Todd with mom

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The drive to compose these stories was born during my lunch break from a weekend shift at the hospital. It happened to be Mother’s Day weekend, 2021.

For good reason, my thoughts had been with my long departed Mom. I had picked up some fast food and decided to go have lunch with Mom and Dad out north of town where they have rested for over 20 years now.

What rolled out of my mind and heart was the initial of many personal essays titled, “The Boy Who Lassoed His Moon.” It is a gift from me to you on Mother’s Day to enjoy, laugh and maybe cry a little as you read. An underlying theme is to show gratitude to those who shaped me and contributed so immensely to my life. Stay tuned, more to come!

In the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart’s character George offers to prove his love to Mary, with this quote, “ You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down…”

Despite the sheer impossibility to humanly lasso the moon, it does make obvious the depth and sincerity of George’s love for his sweetheart. But I know of a time where that kind of love was physically proven willingly and fearlessly. It did not quite involve the moon, but just a boy, a lasso, and his mom.

Cub Scout skills were due to be “checked off” to earn those coveted badges. One skill involved tying knots, making a rope lasso and successfully lassoing an object, any object a few times in a row. The boy threw and threw that lasso, failing to secure the milk can, then a bucket , then came frustration. Watching from the kitchen window by the sink, this “Cub Scouter mom” was not about to let this skill go “unchecked” and badge not earned. “How can I keep him focused on this?” undoubtedly ran through her mind.

Unbeknownst to her, the active gymnastic mind of the boy was formulating a new strategy. Into the kitchen he bounded, rope still in hand, “Come on Momma! I’m gonna lasso you!”

So, out in the backyard, there stood the mom. Tall, willowy and willing. Throw after unsuccessful throw was made. Some caught her shoulder, some around half of her head. Arms overhead, arms to the side, the struggle continued. In the sake of brevity, the required repetitions of cinching up mom with the lasso was finally accomplished, badge was awarded and life returned to normal.

The boy has not touched or thrown a rope lasso since and probably never will. And mom is no longer here to be his helper and ever sacrificing subject. However, the badge is in a small box, inside a bigger box, safely stored in the boy’s basement. It will never perish, disintegrate or fail to remind the example lesson to the boy of the day his “moon,” his heavenly everything, paused her orbit to be lassoed by her “moon,” her everything little boy.

My mom left me unexpectedly and suddenly in a car accident over 27 years ago. Her magnetic force on me was gone in an instant — or so it seemed. Without her, my orbit flew askew from all rhyme and reason. She was a minister of blessings to all within her universe. One of the few humans I have known whose perpetual goal in life was unremittingly to be of service to others. She was my guiding planet around which my life revolved. It has taken years for my orbit to right itself. Writing these stories of my life has been instrumental in that journey. So to my Mom: Connie Jean Smith Thomas, I say I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU, job well done!

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