My Mom Was My First Best Friend

I went to Houston this past January to celebrate my grandfather’s 96th birthday with my family. I arrived on a Thursday and my grandfather’s party was on that Sunday, which was the same day I was headed back home to Nashville. We sang “Happy Birthday”, my grandfather whispered a prayer and blew out his candles, and we all had too much cake. It was an amazing afternoon. After the party was over, my Dad asked me, “When do I need to take you to the airport?” I replied, “2 hours.” My Mom then looked down and walked in the other room. The silence began and all you could hear was the “tick tock” coming from the grandfather clock in the living room.

I’m a Mama’s Boy. I always have been. My Mom and I have never had a problem having too much fun. The problem we have is having to say goodbye to each other after the fun is over. Unfortunately, it will never get any easier because she was my first best friend.

Raising me, my Dad was always more concerned with me doing what I was told than he was being a friend. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s what made him such an incredible Dad. My twin brother and I were doing what brothers do as kids, testing each other’s patience until our parents had to break it up. My sister and I really didn’t find any common ground growing up because she was 5 years older than me. Then there was my Mom… George Strait Super Fan #1. When I hear people say that music brings people together, I say, “Amen”.

I remember listening to George Strait’s very first album “Strait Country” with my Mom when I was little and being so confused when the song “Blame It On Mexico” came on. “Mom, what is George blaming on Mexico?” I can’t remember her response, but I can only imagine the creativity that she had to come up with to answer my question. As a parent myself now, I can really appreciate the creativity that’s required to answer your kids’ questions. I get bombarded with questions on a daily basis from my four-year-old son and I probably only know twenty percent of the answers (most likely less than twenty percent). By the way, it wasn’t until my first shot of tequila that I fully understood why George was blaming Mexico.

Over 30 George Strait albums later and counting, I have some of the best memories with my Mom that a son could ever ask for. Each one of those albums representing a chapter in our lives that we will cherish forever and never forget. Some of the albums are harder for us to listen to than others as we get older due to such good memories, especially his Christmas albums for me. George Strait recently released a box set called, “Strait Out of the Box: Part 2”, which is a compilation of 56 of his greatest hits ranging from the years 1996 to 2016. There are three CD’s in the box set and the first CD has hits from 1996-2000, the second CD has hits from 2001-2008, and the third CD has hits from 2009-2016. When the album came out, I called my Mom to ask her if she had listened to it yet and her response back to me was, “Yeah, I’ve listened to the third CD, but I can’t listen to the first two.” I knew exactly what she meant when she said that. I stuck with listening to the third CD as well. I wasn’t ready to walk down memory lane on the first two CD’s either.

When it was time for me to go back home to Nashville, I went and told my grandfather that I loved him and Happy Birthday once again. My Dad then asked me, “Hey John, are you ready to go to the airport?”, and I started to tear up before I even looked over at my Mom. I could hear her starting to cry too. The fun was over and it was time for us to say goodbye. The one thing that we both hated to do the most. I gave her a hug and we didn’t say much. We didn’t have to. The tears covering both sides of our faces said it all. I can’t wait to see my Mom again, my first best friend. However, I’m already dreading having to tell her goodbye. I hate telling her goodbye.

I love you Mom… IFLY. Happy Mother’s Day.

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