Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A promise to “Maffy” … 1967


Here is my son Matt, 4 yrs old, and my mother. They were great friends and loved to spend time together “fixing the problems of the world”.

In 1967 Mother came to stay for a few weeks. We’d moved to the country from NY City and had fixed up a nice room in the basement for her. It was cozy and if she wanted to read or take a nap, or just get some alone time, she would go down there. It was also where she could smoke. She knew that neither Dick nor I were smokers and that we wouldn’t be pleased to have the smell of tobacco in the main house.

Matt (or Maffy as we affectionately called him) would have been about 7 then and he was excited about her visit. He’d discovered fishing and he couldn’t wait to have her share it with him.

Sure enough she did love it and almost every day of her visit mother and Matt would wander down to the small stream that bordered our property. They would often take a lunch with them as well as their fishing rods and his little creel box complete with hooks and worms and a special place for Grandma’s cigarettes. I would love to have been privy to their talks. I’m sure they solved many of the problems of his little world, but I had no idea that they were discussing mother’s world, too.

One morning I glanced in to Matt’s creel box just before they were to take off for the stream and I realized that mother’s cigarettes were missing. When I asked about it Matt just smiled and said “Oh, didn’t we tell you? Grandma doesn’t smoke any more.”

I was amazed and when I asked mother about it she told me that Matt had tactfully and persistently kept after her until she had no excuses left ! She was to live for 31 more years and near the end of her life I asked her if she’d ever smoked again. She seemed shocked by my question. “Of course not”, she said, “I made a promise to Maffy, didn’t I ?”

8 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

How sweet! And how good of Matt to keep at her. My kids nearly drove me crazy until I quit. I discovered that I should have done it when they first asked.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That is remarkably touching. Thanks.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Great story Ginnie. Your mom was a woman of her word! Love Di ♥

12:47 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Wow... that is great. My mother died at age 44, my sister at 48, lung cancer... both heavy smokers. I quit 26 years ago. It was hard to do, doubly hard because I smoked mentholated cigarettes. But, I have outlived my mother and both sisters, much younger than I. But I still occasionally dream of smoking.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

How wonderful that a child could get your mother to stop a habit which may have shortened her life had she broken that promise.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

That is great. I am so glad that she gave up that terrible habit.

8:50 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Ginnie, what a wonderful story. You had a very special mother, and of course, you have a very special son.
This makes me smile.
Thanks.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I am sure your mother shared much wisdom with your son which helped to shape his life. It seem he also had wise lessons to teach her.

My son had a lovely relationship with my mother for the few years we lived close. After her death, my father became very important to him. My father was never emotionally close to me. I was nice to see how different he was as a grandfather.

7:57 AM  

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