This Mother’s Day gift had not a flying chance

Mother’s Day gifts — perfume, perhaps an attractive pocketbook or tasteful jewelry?

Not for this woman. Instead I was given an iFly experience, a sport that involves being shot up into a huge silo of hell, it seemed to me, by a blast of air that contains the power of 130-mph winds. I am a senior citizen. Does this seem like a good idea?

I could easily see my future. I envisioned the trainer losing his grip on me, allowing me to shoot upward four stories, through the netting and into the atmosphere. I would single-handedly resemble the Titanic, but instead of going down I would plummet up. The control tower at Kennedy Airport would mistake me for a UFO. And, worst of all, I would be doing this in an unflattering orange space suit (a color that does absolutely nothing for my complexion).

Alternately, I could imagine myself grabbing onto the trainer in a horrifying display of cowardice. It would take the Jaws of Life to pry him from my panicked grip. No way would this be what anyone imagined this sport should remotely resemble. I would be sued for sexual harassment by the trainer, and my stellar career as a librarian would be forever tarnished.

And so I opted not to try this death-defying gift. Luckily, no money was forfeited. My then 3- and 5-year-old grandchildren used my credit. And they had a great time!

Marcia Blackman,

East Meadow

Living the memory of my mother

On Mother’s Day, I remember my mother, Teresa, who died in 1963, with a great deal of fondness and love. Although I was just 14 when she died, my mother impressed upon me the importance of respecting everyone I met and showing kindness even if it was not returned.

My mother did charity work for the church and community in Queens Village. She went door-to-door collecting funds for Jerry Lewis' Muscular Dystrophy Association and for CancerCare, a nonprofit that provides support services. When I asked her why she did so much for others, she said it was because the Lord had given her so much.

What she said rubbed off on me. I have served in the Navy; I am a Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, a member of American Legion Post 103 and of St. Anastasia and Our Lady of the Snows parishes. Among other charitable activities, I help run two blood drives a year for the Knights of Columbus.

When people ask why I do so much for others, I tell them my mother inspired me. I also credit how we spent our Sundays back then: Families would get dressed up in their best to attend their houses of worship. It was a scene repeated all over our community in Queens Village. We believed in the saying, "A family that prays together, stays together."

When my mother died, my father said to me, "Don't ever forget your mother." Well I never have. If my mother were here, I would say, "Thank you for helping me to be all that I am today." Mother’s Day is a good day to remember our mothers, those who are living and who have died.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,

Glen Oaks Village

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