Excuse me are you listening? 7-8
Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Readers,

     This past week, I had a surprise visit from my mother who lives in Georgia.  Surprise wasn't the half of it.  On a Saturday night at 11:59 p.m., she contacted me to let me know that she would be flying into Grand Rapids at 12:00 p.m.  Grand Rapids?  Did she know how much gas was?
     Well lucky for her that the Nu Poet Collective was performing in Muskegon, which is about an hour away from the Gerald Ford airport.
  Sitting in Club Unique, which was crowded with amateur poets, I was trying to process the fact that my mother was coming to visit.  It was a bit… overwhelming.
      I wondered, “Did I dust last week?”  Someone at the club asked me a question and I could hardly answer as the fear washed over me.  My inquiry to myself was, “Are the bathrooms clean enough???”
      The next morning, with three poets packed into my truck after another successful performance, we headed towards Grand Rapids.  My level of anxiety was high.  Usually when my mother comes, we're busy from sunrise to sunset.  It's an interesting place to be when you realize that you are an adult “Mommy” yourself and your “Mommy” is coming for a visit.   She's basically the only one who can tell you what to do in front of your own children.
     When we picked her up from the airport, I was so happy to see her.  Really, I was beyond the “happy” threshold.  I was at the ecstatic point of the journey.  The poets were in the back seat tired from our last performance. I was happy that they were there too, since they are my second family.
     I was actually happy that she called the night before instead of the day of.  I'd  have been making my way back to Lansing, which was on the other side of Grand Rapids (45 minutes).  That would have made it a long trip.
     Everyone was surprised to see her, including my husband, who is hardly ever surprised.  My children were especially surprised.  Gianni, my oldest, lived with her for a while in Georgia years ago and he was dumbfounded when the door swung open.  My youngest boy, Amir, seemed unfazed by her appearance.  He looked her over, blinked his eyes and went back to playing.
     During the week, my mother drove me crazy.  I worked on home projects, reupholstering chairs, assisting in making curtains and as usual the cleaning out of the cabinets.  My mother told me what I wasn't doing, what I needed to do better and her idea of what I should do to get there.
     We should be so blessed that we have relatives that come and visit.  We should cherish every moment that we have with our loved ones.  It's only a matter of time and then you will wish that on the last visit you paid more attention or said thank you more. When my Mommy left, I realized that there are some things that should be overlooked and loving those who are in your life is the most important thing.
     My youngest who I thought was unfazed by Grammy's impromptu appearance quizzically looked around the day after she left and asked, “Mommy, where's Grammy?”
      I told him that she went home.  He responded, “Can we go visit her?  I thought she was staying here.”
       I chuckled at the thought of Grammy staying.  I'd be working when I was asleep.  I loved my reciprocal surprise Mother's Day gift and I'd do anything to make sure that regardless she will be taken care of as she did me.
      God has a way of working things out for the better.  My Mother's Day gift came real early.  I got to see my own mother in all of her gloriousness.  What would I ever do without her?


Rina Risper


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