Happy Mother’s Day!

In this May Newsletter, we want to honor our mothers especially but all the wonderful women who make this day a special one! We invite you to tell us stories to honor yours.  You can go to our Facebook page and post a picture of your mom, your son or daughter, your aunt or anyone special who you play Mah Jongg with and tell us a story about how Mah Jongg has played a part in bonding you two together.

Here are a few stories that have resonated with the MJM Partners.

MomandsueMy mom never played Mah Jongg when I was growing up.  We didn’t even know what the game was.  She was a struggling single mom in the 60s; not a good time to be on your own with two kids in tow.  So our relationship with Mah Jongg only began six years ago.  When I learned to play and really loved the game, Mom was interested in learning.  After I taught her to play she taught all her friends in Florida.  She was 81 at the time, the youngest of her buddies.

She became the leader of her group, organizing them and holding several games each week.  Whenever she would come to visit here in Pennsylvania, we would play together and my Mah Jongg friends became hers as well.  We often would play with my daughter and daughter in law, my grand niece and some of our weekly game players.  Over the last several years whenever we would talk, we would also include any exciting or funny experiences we’d had during our weekly games, laughing and commiserating with each other.  It actually brought us closer.

Well, my mom is now 87 and on oxygen and can’t get to Florida anymore.  She can’t even leave the house to go to our weekly games.  She is too frail to host any company to play, so we now play Siamese Mah Jongg, which has been a godsend to us.  We can play now just the two of us, still laughing and enjoying each game we play.  She perks up and has a good day when we play, even though she tires quickly.  I cherish our time together, especially knowing that MJ games with her are becoming fewer and farther between.  I wish we had learned how to play 40 years ago as many of my friends did. I wish for more time.- Sue

Mah Jongg was a big part of my life growing up with my mother playing in a weekly  Tuesday night game. Busy raising four kids, her night out playing was a big deal.  She would even break out the good china tea cups for the late night tea at the end. She very rarely missed playing.  My dad worked two jobs at the time,  so if one of us kids got sick, the game moved to our house, so she could keep an eye on the sick one but not miss the game.harriet

I remember the excitement when it was Mom’s turn to host. No one minded helping Mom clean up the living room.  We moved the lamps closer to the card table set up in the middle of the room. Mom used TV tables on the corners and we got to bring in the special candy dishes filled with goodies we never got to have normally.  We did not mind helping because we would sneak a piece or two of candy.  I am sure she knew – how could she not?  To this day my siblings and I remember exactly what Mom always served! Since I was the oldest I also got to stay up past bedtime and watch them play. It was special to do that and I sat there quietly and perfectly!

These were mom’s friends, the ladies who attended our Bat/Bar Mitzvahs  and our weddings. Sadly I did not get to play with my mom but I have played with one of the regulars. As I sat there waiting for her to make a decision, I could hear my mother coaching her to hurry up and make a decision! Recently I moved back to Massachusetts and as I fell into playing with another group, I found out one of the ladies I now played with actually graduated High School with my Mom! What a small world our world of Mah Jongg is!!- Faye

I have been playing Mah Jongg for what feels like most of my life. There is one memory that I truly cherish. I don’t remember the year, however I do remember that my sister and I were already married and had our children.

leahmom2It was a quiet afternoon and my sister, mother, grandmother and I were sitting on my parents’ patio playing Mah Jongg.  It was so peaceful, I don’t recall husbands or kids anywhere. This was our time. We just played Mah Jongg and laughed, probably taunted a little too. I’m sure there must have been other times it was just us four, but somehow, I just can’t recall.  It sounds so simple, I know, but life is so busy and fast. Time seemed to stand still. I know that I realized how special this moment was.

Unfortunately, my sister is gone and my Mimi has all but left us, too.  But I do continue to play with my mother most weeks.  She has become one of the “girls” in my group. And yes the taunting remains. I love you Mom.- Leah