My Way

Today marks 10 years since my mom died. It weirdly seems like it was yesterday and like it was so much longer ago. Life goes on and we keep going and it’s strange that she hasn’t been here to see things unfold.

My mom’s favorite song was My Way by Frank Sinatra. She was a big Elvis fan too, dragging me as a kid to Graceland for a visit, but she insisted that the only song she wanted played at her memorial service was My Way.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

That was my mother’s motto. She didn’t always take the easy path, she didn’t always do what she “should have,” and she spoke her mind even when it made other people uncomfortable.

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

She got married right out of high school, had my half brother about a year later and my other one two years after that. She helped her first husband build a house, and then left that house behind with nothing but the two boys after he hit her.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

She spent years raising them with the help of my grandparents with no financial support from their father. She worked night shifts and got by with a few hours sleep in order to spend time with them. Her ex tried to “catch” her cheating in order to get a divorce but he finally gave up and admitted fault so he could remarry.

About that time, she met my father at a wedding. They, of course, fought the first time they met, but they knew that something special was there. He was so excited to adopt the boys and they got married about a year after they met.

Tragically, the youngest boy died in an accident about two weeks after the wedding. It was a devastating time but their love was strong. And,then, I arrived on their first anniversary. Life was never the same again.

My mom loved being a mom. She loved that she got the chance to stay home with me because it was never an option with my brothers. She adapted to moving to Colorado, far away from where she had lived her whole life. She adapted to living in Sweden, Germany and then moving to Arizona.

It broke her heart to throw my brother out of the house when I was in high school because he was an alcoholic and was violent. It saved his life and he went on to serve in the Peace Corps, and moved in to help my grandmother. She buried him about 10 years before she died, the damage he had done to his body finally catching up.

She was my father’s cheerleader through all of his positions in his fraternal organization and part of her own service sorority for years.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

My mom was a hero. She lost so much in her life and yet always had a smile for everyone. She loved this song, epitomized this song, and inspired her family to do exactly the same thing. I love you, Mom.

September Song Project copyright

12 Replies to “My Way”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, steeledsnakecharmer….your mom sounds like she was one heck of a woman! This is a beautiful tribute to her. Despite not knowing either of you, I was moved to tears by the emotion expressed here. Sending you my love and positive thoughts <3

  2. indeed You Mother shaped You and You are wonderful strong Woman because of her.
    Wonderful tribute to your Mother.
    i am a Momma’s Boy and proud of it and its in Her honor that i s erve all Woman
    Thank You for sharing

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