Valentine’s Day Contest Winners


Note: the Kevin Smith contest is taking longer than usual to judge because my clear first choice has not answered his or her email in three days. I’m going to have to select a new one and see if that person responds. If you enter these, check your messages, folks!

Julia, a.k.a. “lytswifeslashfiancee” in comments, has spoken, and the results are in. The assignment was to talk about the nicest thing you did for you ever did for your mother in February, and for many, that brought up tears, rage and sometimes humor.

I stayed out of the judging process altogether, but I like the final choices. Here are the honorable mentions:

chris.I.mathis had the best reason in the world to freeze candy.

8 years ago my mother had to go in for an emergency hysterectomy when my father was away on a business trip. I dove to her house carried her down the stairs (she is no small woman), got her in the car and got her to the nearest hospital. She said she wanted to go to a different hospital further away. I took her. She had her surgery and had a 2 weeks of recovery. Everyday for the entire visiting hours I was there by her side. I brought her flowers and a stuffed animal every day I could. When I was with her I helped her walk around, with the bathroom (I will leave out details there) and when they released her I took her home. The next week I came over every night and made her dinner. Granted all she could eat was soup. Then clean her bandaged areas. And on Valentine’s day I brought her a gift box of candy and put it in the freezer till she could eat it again. And I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Markpoynter6540 knows that a great ending can kick things up a notch.

I didn’t take my parents divorce in 1983 very well and ended up not talking to my mom for just over two years. (I was young and stupid, at least I’ve grown out of the young part.) So back in 1986 my sister told me that Mom was getting remarried and that I should be there. Long story short I ended up walking my Mom down the aisle and giving her away at her request (To a man I later learned to love and respect as well, he truly loves and cares for my Mom.). I’ve regretted those lost two years and have tried to make it up to her, and myself ever since. She didn’t get remarried in February, but I’d have to say the nicest thing I’ve ever done for my mother was to put myself back into her life, although I am the one who has really benefited from that act. She is a class act. If she called while I was writing this and needed something, I’d drop everythi

Wdorf’s was less traumatic, but very funny in a good way.

A couple years back, my mom got tickets to see a performer from her childhood. She had planned to go with her beau for valentines. Unfortunately, for me, they split two weeks before the show. None of her friends were willing to go with her. Now, I’m a grunge & heavy metal guy, but I found myself sitting in a theater, on valentines, watching Donny Osmond, with my mother.

GeekGamerGirl had one of the best tales about how the greatest gift to mom is a child

In 1982 my parents were married for about 20ish years. They wanted a kid and for some reason (my mom says it’s my dad’s fault) they couldn’t have one naturally. So, they put in adoption applications to a catholic orphanage/nunnery in PA. Now my mom submitted the paper work in Oct. and in Dec. was told that they weren’t excepting out of state applications. My mom had no problem telling off the nun and they were grandfathered in and told to call back in a year. A year to the date my mom called back and asked for an update on her placement on the list for adopters. I was born Dec. 6, 1983 and even though technically I wasn’t supposed to leave the foster parents I was living with for 6 months, I was picked up by my folks on 2-14-1984. So, every Valentine’s Day we have my ‘second’ birthday and my mom tells the story on how I became part of the family.

And the winner is…

Since it was Julia judging, you can’t blame my bias toward Eternians. The winner is TrapJaw, for his epic tale.

WARNING: This isn’t exactly a happy or amusing story. It’s long and sad, so you’ve been warned.

When I was ten years old, my dad died from cancer. Naturally, I took it pretty hard, but for my mom, it was even worse.

You see, she had been in a previous marriage that could only be described as a fucking nightmare. Her husband was a jealous and paranoid man that mentally abused both her and my three half-brothers that were born from that marriage. He’d do thing like install pad locks on the outside doors of their house to ensure that they couldn’t leave when he’d go to work or destroy any clothes that my mom might buy for herself becausehe thought they were presents from an imaginary suitor that was trying to steal her away. She only found the courage to leave him when she found a gun that he had hidden in the house and she thought the he would eventually end up using it on her and my half-brothers.

After a few unsuccessful relationships with some slightly-less abusive men, she ended up meeting my father. Now, he was far from a saint, but he treated he far better than any of the men in her previous relationships had. A few years after becoming a couple, they had a happy little accident in the form of me. Apparently, they thought this was great, despite being in the mid-forties. My dad had several children from his previous marriage, but he’d worked very long hours to support them, so he never really got to spend much time with them. My mom never really got to enjoy raising her sons when they were younger because much of her time was spent trying to appease her first husband. I was sort of their second chance to have a more “normal” familiy, for lack of a better word.

My parents did their level best to give me the happiest childhood that they could, and they did an excellent job of it. My dad would constantly tease and aggravate my mom, and my mom would give as good as she got. One of the things that he loved to annoy her with was the fact that she was a few months older than him, and for the four months out of the year that she was older he’d give her all kinds of hell about being older or being a cradle robber. Then when his birthday would roll around on February 28, she would give him crap about finally catching up.

Life was pretty good until my dad was first diagnosed. A year after his diagnosis, he’d gone through more rounds of radiation and chemo than I can remember. He put on a brave face and did his damndest to hide how much he was suffering, but it was still obvious that he was losing. As he neared the end of his life, he’d sometimes joke with my mom when he thought I couldn’t hear him. One time when she was crying I heard him say to her that he’d at least make it until his birthday so that she wouldn’t have to bear the shame of being cradle-robbing widow. She managed to laugh a bit despite her tears. He died two weeks later on January 14, forty-four days shy of his birthday.

So there was my mom who had just lost the love of her life, with a kid to raise and no job. The next few years were a struggle as she struggled through nursing school while we survived on the money from my dad’s life insurance. Eventually, she graduated and got a good paying job and life became a little easier. She rarely complained and she did her best to ensure that rest of my youth was a happy as it could be.

The date of my father’s death tended to instill more anger in her than sorrow–that was reserved for the end of February, when my dad’s birthday was imminent.

When I was fifteen I was finally becoming mature enough to realize just exactly what it was that my mom had lost. By this time I’d heard the stories from my half-brothers about what crazed and paranoid control freak her first husband had been and how she’d never laughed when they were younger. That year, as February approached, she seemed especially depressed. In my dumb teenage brain, I decided that she needed some kind of token to show her how much I understood her grief.

The day of my dad’s birthday, I went to the bakery section of one of the local grocery stores and bought one of those shitty premade birthday cakes. I also bought a tube of chocolate writing frosting and cake decorations that consisted of two little plastic marathon runners, a male and a female.

When I got home, I used a lighter to soften the plastic on the female runner and shaped her so that she looked like she was standing with her arms crossed. I put her on the the cake after I made a finish line with a broken ribbon out of two birthday candles and a stand of Christmas tinsel. I put the male runner just crossing the finish line. Then, thinking myself terribly clever, I wrote, “Better LATE Than Never!!!” on it in chocolate frosting. I left the cake on the island in the kitchen and went into the living room to watch TV.

When my mother got home from work a few minute later, I told her that I had a surprise for her. When she she looked at the cake, she had a puzzled expression at first, then when she realized it was supposed to be a birthday cake for my dad she started getting teary-eyed. When she asked what the writing meant, I told her that by celebrating his birthday, she wasn’t a cradle-robbing widow anymore.

That was the hardest that she has ever hugged my in my life.

For anyone else, it would have probably been a creepy reminder. For my mom, it was the best thing I ever gave her.

For showing such compassion, TrapJaw will take home a T-shirt of Darth Vader joking about strangulation. I just hope his mechanical arm fits through the sleeves.