For my mother, Juliana, on Mother’s Day…You’ll Never Walk Alone


Walk On, Walk On

 

With hope in your heart

 

And you’ll never walk alone….

 

 

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Note: This is a modified version of a previous post from my other blog on my mother’s birthday. My feelings haven’t changed about her, so here it is again.

My mother, Juliana, was a wonderful person, and you would expect me to say that, but I dare anyone to prove me wrong. She was blessed with a spectacular operatic voice, one of such wonder and beauty that she appeared as a child on local radio shows and had a chance at a contract with the CBS Radio Network.

She loved Gilbert And Sullivan operettas and anything Wagner. Her favorite was TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. However, she also met the love of her life, my dad, and that created choices that she had to make.

I am confident and proud to say that she chose correctly, because she became our mother. She gave up the dream of professional singing, but still sang, both around the house and around the area. We are Roman Catholic, but for almost 20 years, she sang at TEMPLE ZION on Pine Road in Huntington Valley, just outside of Philly. When I was a kid, I would accompany her up to her singing job on Friday nights. We would have flounder dinners at the Quaker Diner on Rising Sun Ave. However, it would also allow me the thrill of hearing her join others who held a different faith from us, yet still realize the beauty of that faith to the fullest.

She put six kids through school, facing the myriad tough times and many great times, and she was always there for us. She is much like my sister is, in that she would also do for you, not because you expected it but because she knew that you needed it. All of the Hickman kids, grandkids, and great grandkids possess this trait.

So many wonderful memories of her in Longport NJ every summer (when we could afford Longport,), Disney World, and finally, two trips to paradise, Hawaii.

And, when you thought she could deliver nothing more beautiful, she gave us my wonderful brother Tommy at the age of 42. A tough C-section, and beset with physical problems the rest of his life, she still never looked at him as anything other than her son. She made sure he got to school, danced at the school dance, watched his favorite sports, and was always enjoying life to the fullest.

In 1993, she got to see her beloved Phillies get to the World Series. On her birthday in 1994, she took ill. A month later, on Valentines Day, she left us in body but absolutely not in life and spirit. My dad never showed any interest in anyone else. She was the love of his life (he passed on Jan 15, 2011). Her lessons and presence are still part of our everyday world.

In other words, she never stopped being our mother in life or in the afterlife.

Walk on, through the wind,


Walk on, through the rain,


Though your dreams be tossed and blown.


Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,


And you’ll never walk alone,


You’ll never walk alone.

 

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My brother JP, my brother Tommy, and my mother.

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