This is a photo of my mother in 1982, one year before I was born. She was 37 years old, and at this point had made peace with the fact that she couldn’t get pregnant due to ovarian cysts. She was a diligent career woman, working her way from mail room to the executive office, and somehow along the way found time to marry my father and the kids he brought with him. She could drink the boys under the table, and curse better too, all while flashing a blinding smile.
She was in Vegas when this photo was taken, probably gambling away a weeks worth of pay, counting cards, shark-style, yanking the lever of a slot machine like shaking the hand of a long lost friend. She smoked cigarettes and played by her own rules, a self-made slicker, Bogart in a bra.
In control. Of everything.
But if you would’ve asked her to make a wager, that a year from now she would be pregnant, ten years, divorced, fifteen years, ill with cancer, twenty years, retired with a new career teaching autistic children, she would’ve laughed and said only a fool would bet on such a hand.
Perhaps it’s true, that we’re all God’s children… but we’re Life’s fools, and if there’s one thing that’s a safe bet, it’s that there are no safe bets.
Shake ’em up, shake ’em up, shake ’em up, ROLL!