12:31:51 pm on
Monday 18 Oct 2021

Sunday Morning
AJ Robinson

Source: AJ Robinson Archives

“Sunday Morning.” Those such nice words. Two little words that invoke a plethora of images: home, family, maybe religion and faith as well as peace and quiet. For my wife Jo Ann and I it’s a time to sleep in, relax, watch CBS Sunday Morning and then go out for a leisurely breakfast.

Sunday at the breakfast table.

I love breakfast. It’s my favourite meal, especially if pancakes are included. Now, Sunday mornings arouse memories of a long ago.

I remember when I was quite young and not nearly as big as I am today. I would rise and immediately rush to my parents. We had a routine worked out.

I don’t recall how it came to be, clearly it was set down when I was a wee toddler. I’d enter their room and they’d be sitting up in bed reading the Boston Globe, Sunday Edition. At the foot of their bed was a trunk stuffed with blankets and extra bedding.

This was my entryway to my predetermined spot. Climbing up on the trunk I’d crawl into the bed between them, plod down and slip under the covers and be handed my section of the paper: the comics. Of course, I couldn’t the comics, at least not in those first couple years; I waited until Dad was done with whatever article he was currently engrossed in and then he’d help me with them.

There was Wizard of Id, Momma, Beetle Bailey and several others. In those days, newsprint was inexpensive and so there were many Sunday comics, which were big and bright, using only the primary colours. Dad would read me each panel, explain the joke or story and then finish with the little trivia section at the bottom of the page.

Dad said that Momma was a typical Jewish mother and son scenario, which was totally lost on me. I enjoyed the humour. I did notice that Miss Buxley was quite big.

I suppose, today, such strips would be considered politically incorrect. Also, some of the trivia was incorrect. One item perpetuated the myth that kangaroo means “I don’t know” and is supposed to be what a native said when Captain Cook asked after the animal.

Mom was always there to help me.

It was a while before I was able to handle the Jumble and other puzzles on my own. Mom was always there to help. Those are the words that now cut through me. She always was there.

Getting ready for church.

Mom would eventually take me downstairs to the kitchen. She made breakfast. Then it was time to dress to go to church, Sunday school for me, then the little social get-together after services, which I liked.

There was usually nice stuff to snack on, after the service. I got to play with my friends for a while. Then it was home for Sunday dinner.

Yes, that was most especially special. I never did understand why we ate dinner for lunch on Sunday or why we sat at the big table in the dining room. I merely accepted that Sunday was different and Mom would always make a super special meal.

Often, grandmother and grandfather would join us. Sometimes I’d help mom with the preparation and the cleanup; the rest of the day was for family. At the close of the day, she was always there to tuck-me-in; she’d know what was needed for tomorrow, for me to go back to school on Monday. Yes, she was always there.

Mom is not there anymore.

The time between me writing this sentence and the previous one was close to a full minute. My mom is not anywhere, not at Aston-Gardens or Solaris or anyplace else. Her physical body was taken by those that specialise in caring for the dearly departed.

I trust they treated her with dignity and soon we will obtain the results: her ashes. Yet, I can’t help but wonder: is that it? Is that truly all we are?

Well, now we’re getting into existential questions concerning the meaning of life, existence and the nature of the soul. I remember someone saying that the human brain is the only finite computer capable of contemplating the infinite; that’s the strongest evidence of us being more than merely a mind and body.

There was a scene in the movie Fantastic Voyage where two characters engage in that exact debate as they’re traveling through the brain of the patient on whom they are to operate. One of them smarmily asks to be notified when they pass the soul. The other replies that the finite mind cannot comprehend infinity and the human soul, which comes from God, is infinite.

She’ll always be there for me.

Whatever lies before me, I no longer fear it. Mom will be there. Yes, she’ll always be there for me.

 

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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