Wednesday, December 13, 2006


As she crossed the airport tarmac her hazel eyes found me, brilliant dancing lights of love; her cane and a jumbo purse (over-stuffed with low-calorie treats) dangled from an outstretched arm, her hands already reaching out to touch my face. No matter my age, life was better when Mom was in town.

She found it unthinkable to arrive without groceries. Upon entering my house, we would unload the luggage and put away the small food store she managed to cram into her carry-on.

"I brought grapefruit," she would begin without fail, pulling a half-dozen incredulously oversized, yellow, citrus globes from her carrier, "I know you're watching your weight; I wanted you to have something you could eat."

"I don't like grapefruit Mom."

"You don't?" Each and every time I reminded her she was surprised anew. "Since when don't you like grapefruit?"

"I have NEVER liked grapefruit."

"Really? Your sister likes grapefruit."

"I know Mom. We go through this every time you visit."

Oh, how I miss that dance.

While I went about my daily duties, she filed, cleaned and - like clockwork - read her ever-present dog-eared paperback. Of course, she also prepared meals - lots and lots of meals.
The kitchen table, obscured by an assortment of low calorie, high fiber, semi-tasteless pastries imported via suitcase, became a testing ground to sample new fare.

"Try this," she said, referencing a brown, crusty, splotch topped with a dollop of brick-red ooze, "only 80 calories, no sugar."

Normally, I would have steered clear, not trusting the food's appearance enough to smell it, let alone ingest it. But if Mom said do it, I would leap from cliffs; my welfare was her highest priority.

We lunched on tuna salads (made with no fat mayo between two slices of high fiber bread), fruit salads (with low-fat yogurt), and coffee. Hers - half regular, half decaffeinated - was incomplete without non-fat milk; it being so vital that she carried small plastic vials of it next to the pink sweetener packages in her purse.

Supportive and forever proud of me, she was a driving force in giving me the strength to lose weight.

This day would have been Ruth Marcus's 80th birthday. In a season of blessings, I felt you needed to know her.

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus, THINspirational speaker, lives in Eureka, lost 70 pounds 11 years ago, and conducts presentations throughout the country. His first book, THE SHADE OF TREE IS THE VERY BEST SHADE THERE IS, is available at or at 707.442.6243

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