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A Tribute To Mom For Mother's Day

By Dale Jones, One-Handed Juggler, So Good....He's Ambidextrous!

It is with great sadness that I tell you that my Mother just passed away. She was 94, still lived in her own house and even drove herself around to wherever she wanted to go. (I will admit we didn't want her doing that anymore though.) Anyway, she passed away quickly,

while making breakfast for herself. It truly came out of nowhere. Honestly, we (her close family and

friends), are not grieving yet, as it was such a shock! Our brains have not yet processed that she is gone. We know that will come though. My mother may have been the most serious person I ev-

er met in my life. But, she could also be the sweet- est woman too. I am not the only one that thinks so, I can tell you that. She was always upbeat and helped people constantly. She was at her very best, when someone need- ed assistance. Drug addiction, grieving widows, people going through a divorce, my mother helped so many. They were not only family members either. She would actually take people into her home until they got back on their feet too. Besides that, Mom (and Dad too) raised four sons and put us all through college. She taught in elementary school as a reading specialist

for many years. She even taught people to read on her own time for free! What my Mother did for me though, is so enormous, so

spectacular, that I cannot hold it in. It's a personal tribute to my Mom, and it all starts with my accident. Indeed, I hurt my arm and hand so severely at age 8, that

it was legally deemed a complete loss. I had broken it bad- ly and the blood clotted. Rushed to the hospital, it was the start of a long ordeal. Over the next 8 years, I had twenty-five operations, thera-

py and healing to do as well. Those were the days when hospital stays could be long too. Many a month or more. Yet, my Mother came to see me every single day of every single stay! My mother had to do exercises on my fingers. To keep them lose so hopefully surgeries to get them to

move again could work. There were hot and cold treat- ments that my arm and hand had to go through to help the nerves grow back. These exercises and treatments were extremely painful to me. I know I screamed and cried and it must have been awful to hear her young son carry on so, because of what she was doing. But, she continued without fail. Eventually, I was able to achieve a bit of a pinch with my

right hand. Not very strong, and not a perfect one, but enough to at least put something small and light in my hand and not drop it. It's hard to convey how important that is to someone who takes it for granted. So, just trust me, and know a large part of that was Mom. My nerves mostly did grow back. It was a long and slow

Faircracker SUMMER 2019

process, but today I can feel everywhere but on my last two fingers. Now, not feeling pain is a very dangerous thing. I cannot tell you how often I have burned or hurt those last two fingers in my life, only to find out later be- cause of dripping blood or seeing an ugly burn. Can you imagine a whole arm like that! Honestly, I can't see how I would be alive today without that feeling. My life would cer- tainly not have been as independent at the very least. Once again, I have to thank my Mom. I owe my mother much more than that, of course. She

wouldn't let me be disabled and instilled in me the need to do everything for myself. That may have been her greatest gift of all! I figured things out. I learned to tie my shoes, put on my

socks, hold my books while opening doors. Things everyone did that I had to learn again. I had to switch hands, become a lefty and learn to write again too. Mom didn't help and she didn't baby me as she could

have. It was very smart but, likely very hard on her to not help me. The last "normal thing" I learned to do wasn't until I was in my 20's. I figured out how to button my left cuff on a long sleeve shirt, by fashioning a tool with a paperclip. It took me hours that first time, but I did it! By then, I had moved away and had long since under-

stood how great of a person my mother was to me. How much she had to love me to go through what she did. Ironically, while my mother had helped me become pretty

ingenious, she was aghast that I became the first one- handed juggler in history. See, she wanted me to have an easier, more normal life. But, instead I invented an entirely new way to juggle. A system I call The Bounce-Multiplex, and one that actually allowed me to even the playing field with regular two-handed people. Not only that, but in some- thing that may be the most two-handed activity of all: Jug- gling! Thanks Mom! I will always be in your debt.

Dale Jones is "The One-Handed Jug- gler, So Good....He's Abidextrous!" He has a "fall down funny" show, and has been mentioned as one of the top jug- glers of all-time by the International Jug- gler's Association. He also misses his Mother.

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