Friday, January 20, 2012


My mom's birthday is this coming Sunday.
She would have been 86.

One thing we loved to do together
is go to a casino.
Once a year we'd drive
to Foxwoods in CT.,
stay overnight,
and play slots
to our hearts' content.

We even managed to go
when she was fighting cancer
and it cheered her up so much.

Here is a poem I wrote about one such trip:


When we went to Foxwoods
a few years ago,
my mom had such a successful
time playing the Lucky
Seven machine

I remember the grin
on her face when I
found her in the non-
smoking casino
standing like the Statue
of Liberty with her hand
up flagging me down.
And there were
the three red sevens
lined up like soldiers.

After she was paid her 1,199
we meandered around
other casino rooms
and eventually settled
at a different bank
of machines: she in
front of a Lucky Seven
and me a 5X Diamond
a few seats away from her.

I can still remember
her calling out to me
every time she won:
the three green sevens,
the three purple sevens,
and twice more
the three red sevens.

Everyone around her
was cheering her on.

The only ones she
didn’t get were the pink
sevens that paid 500 coins.

Just before leaving
we walked through
one more time
and she put a $20 bill
into yet another
Lucky Seven machine
and, of course, this
time she got the pinks.

I should have known
then that this winning
day was going to be
our last good time
together at a casino.

But there was no message
in the clanging bells
announcing her success
that less than a year
later she’d be in the hospital
too weak to even
put her own cannula
into her trach
never mind a quarter
into a Lucky Seven
slot machine.

The other night my sister
texted me:

"Maybe we will be able to
go to Immokalee? For
lunch and a little slots in
honor of mom! I know she
would approve."

"Excellent idea! Let's do it!
I texted her back."

So, with mom in our hearts
we went yesterday.

My morning started with this.
It felt like my mom's spirit
filling me!

We entered the casino
with high hopes even though neither of us
is particularly lucky like our mom was.

And we did great for awhile
but, eventually gave it all back.

But, that's okay.
We both felt lucky,

lucky to have the chance to spend the day together
lucky to have a hundred extra dollars to waste,

lucky to have had our mom.


Cindy said...

Poignant post! It gave me chills looking at that sunshine through the window. Your mom was with you. You didn't see her but you felt her. The most valuable things in life are often those things we cannot see.

Anonymous said...

Well written....touching you , touching me.


Lisa said...

How nice. :)