The Moth Radio Hour: Parental Guidance


Here x this is the moth radio hour. I'm Jay Allison producer of this radio. Show today. We'll hear about lessons Our parents teach us whether they mean to or not our first storyteller is bridget Davis. She told her story at the Ford Community and performing forming Arts Center in Detroit Michigan where the moth was presented by Michigan Radio. Yours Bruce Davis live at the moment. I was in my first grade class one day and I had just shown my teacher Miss Miller and assignment we had to colored the paper pedals cut them out and paste them onto a picture of a flower. And as I'm returning to my seat Miss Miller stops me and she says you sure do have a lot of shoes the week before she had asked me what my father did did for a living and I said he doesn't work and she said well what does your mother do and I froze. I knew I could not tell her that. My mom was in the numbers which was a lot like today's lottery. Except that it was underground underground and it really existed for decades before the state basically took it over. My mom was a numbers runner. That means that every day except Sunday she would take people's beds on three digit numbers collect their money when they didn't win. Pay Out their winnings when they did in profit from the difference and the thing says the numbers was wildly popular it generated millions of dollars in every major city in the country. And so so you can imagine that. A lot of that money circulated through the black community and those dollars turned over many many times. I mean numbers. Money helped provide services that black folks desperately needed. It really helped with launching. Small Businesses and Providing College College Scholarships and it help folks get home loans and even helped a fledgling in double. ACP stay afloat for years. My mom was high ranking. She wasn't just a numbers runner. She was a banker and that means that she didn't just have her own customers but other bookies turn their business into her and she was the only the only woman in Detroit operating at that level for a long time. That's how she was able to give us a solid Follett middle-class life solid middle class life. And so you can imagine that I was really really really proud proud of my mom. I just thought this is really incredible that she's able to give us this kind of middle class life but what I loved. Most of all it was I can do it now. I can conjure the sound of her voice on the phone taking her customers beds she would say okay Miss Queenie. I'm ready to take your numbers. Six nine to stray for fifty cents seventy eighty bucks four dollar Dr and folks had these really creative ways of coming up with numbers to play. They had all kinds of ways they would think about what three ditches ages they wanted to play. They could play their birth dates or their anniversaries or their addresses or their license plates. Some some people even like to play their favorite Bible. Verse Anfernee for me to just hear my mom reciting those numbers. Every morning. It was like a daytime lullaby because because it meant that everything was right in the world you know because my mom was handling her business on on the other hand. It is true that it was a livelihood based on a daily win or lose gamble so yes I also remember number how we would all gather around and wait for that phone call. Every evening there would announce the days winning numbers they were based on race. Track results was like this tense. Silence moved through our home. Like a like nervous prayer and will we actually heard the winning numbers we took our cues from mama either. She looked relieved or she looked worried. Either she'd been lucky that day or one of her customers had been and it wasn't that she ever ver- resented her customers winning. She would always say folks play numbers to hit so you cannot be mad when they do I. It was so proud of my mom. I knew she was not like any of my friends. Mothers I knew she was running things and one day I Decided I was going to organize all of her numbers running materials and so I went through the house gathering gathering everything into this shallow cardboard box. Her spiral notebooks and her white scratch pads in her black binders minders and her red ink pens. And then I very carefully painted on the side of the box Mama's numbers this and I used Bright Pink Nail Polish. I was so impressed with myself because I remembered numbered the possessive S. So I proudly show this to my mom and she takes one on look and says you cannot put my business out in the street like that and that's when it hit me that I had to keep my admiration for my mom mom private and it's not that she was ever apologetic or embarrassed about what she did. There was no shame attached attached to it. My mom made it very clear that the numbers was a legitimate business. That just happened to be the legal. And she had all of these ways to help. To mitigate the risk of exposure. My mom basically lived a low key lifestyle. She never flaunted her wealth yes she always wiz drove a new car but it was a Buick Riviera and not a cadillac. And we lived in a lovely the home on a tree lined street but we did not live in one of the big houses in an exclusive enclave in Detroit and uh we were well dressed. My mom was the best dressed of all but her style was understated. You know she was classic Unclassy. No one would have ever described my mother. s flashy my mom's edict words. Keep your head up and your mouth shut. Be Proud but be private. And that's why when my first grade teacher asked me what my mom did for a living. I knew I could not tell her the truth. I knew I could not reveal the family business. We all knew to keep that secret. The only problem was I hadn't been told what I should say. So I said in this Miller. I'm not sure when my mom does and after Miss Miller said to me you sure do have a lot of shoes. She said to me before you sit down. I want you to name every pair of shoes as you have go ahead. I was so nervous because it felt like a test and so I didn't want to get it wrong. I I went to this mental inventory of all the shoes that lined my closet. Shell and I started naming them. The black can wipe polka dotted with the Bowtie. The buckled Ruby red ones the salmon pink lace ups and I managed to get through ten ten pairs of shoes and Miss Miller said to me. Ten pairs is an awful lot and and I could hear something Something bad in her voice she ordered me to take my seat and then the next day in Class Miss Miller called me back to her desk and she said you did not tell me you had white shoes. I looked at my feet and I felt like I had been caught in a lie. I I knew I had disappointed my teacher and the rest of the day. I was so worried that I was in trouble and so that evening after my mother was finished taking her customers beds and before the days winning numbers came out during that brief expectant pause in the day when she was leased distracted and still still in a good mood. I told her what happened at school. I confessed that I forgot to tell Miss Miller about the eleventh pair of shoes I never seen. My mother gets so angry. She was furious and and I thought I about to get a spanking but in fact my mom said to me that is none of her damn. AM business who does she think she is. And then my mom's stood up and said get your coat and I thought Oh my God we are going back to school and she's going to confront Miss Miller but in in fact. My mom took me to saks. Fifth Avenue where we made our way to the children's shoe department. She pointed to the most beautiful pair of yellow patent leather shoes. And she said those are pretty. I'm I'm telling you I still can remember when my mother pulled out a one hundred dollars bill and paid for those. Oh shoot. The saleswoman looked at her the way. Miss Miller had looked at me on the way home. My Mom said you're going to wear these the school tomorrow and you better tell that damn. Am Teacher of yours that you actually have a dozen pair of shoes. You hear me the next day. I wore my new shoes shoes with a matching yellow knit dress and in class. I was so nervous but I did is I was told. I walked up to my teacher's Teacher's desk and I said Miss Miller. I have twelve pairs of shoes. She looked down at my feet and then she leveled her blue eyes in my face and she said sit down. Miss Miss Miller never said another word to me Cindy me to school that day in those decidedly unsubtle. Bright yellow shoes. My mom really did risk raising Miss Miller suspicions But she did it to make a point and it was one that I understood and heard loud and clear. No one can tell me ever what I'm entitled to. My mom used material things as armor against a world designed to convince US black working class children and migrants they. We didn't deserve a good life. And her mission was to make sure we knew otherwise. So yes twelve pairs of shoes for a six zero girl. Who's going to outgrow them in? A few months might seem excessive but for my mom it was an investment limit in how I walked into the future with my head up but I did continue to keep my mouth shut for decades. I never told anyone what my mother did for a living. Not even after Michigan's Daily Lottery became legal and not even even after my mother died which means I never got to tell anyone how proud I was of her until now was bridget Davis every day. Bridget plays the New York lottery game. Which is actually called numbers at a Bodega nearer? We're home. She plays six seven five her home address which according to her favourite dream book also plays for her mom's name Fanny since publishing her memoir on this subject project has received dozens of emails from people of all backgrounds. Greek Jewish Irish Italian Polish Lebanese Panamanian Ukrainian and more revealing how their family members once played or operated the numbers. Nearly all all were sharing their stories for the first time to see photos of bridget and her mom along along with a picture of her mother taking customers number over the phone visit the mosque dot org and coming up the surprising lessons of a nine alarm fire when the moth radio hour continues The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic public media in Woods Hole Massachusetts associates and presented by the Public Radio Exchange P R X dot. Org Gleam is a new kind of electric toothbrush with a sleek bleak minimal aesthetic and cordless operation gleam is designed to be functional beautiful and accessibly priced. It uses sonic technology to produce just just right bristle vibrations for gentle effective clean gleam retails at just twenty five dollars in every order from gleam dot com ships free to learn earn more headed gleam dot com slash moth. That's G. L. E. M. dot com slash M. O. T. H.. This is the moth radio hour from Pierre Rex. I'm Jay Allison. Our next story in this hour about parental lessons comes from. I'm Elliott a couple of minutes into her story. La Talks about a coat her father designed for her when she was a kid and she holds it up for the audience to see. We don't want did you to feel left out so if you WANNA see a picture of the code. It's on our website though more dot Org. Here's Ellie League live at the mall. The so there's a kind of wisdom that fathers have and then there's the kind of wasn't that my father has has for example when he does things he thinks he's totally brilliant and I just think he's crazy for example. I immigrated from Hong Kong. He thought it'd be a good the idea for all of us to have American names. which would you know make sense because it would make the transition a lot easier and so my dad chose the American name Ming even though so it's like not even his Chinese name? It's just like another Chinese name. It's like dynasty. You know so so. When we came over her to this country we really had nothing? We were penniless so in order to save money my thought was a really smart idea to make and design my first I winter coat. I was three years old and to this day. He thinks it's like the best design. There you go in mid seriously. He thinks it's like Oh. This is great. We should market this thirties. That's the wisdom that my father has one more example of his wisdom on one day he came home and there was a sale and belts and use like bottom mant monogram belt and he was so excited. He's like look at this. They had the big shiny letter A.. On it even though our family name is Leigh Anne is like Dad. Why did you get a letter during bill? That doesn't make any sense. He's like Oh. I got a because as ace which is either like you have to understand something about Chinese people. Chinese people are obsessed about about being number one. Like you know like I have a belt now that says so. I'm number one ace and and something like if you never noticed in chinatowns across the country three like Chinese business people like they always have to find the best number one name for their business in order to bring in all the money in the good fortune which is why everything's like an imperial dynasty. The lucky dragon number one kitchen like that's the home at that is my dad. That's his mentality. So so the first few years of being in this country country just had no time off and worked like crazy and managed to save a little money to start his own business. It was a very modest grocery store in Boston's Chinatown and of course he called men's market but in Chinese the name of it was paying Gashi which literally means cheap price market and it was. Is that even as a little kid. Like I didn't understand like literally told me one day that he would like markup something by five cents markup another thing by ten cents and I was like hardly ever GonNa make money like this business. Business Model is insane. It was the wisdom of that you know but but strangely enough like almost immediately developed a really loyal following in Boston's Chinatown. Because for the first time I think working families in working poor families actually had a place where they could buy affordable healthy good groceries and eat. Well which is no no small thing when you're poor so my dad. After about ten years of having this grocery store he built it up to be a very successful business and by nineteen thousand nine. He had moved moved into a an enormous space. It became New England's largest Asian market and At the same time that year. I mean you know I was snotty teenager. I still thought while you're crazy successful visit mad but you're nuts you know of crazy ideas and you know at the same time there is a he's been renting a first floor in this vacant building. That'd been vacant for like twenty. No thirty years and the landlord was trying to renovate the other floors to try to Rented out as retail space. But he was doing everything on the cheap so instead of hiring hiring contractor. He was like welding and renovating on his own without pulling permits so one day as you can probably expect something out of hand and this big fire broke out as he was welding holding but it was okay you know they got all the they evacuated the building about one hundred and fifty people and the fire trucks arrived immediately and everything was fine until the fire department hooked up their hoses to the hydrant and there was no water to fight the fire. And they're like Oh that's weird you know so. They went down a couple of blocks and try the next hydrant and it was totally early dry. What had happened? Was that the city of Boston. A few months prior they were doing road construction and generally when you drill drill deep they turn off the water utter pressure in case they hit a water main and when they sealed up the road they forgot to turn the pressure backup so the firefighters had no tools to fight the fire and it was just disaster. I mean it was just like an hour later. The buildings still on fire. And there's no water. They're trying to jerry rig something from a nearby hydrant like you know like ten blocks away and if things I couldn't get worse. The fire jumped in alley and the building next door caught on fire on the top floor was ten thousand square feet of illegally stashed fireworks so oh so. Firefighters couldn't scale ladders. There's like a me. It was a surreal moment. Things are exploding in celebration. You know normally you'd have fireworks as my dad's stood there completely helpless watching his life's work. Just be destroyed in a moment through no fault of his own so I got a call. I was a sophomore at the time in college. I went out to the store the next day when It was you know kind of dislike. Smoldering it was an on fire anymore and as I made my approach to the store I remember seeing three elderly only women across the street and they were crying and so I went up to them and I said you know is everything okay. Why are you crying lady looked at me and then she looked at my dad's store for burnt down store and pointed and teary-eyed said you know where are we going to go now that we don't have a home and that was kind of like a turning point for for me I? I hadn't really thought about my dad's store in that way like you know. I just thought it was something he was doing to provide for the family and But in fact he was kind of providing for a greater community. Like you know these elderly women. They didn't have a community center to go. They didn't have a public park in Chinatown and this was the only place where they would actually run into their friends guns and they spent a lot of time there in a in a way it was like a second home and I guess it is true. It sounds Corny but like you only really do realize what you have when you lose it and so in the months that followed I kept begging my dad for more stories and a one time. He told me a story. About how a little boy I asked him if people what he did with people who shoplifters you know because I was really curious and he said you know one day I caught a kid ca- shoplifting. He was only ten and I didn't know who I was. I was Kinda following him around. He was just like taking stuff like stuffing his bag putting it in his pockets and and one one moment like he actually took a break from stealing and sat down a certain eating the food he had stolen my. Here's this right in the middle of a an aisle. My Dad came up to him. He didn't know who the WHO he was he said. Hey little boy. Have you had enough to eat. And a little boy rubbed his Belize. Please like almost in. Oh my dad's okay. So where are your parents. He's like well they're at work like. Oh why aren't you at home. It's like because there's is no food at home and my dad said well you know when you take stuff especially if it's at a store and you don't pay for it's actually stealing and the little boy starts getting really nervous. Like Oh my God. All this guy's GonNa get me in trouble you know. He's kind of angling away to get out and my dad's like you know so in the future if you don't have anything to eat at home which you just please just come and find me me and asked me for whatever you need if you ask. I'll give you whatever you want. Just don't steal because stealing is wrong and in the months that followed. I think my dad really looked forward forward to seeing the little boy and and it was these stories. I was craving and I was asking my dad because in some way I think I was trying to recreate something that I'd lost or had kind of taken for granted granted so whenever we went to Chinatown remember lots of people would come up to us and say please. We need a store like this again. When you're going to open up your store and it was hard because my dad ad was basically penniless like the fire had caused about twenty million dollars worth of damage and he barely had enough insurance to cover it? I mean it was like not just inventory but like the bean sprout machine like the machine that he leads to wash and dry beans. I mean stuff like that and so you really had no money. But he had this idea that maybe he could pull together a little money. He did have with a lot of the original employees people. For whom there they were immigrants and they got their first jobs through my dad at the store and been working there since the seventies so they pulled together it was a big risk. The only location that could find was just on the outskirts of Chinatown. which in the early nineties during the last recession it was a no-man's-land it's like this area really like it so unsafe and the only reason you would ever go there to like get a prostitute or drugs you know? It's like it was so unsafe and at the time I remember in college thinking like what's the wisdom of that like. Why are you going there so unsafe? No one's going to go. It's just going to. You're going to lose your life savings but he did it anyways because he's crazy you know and he and almost kind of overnight the place was revitalized you know. They're really loyal. People that families from the suburbs came and gave patronage to my dad. You know people walk from Chinatown and soon thereafter more and more businesses are popping up and then there was more and more foot traffic and then and then families started moving back into the neighborhood and it was amazing thing like he kind of helped revitalize this neighborhood neighborhood to the point that then fifteen years later it became one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Boston. Which is why my dad got an addiction notice from the owner because he wanted to kick my dad out and knocked down the whole block and build luxury condos? This was a few years ago. So I remember my dad at the time of seventy and I said What do you do? You have like ninety employees. And like they're all in their forties and fifties. You know they don't speak English the kind of very hard to employ. What's going to happen open to them and I remember remember at the time? Dad said you know You know I'm seven years old. I'm too old for this too old to fight and I understand what my dad says that right but at the time. I decided that I wasn't too old to fight. So I organize the community and sorry I organize the community. The and led this grass roots movement to Fight City Hall and fight one of the largest developers in all of Boston to try to hold at our first public. Hearing was really amazing turnout. We got enough press that even the mayor changed his tune in. Start supporting where we were coming. I'm from it was an incredible thing so after the first initial hearing I remember going to the store afterwards and immediately when I walked in there was these two older women who were who were my dad's employees and the camera they rush right up to me and I said thank you so much for what you did last night. You know. We normally don't think that we have a voice and we normally don't think we can advocate for ourselves and that kind of way. So thank you for for doing what you did. And when I look and look when I looked into their eyes I think I felt like the same feeling that my dad felt when he saw the boy that once shoplifted or saw the old woman outside the store weeping and when I looked into their eyes I saw so much compassion and humility. The End Grace is at that moment that I understood the wisdom that my father had given me l. e. Lee is an award winning director writer and producer at fiction animated and documentary films. She is a five time National Emmy Award nominee currently. She's writing screenplays. One of which is loosely based on her family stories in Boston's Chinatown in the nineteen eighties. The fire in her dad's store. It was a nine alarm fire. One of the biggest in Boston's Eli's parents immigrated the Boston from from Hong Kong when she was a baby per father picked Boston because he wanted his kids to get a good education and the only schools he'd ever heard of were Harvard. Mit La is a graduate of Harvard. University coming up a rebellious teenager and the bipolar mother when the moth radio hour continues The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic public media in woods hole whole Massachusetts and presented by the Public Radio Exchange. Pr X DOT ORG. The holidays are upon us and for some that means lots of uncomfortable comfortable situations your steering clear of political discussions and Sharon Burns the PS. And your partner takes the last piece of your favorite Pie. But you know it is comfortable. Albert's all birds are sleek and minimalist shoes that are always a perfect fit. I have the tree breezy flats in black and they're so comfortable. They're like secret slippers. That look like dress shoes. You can wear them with any outfit to any holiday occasion. They're really like a second skin. All birds of the perfect gift to make the holidays a little less uncomfortable for everyone on your list. Give the gift of comfort this holiday season or get a pair for yourself at all. BIRDS DOT COM. You're listening to the moth radio hour from PR ex. I'm Jay Allison producer of this show next up Jason Schommer. Who told Oh this story about his mother's wisdom in the twin cities at a moth Grand Slam? The theme of the night was growing pains. Here's Jason Live live at the mall growing up. We never never fought but the few times we did it was off the charts. I was furious. I grabbed grab a handful of money. I stomped out of the House and I walked all the way to Palmyra. Once I got in that store I headed right to health and beauty and I snatched home perm tip right off the shelf. I was GONNA turn my hair for my senior photos that no one was gonNA stop me. Not even my mom who said it was terrible idea. Never growing up in a small town I was different. I stuck out like a sore thumb back in the fourth grade. My parents moved from Minneapolis. To little falls MINNESOTA. A small conservative rural farming community in my life was basically footloose. Only we could dance in. I didn't look like Kevin Bacon get I just did not fit in with my peers and and my classmates everyday walking through the halls of school. I was lost in a sea of mullets and wrangler jeans. Two different worlds colliding colliding. They like to smoke in Woodshop class. I liked theater arts. They head banged to ACDC. I voted vocal to Madonna. They wore cowboy boots. I had penny loafers. How wow so as I left I called my friend Heidi from the payphone on the street corner and I told her I'm coming over and I hung up doc now? Heidi was the queen of bad decisions. Heidi love to skip school and she even failed gym class. She was also dating a boy from Juby. Heidi opened her door before I could even knock she. She knew something big was about to happen. It's she wanted it through that herm box on the table. She grabbed a towel. How will we were doing it so we did the Perm and let me tell you this? It took hours. It was a nightmare mayor. I almost lost an eye. Chemical was everywhere. My Scalp was burning. We lost a couple of chunks of hair. But I knew it'd be worth it because I figured I am changing my density. I'M GONNA be a new person when I go to school often. Kids are GONNA stare as I walk in slow motion and they're going to be thinking. Wow who's that new cool kid it. How can I be friends with him family? It was just me getting high from the fumes from the per so the next day my mom and I drove over to the portrait studio so I can have my singer photos. Taken the silence in that car deafening as my mom was mute with seething rage age and I was muggy with victory prior to perm. My hair was long and straight in Brown. I had an asymmetrical haircut which one end is a lot longer than the other end. The flipped over to the left it was berry flock of seagulls nineteen eighty so once I turned it the length of my hair caused these giant ringlets that bounce like crazy. Every every time I took a step or snapped my my hair had so much drama beyond say would be jealous so once. We're in the Parker Studio. I took a can of Mousse flip off. The cap made the giant mound a foam work it into my hair and it was frozen in time a few minutes later it was frozen in the turn. Eighty as the a flash bulb by senior photo was taken. My mom hung the photo up in our living room and displayed it prominently. She never missed an opportunity to tell anyone who came over to the house. Oh have you seen Jason Senior photo. Why yes it is a a perm? It is yeah. I told him not to but no one listens to mom right Jason which I always find with okay. Okay Hey listen. It was popular at the time but the sad reality was the perm was never popular in. I was never popular a one day. I finally admitted to my mom. I get it mom. It was a mistake. Can we just take the photo down. And she looked at me and she said Oh honey we we all make mistakes. That's how we figure out who we are in life. Unfortunately though sometimes mistakes live frame. I'm the living room wall forever. That was Jason Shown. Jason is a stand up comedian storyteller. He spent two years as the opening. ACT FOR COMEDY ICON. Louis Anderson. Jason says fourteen years ago his mom unfortunately lost her battle with cancer but she would have been proud to see how things turned out. God and would've loved this story. Everyone always asks like where. Where's the picture of the Perm now like? Did you put it back up in. I can honestly say yes. The picture of me and the Perm is back on the wall. Where my mom would want it to be to see photos of Jason his mom? And of course that Perm photo visit visit our website. The DOT ORG Our final story story and parental lesson in this hour is from Louise Newton. He'll Louise told this story at an open mic story slam competition in Melbourne Australia. Where we partner with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation? ABC Here's Louise Okay. So when I was younger whenever my mother would say the words to me I love you I I would die a little bit inside. Not because she didn't love me and not because I didn't love her because she did and I do but because that meant she was starting on another many beside you say. My mother struggled all her life with bipolar disorder that was diagnosed housed and untreated until she was in a fifties and it might be interesting upbringing. Some of it was a lot of fun. We had some wacky times like she dragged us out of bed to morning to worship the moon and when she now has she did it but she got a hall stash of fireworks and we had learned fireworks fireworks night in the backyard and knives didn't like it but we loved it but for the most part growing with a parent with a mental illness was really really tough and challenging. Particularly after my dad left he had his own set of circumstances and he left when I was ten particularly after that it was just awesome her and it was a really steep learning curve. We learned more from mom than we did. Twenty years of schooling. We learnt that every year saw this sweet Jane to kind beautiful woman would have what was termed then in his a nervous breakdown and would transfer for transforming to someone. We didn't know it was a bit Dr. JEKYLL and Mr Hyde on was with mom and what we could not bag mom. We learned that it was possible to have not back numb. Scream and abusing your feis steal from whatever may get a little bit you went from your from your pipe around or whatever jobs we got from the neighbors and coal you teaches to tell them what a terrible horrible human being. You're she even called grandma. Union lectures want. I don't know how she got. He's time number but she'd it. It was possible for her to do that. And for that to be a kind for us to get past it and to forgive. We lent compassion because for as much as we he suffered and we did. It was obvious even from that young age that there was nobody who is struggling more than mum that they that she she and she alone both of these and she would have done anything to read of self of what she saw as occurs. We learned that the medical system. Tom Files people with mental health issues. It did then it does now. Nothing's changed and we learnt took a lie on each other. We knew I'm very young. I at the annual we were going to get through. These was if we valley together. My brother monster assist. There's an eye and protect ourselves and Emma so my brother when he was in year seven took over all of the finances that included included dumb talking to bank managers about the ditz. Mum's mum racked up organizing how to pay bills organizing a budget for the weekly shopping and my sister Mary at about the Siamese started taking Annetta Jape and going down to the supermarket and buying things so we had food so that mom couldn't spend it at all or nothing. My job was to make sure my two youngest sisters did the homework so the school wouldn't come knocking on doors. Say What was wrong. We like to look after to reach other took it in turns to look after mum to bear the brunt of the righteous to make sure she was okay to just bay for her when the inevitable collapse is carry but we also learned to be vigilant because even in a stable towns where a lot of very good stable times. We will always on the lookout for the next time the next episode and unfortunately one of the main point is for that was I love you. You lost track of the amount of times that had conversations with my siblings would go something like. Hey Mom loves me again and I want to be a aw crap here we go and it didn't just stop there. I love US got more and more extreme the further she elevated often coming at the end of some hideous insult. Your horrible person and I wish you'd never been but I love you as if that might but it didn't take time to those three beautiful words for me And and it made it almost impossible for me to be able to say them back and I don't know what it was but it stuck lock block in my chest and I'd find on myself that thanks for that. That's good cool right gay good on Ya. But I wasn't able to say it was hard onto a coffee guy. My mom had what we thought was the mother of all episodes but it actually turned out to be an even worse condition. She had developed a condition code Lewy Body Syndrome which is a form of dementia. That is rapid and unrelenting and has destroyed her body the and her mind and equal pass. She now he's in a really lovely K.. Facility and she cannot walk Feta's off Oklahoma Self and she could barely talk and I see her every Sunday and hold a hand sit with her and sometimes sometimes I talk but some muscle yes and sometimes we listen to music but must have time to sit in silence and it's very healing and it's very peaceful and Nice. She likes me there but the license still haven't stopped because my mother says two things to me and she said only two things to me for the last year the first one one is when I get there and she says it's you ingrate supplies and she signed pleased me and we sit together and then went on leaving. She holds my hand and she smiles and she says I love you and and somehow it's act doesn't hurt me anymore it doesn't make me cringe. It actually feels a lot. It feels perfect. It feels beautiful so I guess the lesson I've learnt perhaps the last listen overland from my mother each had a he those words I love you and had aside them back. I love you mom see you soon. That was Louise's Newton Keough Louise's a freelance writer and the university administrator from Melbourne Australia. When she's not working? Louise spends her time writing reading baking celebration cakes or walking the beautiful tree lined streets pizza. Ver- neighborhood she says her driving passion is family and she's the proud mother of four mostly adult children and a spoonful called atticus. Louise has always been the teller of her family stories. A role she cherishes mom died early. In the year of twenty-eight team it was a gentle death she slipped away in his sleep without pinal struggle. My loss visit to her was on you you save. I held her hand played music to her and read to her a chapter. Her favorite book is women by that stage died. She had virtually lost the power of speech but she did smile often and as I lift she looked into my eyes and we split. I love you one last time. It has been nearly two years now since mom passed away and I still miss having your in my life but I like to think of hers very now for the mental illness that she fought bravely for so long and the dementia that cooled her final few views and that someway somehow. She's smiling at having his story told and I will be forever grateful that the last words she heard me say well. I love you to To See photos of Louise and her mother you can visit our website. More DOT Org. Do you have a story to tell us. We welcome your pitches. You could record them right on our site. That's the moth dot org or call eight seven seven seven seven nine nine moth. That's eight seven seven seven nine nine. Six six eight four. We listened to all of them. The best ones are developed Philip from all shows all around the world. My story is about my ill-fated attempt to help luke get over his fear of being being by a baseball and it involves me taking him up to the coin-operated batting cages in San Rafael. And versing him to watch me. We get voluntarily struck by pitch just so that he could see that it wasn't that big of a deal except of course that it it kind of was. It's a big deal I I don't think either of us will ever forget the sound that ball made as it ricocheted off my elbow and I know I'll never forget get the pain that was so exquisite and I'll never forget the fact that my son saw me cry for the very first time not my best day even worse. That little incident did not help. Luke get over spirit. Getting being evacuated accomplished anything that we're both now terrified that engages gauges he's fifteen now and he's re of the tyranny of organized sports but I hope that he knows the Dad who while often this guy did in is it tends to buy. Solutions is still very eager to help his son remember. You can pitches pitches at eight seven seven seven nine nine moth or online at the mall or you could share these stories or any others from the moth archive and find out about mall storytelling events in your area all through our website. The most Donald they're more events events year round. You can find a show near you and come out and tell us a story. Find US on social media to wear on facebook and twitter at the mall That's it for this hour. We hope you'll join US next time. And that's the story Stories in this show were directed by Kathryn Burns and make bowls with additional coaching by Michelle. Hausky the rest of the mosque erectile staff includes Sarah Haberman Sarah Austin genetics and Jennifer Hickson production. Boy from Emily Couch are pitch came from Peter. Rudy Mall Stories. Stories are true as remembered an affirmed by the storytellers. Our theme music is by the drift. Other music in this hour from Julian Lodge ten had trio blue dot sessions and Lotus. You've been find links to all the music we us at our website. The Moth Radio Hour produced by me Jay Allison with Vicky he merrick at Atlantic public media in Woods Hole Massachusetts. This hour was produced with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts Moth Radio Hour or is presented by the Public Radio Exchange P R X dot org for more about our podcast for information on pitching us your own story and everything else go to. You are website. They'll moth dot org

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