This David Farrell story, titled “That ‘Other Woman’ in My Life,” does not, however, conclude with the death of the mother; instead, that one dinner works to form the basis of ongoing interaction between them which itself works to further enrich the writer’s life. Somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, “normal” is history.
Here is how it ended in Reader’s Digest, picking up from the point in the story where the son tells his wife he’d enjoyed his evening with his mother more than he’d thought he would (which occurs just before the “died of a massive heart attack” section in the online version): Mom and I go out for dinner a couple of times a month. I tell her about my trials at work and brag about the kids and Peggy. Because of health problems, my mother worries about the days ahead. “I need to be there while my grandchildren grow up. In 2006 someone thought to reposition the Internet-circulated piece’s message about the importance of doing good things before it’s too late into an “in praise of mothers” offering by appending this coda: Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby . Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct .
The scenario is all too familiar: You’ve been in a stagnant relationship with a man you someday hope to marry, and then suddenly things come to an end.
The next thing you know, he’s married to someone else.
Mom fills me in on family gossip and tells me about her past. I don’t want to miss any of it.” Like many baby boomers, I tend to fill my calendar to the brim as I struggle to fit family, career and friendships into my life. Spending time with my mom has taught me the importance of slowing down.
Now I know what it was like for her to work in a factory during World I know how she met my father there, and how they nutured a trolley-car courtship through those difficult times.
The narrative drives home its message by having the mother die shortly after her evening with her son, thereby underscoring the lesson that “someday” doesn’t always the people we always promised ourselves we’d find time to be nice to don’t always live long enough to see it.
An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. Somebody never organized 7 giggling Brownies to sell cookies. Somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son- or daughter-in-law to a mother’s heartstrings.
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While the item is lacking in checkable details (no names, dates, or locations are given) and is therefore not subject to being vetted or disproved, it is clear that whatever its veracity may be, there is something in the tale itself that resonates with people. Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver’s permit. Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor’s kitchen window.
The moral of the story about a final dinner shared by mother and son is that praiseworthy tasks should be performed in the here and now rather than put off for some later date. Somebody said good mothers never raise their voices . Somebody said you don’t need an education to be a mother .