Posted by: traveltalkwithtommy | January 30, 2012

My Mom

On January 24, 2012, my mother, Maria Thomas, passed away. She was 85 years old. She was loved by all and will be terribly missed.

I know this is a travel blog, and many of you come to it for that reason, but I need to hijack for a bit and talk about my mom.

My mom was the kind of person who would give someone the shirt off her back and then ask if they needed anything else. She was a very humble person, but capable of doing so much.

My mom did not like to travel. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that she could get lost in her own backyard. I’m serious. One time she got lost in a neighborhood that she had lived in for many years.

One time, when I was young, my mom and dad took me on a trip to see the Amish in PA. We went to Hershey Park, and yes, the town smelled like a candy bar. We had a wonderful time on that trip. I remember seeing the people riding around in the horse-drawn carts in the dark clothes and hats. It was interesting, and it was one of the few trips that my mom wanted to take. Most of the time, we went where my dad wanted to go.

So, at the end of the trip, my dad is driving up interstate 81 toward interstate 84. He’s feeling sleepy so he asked my mother to drive. He pulled into a rest stop and turned the wheel over to her.

“Mother,” he said. “All you have to do is drive straight on this highway. Don’t get off, don’t do anything, but drive straight.”

My mom gives him the look, nodded. I’m sitting in the back seat of our 1973 green Plymouth Satalite Sebring. It has a bench seat so I can lay across it.  When my father finished, he put his head back and closed his eyes. Mom fixed her mirror, glanced at me, and rolled out of the rest area.

Even as she merged onto the highway, I was already cooking up a plan. When I knew what I’m going to do, I smiled and waited for the right moment. An hour later, when I heard the sound of snores from the front seat, I knew the time had come to hatch my plot.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Slowly, I sat up and placed myself between my mom and dad. I looked over at mom, I looked out the window, I looked at my dad, and then I announced, “Entering Virginia.” 

My father exploded up off the seat. He almost slammed his head into the ceiling. He rubbed his eyes and then looked over at my panic stricken mother.

“Mother, what have you done?” he shouted at her. 

My mom couldn’t answer at first, because she didn’t know what had happened. Finally, she managed to stammer, “I did what you told me to do.”

From the back seat, I’m was laughing so hard that everything in the front seat stopped. My dad looked back at me and then at the highway and realized my mother was going in the right direction. At the next exit, my mom got off and turned the car back over to my dad. When she got into the passenger seat, she gave me the look as the last of my laughter was faded away. The rest of the trip went without a hitch.

That is a true story. It’s just one of many memories of my mom and dad. My father passed away almost two years ago at 91. He was a wonderful man who loved his family very much. I miss him every day, and now I will miss my mom just as much. Right now it feels like there is a hole in my chest where she use to be, but I know one day I will see the two of them again.

I had a dream the other night that they were standing together at a railing looking down at me. They looked so happy, so young. It is my prayer, and hope that they will wait for me to join them one day. My faith allows me to have this hope and trust. I love you Mom and Dad.



  1. Sorry about your Mom and that is a great story, you describe it so well I can almost see it!

  2. Yup……………………..

    • Yup, if you can see it, I was laughing so hard in that backseat

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