Most mornings, I’m in a hurry out the door.
Lately, I’ve been trying to go to the gym or for a run before work — people who know me are probably shocked by that. I’m not a morning person at all. I used to make a cup of coffee each morning so I could wake up and drink it before I actually got out of bed and got ready.
But now, as I head out the door, I’ll reach for a granola bar, banana or something else, and head out and eat it as I walk down the stairs of my apartment complex to my car — walking and eating isn’t that easy. I can barely do one thing at a time.
I’m reminded daily of this dumb joke my mom used to tell me all the time growing up. Every time she would see me standing and eating a sandwich, apple, candy or anything else, she would tell me to stop.
“If you eat while standing, it’s going to go straight to your feet,” she would say.
I think about that most days now, and it always makes me laugh.
It’s a corny enough mom-joke that I can respect it. I catch myself telling people that all the time now.
Today would have been Sharron K. Roberts’ 54th birthday.
My mom passed in February 2012 due to complications from diabetes. She was a sick woman most of my life, but she really was always one of the best people in the world until the end.
I don’t have a ton of pictures or vivid memories of conversations I had with my mom, but I do have a lot of those small reminders like that joke that will hit me weekly, monthly or, in some cases, daily.
She was an important part of my life, and while I didn’t have a ton of time with her, the time I did have was worth a lifetime of memories.
Running along the highway Monday morning, minutes after devouring a granola bar, I thought about what she was trying to tell me — maybe I thought about it too much. I feel like on some level aside from the obvious joke, she was trying to tell me to calm down, take a breath, take a second for myself and relax long enough to finish eating.
I think she was good at that. For the first 19-20 years of my life, my mom tried to cook dinner for me, my brother and my dad. She understood the importance of taking a moment to sit, eat and share time with each other.
Now, looking back, some of my best memories are of those hours-long conversations we had sitting at the dinner table.
What I wouldn’t give to have just one more of those conversations.
Happy birthday, mom.
Bradley Roberts is managing editor of the Times-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org