Mother's Day Without Mom

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. 💕 There's so many things happening this week that I wish I could share with you and get your opinions on, but alas even though I cannot share these moments with you, I hear you saying, "No matter what decision you make, I'm your biggest fan and I’ll always love you my Punky”.

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For months, I would have the struggle of calling St Jude’s hospital to tell them to please cancel my mom’s auto-withdrawal donation because we were drowning in hospital bills and calls from debt collector twats. I’d apologize profusely to them for wanting to take back charity money and they’d just say, “Ya know, she tries to renew it every month”. I would heatedly reply, “I know, but the IRS is up our asses because, unbeknownst to me, she stopped paying taxes 3 years ago and just said “Fuck it”.

In my mom’s case, when you get closer to the end, the government can suck a big one. The only thing she wanted to do was give to St. Jude’s and go shopping with me. She’d say, “Get whatever you want Punky!” and then swipe that Target Red Card, she surprisingly got approved for, until she couldn’t swipe anymore. I remember that last fateful day at Target where we only left with a flowered scarf that my mom said “Accentuated my long neck” and Aussie’s 3-minute hair miracle. We both agreed the Aussie's was definitely worth that last swipe.

A week later, after a trip to the 99 Cent Store for classic necessities, I saw “St. Jude’s ~ $100” on her bank statement. I’d tell her time and time again, “MOM! We need to pay the IRS! And those Target Red Card people! THEY’RE RELENTLESS”. In her last few months she stopped saying “Fine, cancel it” and just said, “Punky, I don’t care! The kids need it more and it’s already taken out. I told them to change it to the 15th so when you call on the 30th it’s already gone through. It takes a long time for the government to get anything done! By the time they come for my house or the car, I’ll be up there, Punky”. She followed it up with a devious smile and I just rolled my eyes and sighed. Then, for dinner, we shared pork rinds (gross, I know) and Ding Dongs from the 99-cent store and watched anything with Sly Stallone.

During those months, against my reasoning, we also opened up another credit card with a $350 limit. Obviously that’s all they’d give us. We used some sob story, with my mom’s encouragement, about rehabilitation and hospital costs just to get them to go from $200 to $350. My mom, being in the “Fuck It” phase told me to “Stop being such a worry wart, Punky! You’re gonna get ulcers!” and then we charged it all at the movies, steaks at Outback Steakhouse and Build Your Own Camaro’s at Hobby Lobby. All whilst knowing, we were never going to pay it off. During her last couple months, the hospital, Dodge, Amex and collectors stopped getting payments, but St. Jude’s still got their $100. After some time, I became proud of her choice, because it was a choice of great worth. These companies could hound us all day long, but she didn’t care because St. Jude was getting her cash, because they actually deserved it. Now remember, that this reasoning only works during your last hoorah, because we all know that a bad credit score could have ya end up driving around a Kia Soul… and nobody wants that. But, today, on Mother’s Day, I’d like to make her proud of that bold choice by continuing it.

In dedication and remembrance for the woman who brought me into this world, I’d like to raise just $50 for St. Jude’s. She often reminded me that life’s journey isn’t easy, but there’s always someone whose journey is even harder and if you can ease that in any way, you should try.

I must remember that even though life is rough city sometimes… I can still take a walk, on my own two feet, around the reservoir, grab a drink with friends, make at least one fucker laugh at a stand up gig, make a YouTube video that makes someone’s day, decide to give love even if it may not be reciprocated, hug a stranger, give $1 to the homeless guy who plays the flute, hear my talented friends make music, listen to someone’s heartache, hold someone while they cry, pay for someone when they can’t, text someone so they know they’re thought of, dance to my favorite song, torture friends with karaoke, play guitar when the day fails you, be happy for one more day in La La Land and look up to the sky and say “Hey Mom, I’m still at it”

I hope that whatever child we help today, gets to live as fully of a life as I have up until now and as my mom did until her last day. Filled with hugs, love and laughter.

https://www.stjude.org/donate/pm.html?sc_dcm=254910857&sc_cid=kwp75473&source_code=IIQ190721002&ef_id=CjwKCAiA66_xBRBhEiwAhrMuLYKlNpxK0pFUhqXfyK5ZwAiu2uGqOdKiBZurn9lTUE9CHD7ngkSjAhoCTTsQAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!4519!3!386681578030!e!!g!!stjudes&gclid=CjwKCAiA66_xBRBhEiwAhrMuLYKlNpxK0pFUhqXfyK5ZwAiu2uGqOdKiBZurn9lTUE9CHD7ngkSjAhoCTTsQAvD_BwE


#StJude #Donate #TaraErickson #Mom #MothersDay #Grief

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