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  • Writer's pictureMike Mahoney

Mom & Maynard

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

I carefully positioned the two plastic bags in my backpack. My partner and I then headed for the beach as we've done almost every morning since arriving here. We wandered north along the expansive shoreline to our destination. But, unlike most mornings, this time, we had an objective. An objective that was more than herding every little bird on the beach. The Kon Tiki Inn, a Pismo Beach landmark since it was built in 1974, was where we were headed. They had enjoyed so many memorable vacations at what had become their favorite getaway. A synchronicity side note, the owner of the Kon Tiki was one of the fire chiefs, Henry Myers, who I worked for as a volunteer fireman in Shell Beach back in 1976-77.

Upon reaching the beach in front of the Kon Tiki, I pulled out the two notably heavy plastic bags. The heavier bag held a dark powdery ash and the other was considerably lighter in weight and color. The bags contained what remained of my Mom and her husband Maynard. Our memories of them will always be close to each of us, but what remained of their physical bodies was in my backpack. Maynard passed in August of 2000 from lung cancer and Mom in October of 2021 from natural causes. Pismo Beach was their sacred place. This is where they were the happiest.

They were high school sweethearts in the '40s. Maynard had a voice of authority. It was also a voice-over type deep, rich voice . He was the baritone in his barbershop quartet. He was also the leading man in all of the Glendale High School musicals during their time there. After graduation, he served in the Navy. Mom went to work for Bank of America. In fact, she was Miss Bank of America at one time. Like most young couples, their relationship had its ups and downs. On one of those breaks after high school and before Maynard's time in the Navy, my Dad, Bob Mahoney stormed onto the scene. And if you knew my Dad, subtelty was not his strong suit. Handsome and a very good athlete, he came from a Catholic family of four boys in Glendale, Ca. and was a man about town so to speak. So in classic Bob Mahoney style, he met Donna and it was done. Bob swiftly swept her off her feet before she even knew his name. She admitted several times, that one day she woke up and realized that she was now with Bob, and didn't even know how it happened. Maynard was persona non gratis. I don't think Mom took a breath on her own or bought any of her own clothes after she met Dad. I'm not knocking my Dad, that's just who he was. He left a wake wherever he went.

Bob and Donna were married for 24 years and had five kids. We lived in both La Crescenta and La Canada. Bob was a high school football and baseball coach. Donna was a Mom that worked various part-time jobs that enabled her to help out financially but also be there for us kids. Maynard had a long and rewarding career with the Glendale Police Department.

My parents separated and ultimately divorced in 1978. By that time, Maynard had been divorced for a few years and had two children of his own. My Mom and Maynard now had their second chance at love. They were back together again, finally! I'm quite sure that neither one of them ever stopped thinking about the other overall those years. They married in 1980 and were inseparable. Mom was Maynard's world. He always loved her and she always loved him. Their love for each other was boundless.

So, as their boundless love sent ripples of love out into the world, it is apropos, that they now become part of the resplendent ripples of the Pacific.

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