Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

May 12, 2013

HOPKINS: Remembering a very special woman

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

You prepared dinner each night for four children. How many times, Mom, did I thank you for making all those lunches I took to school? Twelve years, 180 school days equates to 2,160 lunches. Of course, there were many days when I bought lunch at school instead, and there were many days I missed because I was sick.

Speaking of being sick, how many times did you climb the stairs to my bedroom to give me cough medicine in the middle of the night? Or, when I was younger, to check that there was still water in the humidifier? Or the trips to the doctor when I was really sick? Then there were the allergies and the weekly visits for shots, which became less and less frequent as my immunity to the allergies grew.

With Dad working out of town, the driving fell to you. All those trips down to Kennedy Arena in Rome for hockey practices and games. Then there was driving to away games. Many of the trips were short, right in the Utica-Rome area. But there were the far-flung games in Binghamton, Albany, Auburn, Syracuse, Oswego, Ottawa (at least the team took a bus for that trip) and points in between. That’s a lot of miles in that old Chevy Caprice station wagon.

Of course, we’ll never forget the bully who targeted me for two years in elementary school. Fourth and fifth grades weren’t much fun because of him, an older student who made Nelson Muntz from “The Simpsons” look like a sissy. All of those phone calls to the principal finally paid off.

There were times that I brought problems upon myself. I had a “smart” mouth as a child — a habit Im sure I picked up from Dad — and that caused me to get in a few dust-ups with other kids. Boy when you found out, the punishment was usually worse than the “punishing” I took from the other kids. I was slow learning that lesson, but it’s a lesson that was learned and one to which I try to adhere.

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