long drives, and that would inspire us to fight. One time in an East Coast community we were fighting so hard that my mother inadvertently ran a stop sign. When a policeman stopped her, she was in tears and explained what had caused her distraction. When the officer looked inside the car and saw the three of us still going at it, he shook his head in sympathy and didn’t issue a ticket.
I remember when our planned trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to follow the ship for a two-year tour of duty was abruptly cancelled when Dad’s ship was reassigned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with no housing for families. We had given up our rented home, our car was on my dad’s ship, and our warm clothing had been put in storage in favor of new tropical whites. It was winter. Mom, with her trademark adaptability, got us on a train to El Paso, Texas, where her parents lived.
During World War II when my dad was commanding an attack transport in the Pacific, I once got teary-eyed with fear he wouldn’t make it back. “Don’t you even think that,” Mom admonished, her voice rising with anger. “He’s going to come back.”
And he did.
How I wish I could be sending her a Mother’s Day card.
• Sue Morrow is a longtime journalist and a member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame. She may be reached at soozy