The graduation picture of my mother, Betty Cable
My mother was a hell of a woman. She had the gift of gab and bestowed that upon me. My mom would talk to just about anyone, sometimes embarrassing us all. But her outgoing attitude drew people together.
She loved all things that were, as she called it, “culture”. In her life, there was nothing better than fine food, fine wine and the fine arts. She had an unwavering passion for the opera. When we were younger, we would often come back into the house on Saturday mornings to hear the opera of the week blaring on the radio. Us teenagers would roll our eyes and crack jokes about the fat opera singers screaming at the top of their lungs, all while covering our ears. But we all enjoyed the music coming from the CD player in the hospital room, as mom listened to her favorite opera during her last hours.
My proud mother with her 3 kids. Suzanne on the left, David in the middle, and me on the right.
In her younger days, she spent just about every day on the tennis courts. I think she taught me how to swing a racket just about the same time that I learned to walk, and for many many years we would walk down to the local courts and play. I still remember the first time that I legitimately beat her. Was she upset? Nope. She was so proud that her son had excelled at the game and was surpassing her. And she was happy to have me as a doubles partner.
Now, so many years have passed. I haven’t picked up a tennis racket in a long time and she was forced to stop playing due to a bad back. But mom missed her tennis too much and, while wearing her back brace, she took up ping pong. But mom’s passion for fine food, playing bridge and the arts never wavered, Although we enjoyed very different kinds of arts, with mom favoring opera, ballet, and museum visits, and me preferring rock concerts and ice hockey, it was my mom who taught me the passion for music and the arts.
My mother with her 4 grandchildren
My mom was thrifty. Most people who knew her would try to get her to spend her money, but she was the person who insisted on taking the bus when everyone else was hailing a cab. I remember one time when she wanted to take my kids to ice cream in San Francisco, and she pushed for us to get the ice cream cones at Rite Aid because it was a better deal than Ghirardelli Square. The grandkids had another idea. But, at the same time, mom could be unbelievably generous and take the entire family to Club Med or on cruises to Alaska and Mexico. That was her way to get the whole family together and have meals with us each day. Great plan mom!
The whole family (before my sister was married) before a formal dinner on our Alaskan cruise in 2006.
Mom was a latecomer to the Internet and the computer world, but, surprising many of her family and friends, she learned how to use her Mac and loved emailing people. My grandfather used to love mailing us jokes that he typed on his old typewriter, and mom followed her father’s love of joke telling, using email to forward her favorites. She was also one of my most avid readers of my blog and would call me many times to comment on the latest post or ask when the next one would be written.
For as many years as I can remember, mom would always say “There is nothing that makes me happier than having my whole family together”, and as we all watch her slip away from us, we are all here together, together for her.
Mom, we will miss you more than you know. I hope that you have Internet access wherever you are. I look forward to your comments about this entry.
(As a photographer, I sometimes forget the power of the images that I am taking, and the fact that I am capturing history with my cameras. This single image will always remind me of that fact.)
My mother passed away at 6:35am on Sunday morning and we already miss her too much!