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February 4, 2013
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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 2-4-13


Gentle readers, not too long after my Dad passed away my Mom had a stroke and it limited her speech to two words. As strange as it may seem to you, as it did me at the time, she could only utter these two words, “main thing.” Now let me tell ya children, it’s really hard to carry on a conversation with someone in that situation.

For example, Mom would call me on the phone from the nursing home down in Texas and when I would say “Hello,” I would hear those two words, “main thing.” Now it depended on how she phrased those two words or the emphasis that she placed on them which forced me to decide if she was having a good day or one not so good.

“How are you doin?” I always ask. If it was a “MAIN THING!” I could maybe expect that she was in a good mood and felt pretty good. If I got a “main ... thing,” then I expected she might not be havin’ a really good day or maybe someone was ill that I needed to know about.

“How is uncle Joe doin’ these days?” I might ask. Uncle Joe was one of her younger brothers that had been having some serious health problems. If he was OK she might reply with a moderate “main thing” which meant things were still about the same. If I got a big “MAIN THING!” it could mean that he was doing better than expected or that he was doing really, really poorly. I just had to decide which one it was or ask her if he was doing better and see what her reply was and the same visa versa.

Mom had always been a big talker. In fact when she could talk, many times if I needed to lay the phone down and go set something off the stove or whatever, I would just go and do it and when I returned she would still be blabbin’ away about something that was most likely important to her and her alone. Her opinion seemed to be the only one that mattered. She could literally drive you crazy at times as you wanted to have a conversation with her and if you started talking she would just talk over you until you shut up. It was rude to say the least but that was a big issue with her for whatever reason. Now talk about karma!

I stand amazed many times how “what goes around comes around” works in this world we live in. As I was going in the post office yesterday a feller stopped long enough to hold the door open for me and I was a few steps away. I offered, “Thank you sir, you are a good man.” To which he replied, “What goes around comes around.” I agreed.

Bless my mom’s heart. Here she was so used to controlling every conversation and not letting anyone share with her what was happening in your life, and now she was forced to be the one that had to listen. She lived that way for a couple of years before she passed. I went down to see her in the nursing home a few months before she had another stroke that took her and we communicated a lot with our eyes. You can say a lot that way. She has been gone since 1996 but on occasion I wish whenever the phone rings I could pick it up and hear, “MAIN THING!”

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all! ❖




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The Fence Post Updated Oct 16, 2013 03:30PM Published Feb 4, 2013 01:45PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.