My Mommy Is So Indescribably Perfect

(What do you mean, "Who is that?" Obviously, it's Santa Claus.  Duh. )

(What do you mean, "Who is that?" Obviously, it's Santa Claus. Duh.)

For starters: Yes, I am a 31 year old man who calls his mother "Mommy". My friends give me flak for it all the time, get in touch with them y'all can go make a group chat to make fun of me for that among other things.
(Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't have given you that idea... whatevs...)

Enough about me though, we're here to talk about the most beautiful woman to ever in the history of beautiful women, Regina Toffolo. Not just beautiful on the outside, either. She's the most pure, loving, forgiving soul that has ever walked the face of the Earth. She has to be to have put up with the garbage I put her through. 

I didn't realize it while I was out getting blackout drunk and hopping behind the wheel, carrying all kinds of felony level contraband around the various places I lived, and starting fights at bars and parties for fun, but it had have been close to every night she lost sleep wondering whether or not she was gonna wake up and hear some dreadful news about her precious baby boy. I'm sure she started to numb herself to this over time, but I don't think the sleepless nights ever truly went away. She didn't even question forgiving me for this, cause this isn't the part I need forgiveness for.

She used to be happy when she knew I was in jail, because she knew I was safe in jail. I wasn't gonna OD, or get into a drunk driving accident, or get shot. She knew I knew how to keep my head down and do my time without stepping on toes, and as long as I was locked down I was safer than I was on the streets. That alone right there, the fact that she had to live with a son who made her thankful he was in jail, takes a lot of forgiveness in my opinion. I'm 100% sure she doesn't even think about that anymore. 

Then there's the thousands upon thousands I've stolen from her. You add that to thousands upon thousands I've conned out of her, and combine that total with the thousands upon thousands of dollars in property damage, and you've got a hefty debt for her to forgive. You're still not getting to the part I need to be forgiven for.

The part I need forgiven for is that I walked around for the better part of my life calling her an evil wench who ruined my life, and blaming her for all the f&*!ed up things I did. I truly believed in my heart of hearts that she was the most evil being ever... Her crime? Wanting me to clean up my act. Go see a doctor about my bipolar I was in denial about. Maybe hit some 12 step meetings so I'd stop getting drunk and punching out windows whenever I didn't get my way. Not giving me money to buy hard drugs with. 

Horrible stuff, isn't it? 

She really was a monster for trying to save me from myself. She always found it in her heart to forgive me though, because she truly honestly loved me and knew forgiving me was the only chance I had of getting better.

So I've proven how forgiving she is, and that oughta tell you how loving, but I just wanna go back and recollect some of my fondest memories with her, just for funzies.

I'm gonna do her personal favorite first, just so I can't accidentally forget. She'd kill me if this memory wasn't in here: 

I was a pretty naive kid. I believed anything and everything my parents told me. 

For an example, we were driving through the mountains and passed a sign that said "Watch for Falling Rock". Mamadukes and Papadukes had me believing "Falling Rock" was a wild indian chief who lived in the mountains that I needed to be watching out for. 

That's all just to set you up for one magical evening when I was 6 or 7 when I found out not only was "Falling Rock" made up, but so was Santa Claus. The idea that there was no Santa threw me into a fit and started me bawling. After a little while, I grabbed some construction paper, folded it in half to make a little cheapo greeting card and drew a picture of Mr.Claus with the caption "SANTA LIVES ON!!!". 

She just loves that story... I dunno why... I guess it's how pure and enthusiastic and idealistic I was.. The memory of it is special to her. 

She's told all my friends this story at least a million times, and will probably find a reason to tell it sometime this week. I'll never live down that handmade greeting card. If you're reading this off the page, you already know a photo of that card is the illustration that I used. 

I'm still in a rich text document on my desktop, and I know for a fact it's the only illustration that'll do this essay justice.

Now *my* favorite memory is how every night before bed when I was a kid we had a ritual called "Chit-chat" where we would spend 30 minutes just yakking away about whatever came to mind. I don't remember a specific one of these, except one where she taught me how to use a phone book(For our younger crowd, they were used to prop up uneven and wobbly furniture), but these little talks used to be the high point of my day. 

She used to play piano, and one of her favorite things to play was Scott Joplin. You probably know his smash hit "The Ice Cream Truck Song". Pros call that one "The Entertainer" and Mom used to jam that s&*!. He had a lot of really playful, upbeat songs. I used to come home from school and the music would fill the whole house and I'd bubble with pure joy. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" is also ingrained in my mind. "I Can Show You the World" from Alladin... "Somewhere Over the Rainbow:... so many songs that'll always make me think of her. She used to get so focused she'd stick her tongue out the side of her mouth just a tiny bit. That's how you could tell she was into it. It brings back so many truly happy memories just thinking about her sitting at the piano tickling keys.

She was also huge on education. She got me and my brothers Hooked-on-Phonics and Hooked-on-Math so she could teach us how to do read and do basic arithmetic before Kindergarten. I firmly believe this head start had a lot to do with how far ahead of my class I've stayed throughout my life. She never stopped motivating me to read, or let me stop learning. 

I remember one time we took the shell off an egg using vinegar. Then we had a shelless egg and a membrane filled with the whites and the yolk. We used water to drain the whites. Then we used vegetable oil to plump it back up. The vinegar part was to teach me about acidic corrosion, then the other parts were to show me how different fluids would interact with the membrane differently. She used to buy us these super awesome model rockets and my brothers and I would build them together, then launch them in a field near our house with Mommy. So much of what I value about myself came from her, especially but not limited to my intelligence.

This little writing talent I have was most definitely fueled by her love for literature. I used to write stories on the computer for her about brave knights killing dragons and all kinds of silly kid stuff. I kinda forgot till just now, but I always loved sitting at a PC typing up whatever came to mind exactly like I am now. She would read every one aloud so I knew she actually read them, and give commentary.She never even minded that it was pretty much the exact same story every time. She loved keeping me motivated about whatever I was passionate about.

The more I write, the more I realize how different the two essays I've written about my parents are. Dad's was a bunch of really specific moments that showed off his best qualities. He was great for sure; Don't think I'm making a competitive comparison of the two cause there's no competition, they were both great in their own way, and I needed both of them. They were different though.

Mom didn't have those big flashy moments that summed up everything. She loved me with a systematic oversight, where she made the tiny little plays that kept me together. I didn't always see every little thing she did, but the fact that she was always there saying the tiny things that needed to be said and doing the tiny things that needed to be done without fail... It's very apparent how much of a massive difference that's made in my life now that I'm looking back on it. 

She also did the things I needed for my own good that I didn't want to happen. Dad wouldn't take me to a psyche doctor, he would actually keep me away from things that woulda gotten me mental health treatment. I loved him for it then. It made me feel accepted. This was actually terrible for me in the long run. He hated shrinks as much as I did though.

Mom made me go in and see the doctor, even when I didn't think I had a disorder(Spoiler Alert: I did). She made me take my meds, even when I was pretending to hate them just so I could not take them. In my mind, if I just didn't take the meds as long as I didn't have a breakdown I could say "See no disorder" and stay in denial. 

When I was drunk trying to jump in my car so I could drive off and kill myself, she called the cops to make them take my keys. She wouldn't let me get myself killed, no matter how much I insisted she would if she loved me. Putting up with that level of bulls%$^ is more than any person can be expected to do, and she'd do it all again and more if she had to without a second thought. That's never gonna cease to amaze me.

She dragged me kicking and screaming through all my troubles and fought to make sure I me arrived safely at mental health, and for that I can never ever thank her enough.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I love you Mommy. I know I don't always show it, and I definitely tell you the exact opposite when you're smart enough to not let me have my way. I love you more than anything else in this world though, and I wanna thank you for everything you've done. 

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I’m what happens when you live by the motto ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ then you fuck up and survive
— An Ungrateful Brat