May 102009

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Moms out there! I hope you have a wonderful day, surrounded by lots of love. If you have not called your Mom to tell her you love her yet today, go do it right now. She’s waiting to hear from you. Don’t worry about me and the blog, take your time and have a nice visit. We’ll be right here when you get back.

My own dear mother has been gone for almost 20 years now, and I sure wish she was still here for me to tell her that I love her. My Mom was a typical stay at home mother, and as the youngest of her eight children, I was always her baby, even when I became a grown man with children of my own. I know I gave her fits sometimes, and though she was a short little round woman, she could hold her own.

When I was a young soldier, I was offered an opportunity to go to jump school, and fell in love with the romantic idea of jumping out of airplanes for a living and wearing the coveted silver wings of an Airborne trooper. I called my Dad to tell him that I had been accepted to jump school, and his first words were “Why the hell would you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” His next words were “DO NOT tell you mother about this until you’re done! I have to live with the woman!”

So we kept it our secret until I made it through school, and then Dad brought my Mom down to Fort Benning, Georgia for my graduation. She didn’t know what I was graduating from, just some Army training school. On graduation day, we were to jump onto a drop zone where our families were waiting to see us. So bright and early on graduation morning, my parents and a few hundred other people were brought out in buses to the drop zone and ensconced on bleachers.

One officer after another made his little speech, and then it was time for our dog and pony show. Far above, we got the word and began our jump. Meanwhile, on the ground, my Mom had gotten frustrated waiting for her son to show up, so she walked up to one of the men in uniform on the ground and said “My son is supposed to be graduating today. Do you know where he is?”

“Right up there, ma’am,” he told her and pointed to the paratroopers floating to the ground. That’s when all hell broke loose.

My chubby little mother pushed past the soldiers assigned to keep civilians off the drop zone and shook off their restraining arms as she stormed out into the middle of the graduates as they hit the ground and did their landing rolls, yelling “Nick, where are you? You get your butt down here right this minute! You know better than that! I didn’t raise you to break your legs doing something this stupid!” I swear I could hear her while I was still a hundred feet in the air!

And all the while confused young paratroopers were getting to their feet and trying to collapse their chutes as she stormed up to them demanding to know where I was. Meanwhile, my Dad (and much of the audience) was rolling around on the bleachers laughing their heads off.

Needless to say, when all the confusion died down, I had a lot of explaining to do! I’m not sure which put the fear of God into me more, facing my Mom, or a hastily called meeting with our battalion commander. But she did calm down enough to pin on my wings, and I was the only graduate that day to get a standing ovation!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you, and I miss you.

Thought For The Day – A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Happy Mother’s Day”

  1. Nice Post Nick,,,,,,I just lost my Mom a few years ago. She was a tough Lady, an ole ranch gal that had come up the hard way. But she had a good long healthy life of 89 years. Like you, I delt her some pretty tough times and didn’t give her nearly as much respect as she deserved. I was by her side when she passed, and I looked into her eyes and told her I loved her, she couldn’t talk, but I could tell from our eye contact that she understood……… I sure wish I had told her more often. Same with Dad….. By the way, I didn’t know you were a Paratrooper. I always admired those guys. I watched a million of them jump. They used to come out over my Dad’s ranch and jump hundreds of jumpers out at a time……..We’ll have to talk about it sometime… That was way back in the 40’s. I have 300 + Skydives, no military jumps, all sport jumps…..I also became a certified FAA Parachute Rigger… Small world!!!

  2. What a great story Nick! And what a wonderful memory to share with us all. Thanks. As I read this, my mom is about 1100 miles away…I’d give her a call, but I know that she is sound asleep at 6 a.m. C! We will be passing thru Illinois this summer on our travels and plan to spend some time with her. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  3. Thanks for sharing that memory Nick. Hilarious, as usual:-) We now know how you came by some of your onryness:-) I lost both my parents about 12 years ago and it still seems like yesterday. You all have a happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Oh damn, that was funny! I can just imagine the scene. I’m sure it wasn’t funny to you at the time though. Had some fun at Ft. Benning myself but really couldn’t see jumping out of that “perfectly good airplane”. I don’t care HOW many times I ran past the jump tower. I still don’t like heights.

  5. Great post. I spent time at Benning from 65-69 as a dependent before going into the service myself…..I did listen to my mom though and never jumped!


  6. Unlike you, I never gave my Mom any worries. I was a perfect son, as far as she knew.
    You could even put her in your Todays Hero blog as far as I’m concerned. I miss her.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all the surviving Moms out there.

  7. […] also became a certified FAA Parachute Rigger… Small world!!! » Dennise Ziaja said: { May 10, 2009 – 11:05:57 }. What a great story Nick! And what a wonderful memory to share with us all. Thanks. As I read this, my mom is about 1100 … […]

  8. Yes, She is missed. M&C

  9. say “I love you” to our Mom, who dedicated her life to ourselves. My heaven under my mother’s leg.

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