Ignoring, of course, the implication that I couldn’t or can’t give my mother an award. What do you mean “If I could?” Posthumous awards are given all the time, which irks me. As do honorary degrees and giving someone a lifetime achievement award too early in a lifetime.
Although I admit it might be hard to time such a thing for right smack at the end of a lifetime, which is probably why we created posthumous awards. And I guess this would be fine except now it seems like posthumous awards are given to people we admired just because we’re sorry they died. Which is harmless, of course, but it irks me.
Seems like it would be more meaningful if it wasn’t given out of grief. But grief is not logical. And rituals are soothing to folks who are grieving. But honorary degrees? Crocks. Completely logical crocks. To quote Zachary Crockett of Priceonomics,
“For more than 500 years, the honorary degree has provided an opportunity for colleges to build relationships with the rich, famous, and well-connected, in hopes of securing financial donations and cheap publicity.”
Especially if the degrees are posthumous, eh? Cash in on the fame and the grief. Someone deserves a posthumous award for coming up with that idea. I’m relatively sure it wasn’t my mother.
The best idea she ever had was to ground me for an entire year because I helped a neighbor muck out a horse stall and didn’t bother to wear shoes. When she tried to send me out on my bike to buy her cigarettes (there was no minimum age back then) I got to refuse on the grounds I was grounded. My siblings were too young to traverse the half-mile on the state highway to the store so she had to quit smoking. Eventually she caved and commuted my sentence to time served so she could get her cigarettes.
She said nothing when I came back barefoot.