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:
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. 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) :
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.