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 ?”