I am four years old and I am walking with my Dad at Eaton’s in downtown Vancouver. It is early 1960’s, all of the men are in suits and women in flower dresses. The sun is streaming in and the noise from the gathered shoppers is distracting to me. My Dad keeps a good pace, and it would be easy to lose him. I’m not worried, because my Dad is wearing brown dress shoes and all of the other gentlemen are wearing black. I am walk-running and staring at my Dad’s shoes, making sure not to hold him back (holding my Dad back would mean staying back at the house in Whonnock next time).

At some point, the brown dress shoes stop, and I look up to make sure my Dad is still with me. It is not my Dad! I can still remember the absolute terror of that moment, and the man who was as out of fashion as my Dad. He looked at me, and then walked off into the sunshine. I swear, as God is my witness, the next thing I heard was my Mother’s voice echoing across Eaton’s like a bugle horn, screaming my name! It was LOUD! I yelled back, we were reunited and everyone was happy (although many had ears ringing, my Mom could belt it out) except for my Dad (it was somehow his fault, but as long as I wasn’t in trouble it was all good).

My Mom’s voice was quite the instrument. She used to sing on CKNW Radio with her sister Laura on talent shows, they would sing songs like the Clooney Sisters. I don’t remember my Mom’s singing voice, but do recall what she said. Since she has passed, I feel more brave each year, and free to let you in one some unique parts of her personality.

My Mom had a lifelong friendship with profanity. If you met her once, you would think she was a sweet person and very generous (she was). If you knew here a little, there was a good chance a ‘dammit’ would slip out from time to time. If you knew my Mom well? She could put a trucker to shame. My Dad, who never swore, would often refer to her ‘potty mouth’ and her retorts (‘go to hell, Ira!’) were a real education for me.

I never cared, always thought it made my Mom cooler than the other Moms. Along with her incredible temper, it gave my childhood some color, and humor (something she had in real abundance). My Mom was a fun lady, I miss her laugh and her humanity and (incredibly) her way with the swear words.

Happy Mother’s Day! Hug your Mom and make sure she has a great day. You would not be the person you are without her. I love you Mom. Say hi to Dad and his brown shoes.  (Usual post at 8:30).

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13 Responses to "HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    Happy Mother’s Day everyone including Mrs Lowetide.

  2. Clarkenstein says:

    I lost my Mom about 3 weeks ago. She had a bit of a mouth at times too… mostly during a Rider game! I guess that’s where I got it from. Lord knows you get lots of practice watching that damn team. Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

  3. Lowetide says:

    I lost my Mom about 3 weeks ago.She had a bit of a mouth at times too… mostly during a Rider game! I guess that’s where I got it from.Lord knows you get lots of practice watching that damn team.Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

    Ah, crap. So sorry to hear, Clarke. THE worst club to be a part of. Thoughts with you, Curtis and all family.

  4. Lawgirl says:

    Thanks for another well written post LT (as usual). On a selfish note, I am happy to read that my potty mouth won’t be detrimental to my kids’ development haha. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  5. Ice Sage says:

    In five paragraphs, you have shared the essence of motherhood (with the sigh of a bygone era).

    Thank you so much, ALLAN!

    All the best to all the Mom’s.

  6. Mantis says:

    LT, the little moments you share with us from your childhood and family life through the years are the real treasures of this place.

    I’m just a bit younger than you and lucky enough to still have my Mom. A special thanks to you today as well for helping me to keep grounded and never take days like this for granted.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  7. prefonmich says:

    Come for the hockey, stay for the stories. Thank you, Allan, for sharing so much of yourself in your blog. I thoroughly enjoy your calm, thoughtful, seemingly objective perspective of our beloved team. What keeps me coming back though is your eloquent way with words and exceptional story telling. As a mom myself who has a trucker mouth only when watching Oiler games I really enjoyed your story about your mom.

  8. Showerhead says:

    Happy Mother’s Day! I have a story about how Mrs. Lowetide – who I have never met – helped me out enormously just yesterday.

    It starts with a quote that I first read here and did not understand at the time: “Start as you mean to go.” I kind of want to do a blog search to see when you first referenced it, LT, but I remember reading it, I remember being confused, and I remember you attributing it to your lady love.

    Fast forward to 2012 or so. I was dating a woman at the time who had just been accepted into med school and who was anxious as can be about how it would go for her. She prided herself on being a well rounded person – she was athletic, she was into the arts, she had a full social life… On and on. She was easily the most type A person I had ever met.

    Anyhow, as she began med school, she was determined to maintain all of those aspects of her life that she valued. Even as her first exams appeared on her calendar’s horizon, she was scheduling time to go to the gym, to play music, to practice and perform dance – all of it, really – and I thought she was nuts. How was she going to manage school like this?

    In the end, of course, she survived med school largely because she kept a healthy and balanced life and, more relevantly to today, she started med school with that frame of mind instead of letting herself get overwhelmed and then trying to add her good habits in piecemeal. In short, she taught me the meaning of Mrs. Lowetide’s phrase.

    What does that have to do with “Mrs. LT helped me out enormously” just last night?

    One thing my med school partner also taught me about was anxiety and stress and incompatibility. And how two people who value each other and who deeply care about each other aren’t automatically a good fit for each other. During fights, her high energy often brought out a quiet, stonewalling side of me that wasn’t healthy for either one of us. We ended up parting on amiable terms a couple of years ago – a split that was very much for the best for both of us.

    Moving on. For the last little while, I’ve been falling very hard for a woman who excites me and understands me and challenges me – all of these from a place of mutual teamwork and support. I know, this is cheesy – bear with me – but I have never felt as well understood, valued, stretched, and complemented by someone as I do right now. It’s expanding my paradigms in a powerful way.

    And like I said, it’s new. Last night we had an uncomfortable conversation – a difficult conversation whose details don’t matter right now – but brings us closer to Mrs. LT’s words of wisdom.

    During that conversation (which took place in the car – why do they all happen in cars?) I felt myself tense up as things became challenging and I felt old instincts of withdrawal and silence creeping in. I could feel my partner take note of the distance and look at me with confusion and begin to be hurt by it and then I pulled over the car because Mrs. Lowetide’s age-old “Start as you mean to go” was ringing loudly in my ears.

    At the side of the road, I took a deep breath, and started with “You are too important to me for me to distance myself like this. I want to do this right.” The rest of the conversation was miles more productive. We became a team. Understanding was reached – meaningful understanding, not the superficial “on the fly” / “let’s paper over this” kind.

    And, owing to Mrs. LT’s age old adage, a major habit for “how we engage during stress” was begun, by both of us, the best way we know how – from the very beginning, where good habits are easiest to build and bad ones haven’t had time to set in.

    Long winded, but that’s the only way I know how to be. Happy Mother’s Day.

  9. supernova says:

    Excellent job LT.

    My 4 year old daughter loved my mom, they have already developed quite the bond and it’s awesome to see.

  10. Lowetide says:

    showerhead: Great, great story. I will tell Mrs. Lowetide, sure she will be pleased. 🙂

  11. Showerhead says:


    Ha, awesome. Honoured.

  12. digger50 says:


    Some people can really write. It seems a lost art.

    Great story to share, thanks.

  13. bendelson says:

    My Mom has always been the true hockey fan in the family. My Dad enjoyed the games as well, but the annual shelling out for the seasons tickets? That wasn’t Dad, that was all Mom. She was playing the long-term game. During the mid-nineties, Dad continually threatened to walk away from the tickets – the price was skyrocketing whilst the quality of the home team was fading, year after year. Mom wouldn’t budge, the tickets were going nowhere – they were for the family. When things got tight, they would sell off whatever tickets they had to in order to survive… and they always survived. The ‘official’ transfer only occurred a couple of years back with my younger brother (yes, the ‘ladder’ guy – he’s doing well) and I taking over the tickets. It felt good to be able to hand our opening night Roger’s Place tickets to them last October. A small token of appreciation for hanging tough for so long…

    Thanks Mom!
    Happy Mother’s Day.

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