Back in the Day: Happy Mother's Day to Superhero Moms


The following Back in the Day piece originally appeared in the Fairfield Daily Republic on May 8, 2015

By Tony Wade

National Superheroes Day was April 28, but the only real-life superhero I’ve ever known was my mom.

She had super-hearing that could go down halls and penetrate doors, super-sight that could spot the second she walked in the door one of her decorative plates me and my brothers had broken during a fight and tried to glue together, and a sixth-sense feeling when we were about to do something stupid/dangerous that would put Spiderman’s tingly Spidey sense to shame.

Her most incredible power was healing. From kissing a bumped elbow when I was in grade school to getting off the couch with difficulty and manipulating her walker to come and give me a Momhug™ when I was going through a hard time as an adult.

I remember my first day at Breezy Point Kindergarten in Virginia in September 1969. I was destroyed when she left after dropping me off. But when I saw that she came back for me just like she promised at the end of the day, it was like Christmas.

My mom had moved from her birthplace of Texas as a teen, but kept a lil’ twang the rest of her life and always said things like “light bub,” not “bulb.”

She loved games and taught me how to play Scrabble and dominoes. When we played bones four-handed, she was always my partner against my dad and my brother Ken.

My daughter is known as Kaci, but that’s not her legal name. It’s short for K.C. Her first name is Katy and her middle name is Corene. She was named after my mom and my wife Beth’s mom, respectively.

We found out later that Katy means “pure” and Corene means “maiden.”

Other locals looked back on their moms:
Sharon Lim: My mom used to line all of us up and use electric clippers to cut our bangs. You’d get three to four “buzzes” across your forehead, and then she’d move on to the next person. I have six sisters, so you can imagine her trying to get through all of us. I remember running to the bathroom to check out the cut and running back to ask her to fix it, but she’d already be cleaning and oiling the clippers and would say, “You had your turn.”

Vicki Jensen: My mom, Lucy (Lucille) Burgett, taught ceramics in her garage and at the senior center for many years. I remember Dad going all over Solano County taking pictures of old barns that she’d paint on her ceramics. She also painted some of Fairfield and Suisun City history on ceramic plates that are displayed, I believe, in Fairfield City Hall. She was an amazing woman and mother.

Wendy Eckhart Ramirez: When I was a kid, we were heading home from our cabin up on Highway 50 and came up on a car that had crashed. Mom stopped and told us three kids to stay in the car. She came back a few minutes later and took my house coat. We waited until someone else drove up so she could tell them to call an ambulance. Finally the ambulance came and my mom got back in the car, but I didn’t get my house coat back. She’d used it to wrap the man’s head as it was bleeding badly. She probably saved his life with her comforting. I’ll never forget that.

Carl Lamera: Mom was less than 5 feet tall, smaller than a Hobbit, but stronger than anything Middle Earth could produce. She raised three boys that all graduated from college, all the while being the strong military wife/mom, moving from base to base. She was also an immigrant from the Philippines who put herself through college. Later in life she battled scleroderma and lupus for more than 20 years without complaint, keeping to her daily duties and responsibilities.

How strong was she? When I was in college, she came to visit, but I wasn’t in my dorm room. She proceeded to go down to the dining hall, pinch my ear Filipino-style between her knuckles and drag me out of the dining hall in front of all my peers. I was wincing and cracking up the whole time.
I miss her and love her forever.