David Post: First and foremost, she was Mom

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is an excerpt from remarks David Post gave Friday at the memorial service for his mother, longtime Post columnist Rose Post:
To call Mom a reporter isn’t exactly accurate. When she wrote, she had this gift of making every story about the best part of all of us.
I want to tell you about two.
Decades ago, she wrote about a couple who had a baby. The husband and wife were mixed marriage, which was a big deal 40 years ago. When the nurse asked the mother what race to fill in on the birth certificate, the mother asked why it was necessary and just wouldn’t do it. The nurse was insistent and said it had to be filled in before the couple could leave the hospital with their baby. The mother said, “Then, write down ‘human.’ ” The nurse said, “But we’re all that.” The mother said, “Exactly.”
That was a story Mom knew had to be told.
• • •
My mother wrote a column at the beginning of each school year that included a letter to the teacher of a child entering school for the first time.
I think that letter was to us, about what she expected of her own children. So I’ve plagiarized it and turned it into something of a prayer.
Dear Lord,
Our mom left our kingdom yesterday and entered yours. It’s all going to be strange and new to us for awhile, and I wish you would sort of treat us gently.
She was always around to repair our wounds and always there to soothe our feelings.
But now, things are going to be different.
She taught us to take that first step, to face the sun, and helped us prepare for our adventures knowing that our lives might include wars and tragedy and sorrow.
She taught us to live in a world that requires faith and love and courage. She took us by our young hands and taught us the things we need to know.
She taught us that all people are not just, that all people are not true.
That for every scoundrel, there is a her0. For every crooked politician, a dedicated leader.
That for every enemy, there is a friend.
She taught us early that bullies are the easiest to lick.
More than anything, she taught us the wonders of books and the joy of asking questions, of learning, of sharing.
She climbed mountains and walked beaches with us, took us everywhere, showing us the wonders of nature and the importance of history.
She taught us about the world of work.
And that it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
She taught us to have faith in our own ideas, even when everyone tells us we are wrong.
She gave us, by example, the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else seems to get on the bandwagon.
She taught us to listen to all people, but to close our ears in a howling mob and to stand and fight if we think we’re right.
She taught us to sell our brawn and brains to the highest bidder, but never to put a price tag on our heart and soul.
She taught us gently, but didn’t coddle us. She knew that only the test of fire makes fine steel.
She expected much from us. Finally, she taught us that the heaviest burden in life is to have great potential. And that that potential comes with responsibility.
So, Dear Lord, thank you.
She was such an incredible person, and she was our mom.