I was cleaning out my wallet the other day and I came across a whole bunch of I.O.U’s, some of them 30 years overdue, and the funny thing is that all of these I.O.Us are owed to one person – and I think right now might be a pretty good time for an accounting. Are you listening, Mum?
Mum, I owe you for so many things. A lot of services,like night watchman for instance – for lying awake at night, listening for coughs, cries, creaking floorboards, and me coming in too late.
You had the eye of an eagle and the roar of a lion but you always had a heart as big as a house.
I.O.U. for services as a short order cook, for making sirloin out of hamburgers, turkey out of tuna fish, chef, baker, and for making two big strapping boys out of leftovers.
I.O.U. for cleaning services, for the daily scrubbing of face and ears, all work done by hand and for the frequent dusting of a small boys pants, to try and make sure he led a spotless life, and for washing and ironing that no laundry could ever do. For drying the tears of childhood, and for ironing out the problems of growing.
I.O.U. for veterinary services, caring for every lost dog I dragged home at the end of a rope.
I.O.U. for construction work. For building kites, confidence, hopes and dreams, and somehow you made them all touch the sky and for cementing our family together so it could withstand the worst shocks and blows, and for laying down a good strong foundation to build a life on. And one thing, Mum, I will never forget, was when there were only two pieces of apple pie left and three hungry people. I noticed you were the one that decided you were not hungry in the first place.
These are just a few things for which payment is long overdue. The person I owe them to works very cheap and she managed by doing without a whole lot of things she needed herself.
My I.O.Us add up to much more than I could ever hope to repay, but you know the nicest thing is that she will mark the entire bill paid-in-full for just one kiss and four little words.
Mum, I love you.