An offering of thanks to my mother

Life begets stress.

We all find those things than can quicken the pulse throughout the basic elements of living our lives. Relationships, family, work, war in the Middle East, rising gas and electricity prices ... the very practice of going through life’s peaks and valleys is probably the most stressful thing many of us can do to ourselves.

Darin J. McCannDarin J. McCannThere’s no responsible way to escape these stresses in our lives, and we’re often judged on how we deal with the inevitable troubles in our individual lives. Do we stand up and face our problems head-on, or do we try to brush them off and move forward with where we want to go instead? Do we try to formulate plans to avoid some of the stresses, or do we decide that no matter what comes up, we are going to barrel forth? Or, do we curl up in the fetal position and cry out for our mommies?

There are times when I find myself doing just that, and for that, I thank my own mother this Mother’s Day weekend for allowing me to do that whenever necessary. However, there are other things that make me thankful for Betsey McCann throughout the course of the year.

Thank you for correcting my grammar over the years, even though it often drove me up a wall to never be able to tell you a story without being interrupted 1,500 times. Don’t think I ain’t grateful for you fixing me up so good in grammar.

Thank you for not killing me when I had that party in high school and the police greeted you with a tale of a stolen car and a knocked-down street sign. Also, thank you for grounding me for approximately 13 years to teach me a lesson. Um, lesson learned.

Thank you for not pestering me to talk about things that I really didn’t feel much like talking about — a parent needs to know what their kids are up to, but sometimes kids just like to be left alone as well.

Thank you for the countless rides to various sporting events and practices throughout my life and, even though it sometimes drove me crazy, thank you for being my most vocal supporter during games.

Thank you for turning a blind eye when I would finally lose patience with my annoying little sister and fire her across a room. You saw what was happening and let things work themselves out on their own.

Thank you for not being a “mother” when Dad would tell me I had to stand up to bullies. Yes, I had a few eyes blackened over the years, but I never had the problems with bullies that some kids did.

Thank you for drilling into me the importance of maintaining our Irish ancestry, while also celebrating the fact that this is the greatest nation in the world. It can be a tough thing to balance, but I was always proud to be an Irish kid wrapped in the American flag.

Thank you for being accepting of all my friends — black or white, Catholic or Jewish, etc. Again, you taught me a lot in terms of acceptance.

Thank you for not killing me that first time I raised my voiced to you. Whew, that was a close one, huh?

Thank you for teaching me about ancient Greece and Rome, and opening my eyes to learning about more things.

Thank you for your outstanding cooking skills ... um, well, thank you for taking us to McDonald’s and Roy Rogers so much.

Thank you for teaching me to respect women. I’ve learned alot about both myself and others by listening to what women have to say.

Thank you for also letting me know how special a mother is, and letting me appreciate people like Susan Lyons, M. Patricia Titus, Beth Long, Carolyn Fitz, Jane Johnson, Monica Fleming and Bob Bertram — who technically isn’t a mother, but does often dress and act like one.

Thank you for showing Dad affection all the time, and letting me grow up in a household always filled with love. Also, thank you for kicking his butt when he needed that, too.

Thank you for trying to learn all you could about hockey and baseball so you and I could talk about it some. You’ll never know how much that extra effort counted.

Thank you for the hugs — yesterday and today.

Thank you for reading my paper online every week, and thanks for the positive and negative critiques. However, I don’t thank you for the “anonymous” letter-to-the-editor you wrote taking me to task for one of my columns.

Thank you for being my Mom. I couldn’t ask for a better one.

Oh, and while I’m at it, thank you to Shirley Cobb and Kathy Adkins, as well. Happy Mother’s Day.