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U2 and Mother's Day


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Since today is Mother's Day in the US (and in all other countries that celebrate it on the 2nd Sunday in May; I know in Ireland and the UK (and many other places), it's three weeks before Easter Sunday - I didn't know how many different days it was celebrated on; see for yourself:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother's_Day

I wanted to honor my mother with this post (and hopefully other mothers will be honored similarly with posts after mine - that is the plan anyway). Of course, I would only be doing this here if U2 and my Mom had a connection, at least in terms of fandom - there is.

Before I get to that, with the arrival of today, of course, it reminded this U2 fan that two of our band don't have their mothers here with them (at least in the corporeal realm) and that's been the case for quite a while. I can only imagine the difficulty what it would be like to live most of your life without your mother being around. I admire all four of the band for very many reasons; however, youth is challenging enough to navigate with both your parents. Bono and Larry survived and figured out how to thrive at a tender age without the support and encouragement of their mothers - a truly impressive thing (and quite a testament to their fathers as well).

Today is the second Mother's Day without my mother; she passed away from leukemia in the autumn of 2016. The long battle with her illness and my wanting to be available to help her whenever possible contributed to my missing the last tour. The knowledge of potentially losing a parent at any given time can make a person a bit agoraphobic - that was certainly the case with me. I rarely went out in 2015 and 2016 - the thought of my being out somewhere and risk missing her passing was just too much. It was the first U2 tour I missed since I first saw them in 1986.

Now, the point of this thread is not morbidity and moroseness - not at all. I actually had a U2 experience with my Mom that happened by accident. I thought it would be a good tribute to her and the band to share it here. (Hopefully others here have similar stories and wouldn't mind sharing them too - if so, you have a thread.) I had two tickets to see the Vertigo tour stop in Pittsburgh, PA on October 22, 2005 in the old Mellon Arena. The person I was supposed to go with couldn't go. My mother, always a big Bono fan (I even got her the Grove Press edition of "The Psalms" that Bono wrote the introduction to because she was such an admirer of him), was back from Montana (that's where she was living then). So, the answer is simple - we just go together then, right? Well, it was a bit more circuitous than that...

I have to tell you more about my Mom first. I got my love of music from her. How many mothers were big fans, and regularly bought the albums, of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, early Chicago, The Guess Who, Queen, and Cream? Well, probably quite a few, but my Mom was one of that select group. The last group (Cream) plays a role in this story too. My Mom adored Cream and Eric Clapton, but especially Cream. Why is that relevant here? Well, back in 2005, the often-rumored/never-previously-actualized "Cream reunion" finally happened. The problem: outside the UK shows, they were only playing 3 shows in the US - three consecutive nights in MSG, NYC. These also occurred in October of 2005. I knew how much she would have loved to go to any of the three shows; however, that reunion was the very epitome of the "tough ticket" - everyone in the country (if not worldwide) was trying to buy them. So, as you may have guessed, only single seats were available and very, very few of those. I let her know the bad news and offered her the opportunity to see U2 in Pittsburgh in place of MSG. Her reaction was wonderful - her single syllable ("Oh!?!") was the perfect distillation of the thought "i'm-disappointed-but-also-delighted-by-this-unforseen-surprise-alternative". As Paul Simon might put it, this "mother/child reunion" (and roadtrip) was on...

Remember the ellipse? Of course you do - you're U2.com members! Well, I saw several shows on that tour in the GA section, but not once did I win the "ellipse lottery". Well, I know it sounds like a bad Hollywood script, but what do you think happened in Pittsburgh? You guessed it - we won the lottery. Being a seasoned Vertigo-tour veteran, I knew right where to go. "Wait! You went to the rail by the stage with your poor aged mother?!?!" I hear you say. No - you weren't listening: she's a big Bono fan, remember? I went right to the part of the ellipse furthest from the stage because that's where Bono emerged from underneath the walkway. We took our position, and Mom wanted to know why we were specifically there. I told the truth, "Bono is going to come up right here." She gave me that trusty supercilious look that parents excel in when they think one of their offspring is bullsh!tting them. I recognized that look at once, not always being wrongly accused. But she was wrong THIS time! "Just wait..." I sighed while concealing a confident grin.

Well, Bono sauntered underneath the walkway with his local bodyguard right by us. As he was coming, I nonchalantly arced my thumb in his direction. My mother was speechless - one of her idols was right in front of her. I yawned from the experience that I had already witnessed plenty of times. I was a total fanboy too. :lol: Well, to make a long story a little shorter, she had a great time at a great show, as did her son - link for proof (apparently, the show report is still coming soon) :

http://www.u2.com/tour/date/id/4347

She talked about this show for years afterward. I got her a DVD of the Cream reunion from the Royal Albert Hall shows for her birthday later - so she won twice. (Amusing side note: she couldn't make the "CD" I got her play after she had opened it. I let her know it would probably work better in the DVD player. We had a good laugh over that.) I used this story as a part of my eulogy for her. Most of her friends and family knew the story from her telling it so often and were delighted to relive her excitement; others were hearing it for the first time but weren't surprised because they knew she was a "rock-n-roll momma". (A few years later, she even endured another standing GA show with me for Howard Jones - did I mention she liked music?)

So, now to the point. Thank you, Mom, for being my mother. You positively affected and influenced me more than I could possibly hope to describe. I love you and miss you more than I can say. Thank you for going to this show with me too - I'm convinced it was destined to be. (I recently found a card she was going to send to me before I came back home to be with her before she died. It was so reassuring just to see her writing again.)

 

Also, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who successfully balance their family lives and their U2 fandom. I've already seen the continuing proof in the concert threads.

 

Well, I was hoping that there would be others here that might have U2 stories involving their mothers. If you do, please tell it! :) If not, it can be a generic Mother's Day wish thread too.

Edited by dmway
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A P.S. before Mother's Day ends...

She also used to watch "Under A Blood Red Sky" with me on MTV when it was shown all the time. She also really liked JT, the "18 Singles" CD (which she played all the time), and the "Under A Blood Red Sky" CD.

I'm watching Red Rocks in her honor tonight... ?️

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I'm sorry you lost her, dmway.  I admire how you are honoring her in such a cool manner.  My mom was a fan of music.  She was also very bad at returning those album of the month cards so we had cool albums too.  She did not listen to those much.  I did.  CSNY Live, Janis Joplin-Pearl, etc.   She indulged my love of music as did my dad.  A radio was an easy babysitter break for them.  I'd be glued to it for hours.  When I got older she would bribe me to go shopping with her.  I hated it because I'd have to sit on that dreaded bench outside the female dressing room.  I was surrounded by bras or whatever else and I hated it.  She also tried on everything in the store.  I started refusing to go with her. One day she looked at me and asked, "What if I buy you an album if you go with me?"  She knew she had me.  No way was I gonna pass on an album. .  I eventually held out for two albums by pointing out that the albums in the mall were more expensive than those at a local record store called The Exclusive Company.  MY TURN!!!  She'd drive me to that store and I'd be going through any and every genre I could find. She'd be getting anxious, as her shopping was done. A few years progressed.  One day she walked up to me and said, "What is this playing?"  "I don't know but I like it." I went back to looking at old Cheap Trick albums.  "Mum is gonna buy you this album."   "No!, I want other ones."   "Okay but Mum is gonna buy you this one too."  It turns out the album she bought me was Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young.  I had heard him on CSNY Live, but was too young to remember.   The song that was playing was called The Thrasher.  It's still one of my favorite Neil Young songs.  My mom turned me onto Neil Young.  I had all I could find of Neil Young albums within a couple months.  I was working by then.  I only went shopping with her so I could pull stunts. like timing it so when she came out of the dressing room I'd be looking at bras and turn and loudly ask, "What are these things made of and why are some so small while others look enormous?"  I was in my teens. I loved it.  I knew my dad would spit up his beer, in laughter, at dinner when she told him.  "Son, you shouldn't do that to your mother." "It's okay.  Next time I'll just try on twice as many clothes."   She did and then some.  She's 80 in December. Now I get to tease her about how she looks like my aunt (huge but loving sibling rivalry) and sounds more like her each and every day.  "Davohd....shut up!"   I love it.  I call her fairly often.  She is asking me about U2 lately because she knows how excited I am.  She is the one person who will never tell me to shut up about U2.      "Well?  How as it?"   "That's not for a couple weeks yet, Mom."  "Are they going to use that thing your wrote?"   "Mom, it's called a Be Attitude and I've no idea.  Why do you call it a thing or a bitatune when you know the Beatitudes?"   "I don't know.  Leave me alone.  Why are you picking on me?"  "Because it's fun."   "Well, Mum doesn't appreciate it."  She loves it.  

dmway....I'm sorry you are missing your mom.  My aunt died of Leukemia and I think about her all the time.  I hope you find peace in watching U2 this evening.  I very much enjoyed reading your tribute.  You asked others of their moms and U2-that's mine.  My dad died in 2000.  I can say that as the years progressed,  the memories became much, much more on my mind than the pain of missing him.  With a story which has Bono and your mom and a live show.....I think your missing her will have the peace of remembrances which grow more and more precious.  I hope you feel that peace when you watch Under A Blood Red Sky this evening.

Edited by Manohlive
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1 hour ago, DeirdreBell said:

My husband and kid have finally nailed this Mothers Day thing. This was what I unwrapped this morning. 

329C41D2-00FD-47CF-BD01-D3EDB26B7603.jpeg

I can see it's vinyl and I know the covers so that's covered. haha  But I can't see what the other stuff is?  I'm happy for you, Deirdre Bell.  Happy Mother's Day.

 

Edited by Manohlive
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@Manohlive @DeirdreBell

Those are great gifts, Deirdre! ? Your family is on the ball! ?

 

Manohlive, that was exactly the kind of story that I was confident that people had here. I thought it would be a nice idea to tell them here on this day. (I think they fact that there is no U2 show today and that people are away from the list simply because it is Mother's Day in North America that more people haven't posted.)

I'm at peace with my mother's passing. I was at the time too. The grieving I had really came with the original diagnosis - that was quite a shock. Leukemia is an unpredictable illness too - many people do actually beat it. I was sure she would beat it until the last week or two. The disease doesn't run in our family, and she couldn't have had a healthier diet and fitness regime. At the end, she was merely existing, not living. As much as I loved her and didn't want her to go yet, I also wanted her to have relief. It was her time. We were able to say the things that needed to be said before her passing. That's all you can ask for at that moment, really. I'm very happy for all our memories together - doubly so for the U2 ones.

I loved your story. Mom's can be great, eh? ?

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8 minutes ago, dmway said:

@Manohlive @DeirdreBell

Those are great gifts, Deirdre! ? Your family is on the ball! ?

 

Manohlive, that was exactly the kind of story that I was confident that people had here. I thought it would be a nice idea to tell them here on this day. (I think they fact that there is no U2 show today and that people are away from the list simply because it is Mother's Day in North America that more people haven't posted.)

I'm at peace with my mother's passing. I was at the time too. The grieving I had really came with the original diagnosis - that was quite a shock. Leukemia is an unpredictable illness too - many people do actually beat it. I was sure she would beat it until the last week or two. The disease doesn't run in our family, and she couldn't have had a healthier diet and fitness regime. At the end, she was merely existing, not living. As much as I loved her and didn't want her to go yet, I also wanted her to have relief. It was her time. We were able to say the things that needed to be said before her passing. That's all you can ask for at that moment, really. I'm very happy for all our memories together - doubly so for the U2 ones.

I loved your story. Mom's can be great, eh? ?

I just got done with talking to my mom.  I forgot to send a card.  I can plead confusion and she knows.  I did not find out until late Friday and there's no way I'd get anything to her. by today without it costing a fortune. I thought it was next week.  So, I read her the story I wrote.  She was happy a story about her was posted on U2.com.  She's gonna tell her friends.  She's famous!  Mom's are the best.  I spoke with my Godmother too.  She's very dear to me.  They were stuck halfway between Minneapolis and Madison and stopped because a river flooded the highway.  (fun fun) She has Alzheimer's.  It is odd.  Because I get confused w/head crap....I can relate and make it funny by picking on my own self.  I had her laughing and remembering things too.  It's all good with her.  She's 90 and can walk miles and is never sick.  It will be a bummer but I'm at peace with it already.  Mothers are great, yes.  I'm happy you liked my story. (I'm gonna watch  the 360 dvd tonight).

I'm very glad to hear you are not hurting as much as I thought.  I did the same with my dad.  I"m very happy to know you are at peace.  So my wish changes....may you feel both peace and joy as you watch the dvd tonight.

Edited by Manohlive
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7 hours ago, dmway said:

A P.S. before Mother's Day ends...

She also used to watch "Under A Blood Red Sky" with me on MTV when it was shown all the time. She also really liked JT, the "18 Singles" CD (which she played all the time), and the "Under A Blood Red Sky" CD.

I'm watching Red Rocks in her honor tonight... ?️

Dmway...

Thanks for your very personal mother's day story, as I am naughtily eating the gummy worms(like pop-corn), that my 8 year old son gave me for mothers day.

Your story is optimistic....and yet rings of hollow sadness and yearnings.

You will always have those U2 memories with your mother that will carry you through those  days...when you miss her the most. 

My mother has b-cell leukemia, and is in remission....so I empathize with you, at least with mysterious aspects of the disease. No rhyme or reason whom it selects....my mother is a health nut....so it was not expected.

DMway... while reading your story...you have enlightened me....and brought new appreciation to my relationship with my mother. First off, she is still here....so I should value her even more, knowing you lack and mourn that opportunity within your own life.

My mother and I have had our differences on what a 'ideal' mother/daughter relationship should resemble....for I have always sought more of her interest/ involvement in my life. One thing my mother always supported was developing my sense of self/individuality/interests. I've loved U2 since i was twelve years old....in the early eighties.

I played u2 over and over....from boy/october/war/unforgettable fire....very loud....and my mother never said anything. She supported my love for U2....in her silent and hands-off way. I  thank her for allowing me to plaster u2 posters that covered every inch of my bedroom walls and even the ceiling.  occasionally, she's walk past my bedroom,  peak her head in...and say...."I like that song''. My mother...would never expel a judgement....with each new U2 picture that invaded my personal space. She allowed and respected my personal space....my room was a haven....to explore what I needed and wanted out of life. U2 served as a vessel for all those yearnings....or questions I had for myself and of others.

U2 filled the void ..... and the music became a surrogate parent to counsel my adolescent pain....

I thank my mother for allowing me to be me....even when she wasn't there for me, emotionally available.....or asked me questions about my life. Indirectly, she answered those questions, by allowing me to be "ME"...and to discover those questions through my own unassisted path/journey.

Indirectly, my mother has become a U2 fan.....maybe not formally knowing the names of their songs....but, appreciates the 4 people who created those beautiful sounds that shaped her daughter's life so intensely.

Edited by unforgettableu2
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Such beautiful thoughts from everyone. (And here I am just posting some presents. How shallow!) I can imagine how hard it is to be without your mom on Mother’s Day. But as a mom I can tell you that the whole job, if you’ve done it well, is to nurture and shape and test your children so that they can function in the world without you. And that’s both beautiful and sad. I guess it’s better to focus on the beautiful part.  You carry a part of your mother with you always. As the lyric goes “I’ve got your light inside of me...”

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Manohlive said:

I just got done with talking to my mom.  I forgot to send a card.  I can plead confusion and she knows.  I did not find out until late Friday and there's no way I'd get anything to her. by today without it costing a fortune. I thought it was next week.  So, I read her the story I wrote.  She was happy a story about her was posted on U2.com.  She's gonna tell her friends.  She's famous!  Mom's are the best.  I spoke with my Godmother too.  She's very dear to me.  They were stuck halfway between Minneapolis and Madison and stopped because a river flooded the highway.  (fun fun) She has Alzheimer's.  It is odd.  Because I get confused w/head crap....I can relate and make it funny by picking on my own self.  I had her laughing and remembering things too.  It's all good with her.  She's 90 and can walk miles and is never sick.  It will be a bummer but I'm at peace with it already.  Mothers are great, yes.  I'm happy you liked my story. (I'm gonna watch  the 360 dvd tonight).

I'm very glad to hear you are not hurting as much as I thought.  I did the same with my dad.  I"m very happy to know you are at peace.  So my wish changes....may you feel both peace and joy as you watch the dvd tonight.

Yes, I read your very heartfelt post about your struggles and meant to reply - if you don't mind, I'll reply here. IMHO, the pharmaceutical industry, and the doctors who aided and abetted them, ought to be raked through the coals for foisting overly-potent opioids on the public for years without proper accountability. As you know unfortunately, and I'm very sorry that you know, these medications have all kinds of negative side-effects, even if they aren't taken for very long. Well, I'm very glad you are on the mend. Very bluntly, the pharma-industry was no better than old-fashioned pushers...

Back on topic - I'm happy that your mother is happy for being Internet-famous on U2.com! ? I'm happy you have such a good relationship with your godmother too. You can never have too many people to get along with.

Yes, I am at peace and I'm glad you made the same peace with your father. Your saying that reminded me how much Bono had his Dad on his mind during the HTDAAB session and on the Vertigo tour. He took his feelings about his Dad's eventual passing head-on, and that probably helped him a great deal in accepting it after it happened.

I hope you had as much fun watching U2360 as I did with Red Rocks last night. I forgot little things about that show - I might have to post about those in another thread.

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