The year was 1987. My mother worked two jobs to raise my two sisters and I. We barely made it living in an old trailer located on Cedar Lane in Prescott valley Arizona. It was not uncommon for us to need the occasional food pantry assistance. My father, well I will leave you to guess about his role in our lives. Needless to say we were having a very rough way of it. But my Mother, whenever she could, would treat us.
There was one time I remember very well. At that time across the main highway that took you from Prescott Valley to Prescott there was a Rexall Drug Store. While walking around in the store with mom, I noticed on an end cap; The Slime Pit by Masters Of The Universe. Now mind you, as a poor child it might be one thing to ask for the occasional action figure, and thats only if you feel out the situation to see if such a question is even appropriate at the time. When you are part of a struggling family, you are drawn closer and can tell when your single parent is having a rough time, which is 80 percent of the time.
But there I stood, marveling at the box which displayed Beast Man helplessly being Slimed in Hordaks Slime Pit. Why I asked I do not know. I should have known better. But want had won me over. So I asked mom if maybe perhaps she might sorta consider getting me the Slime Pit one of these days. Talk about beating around the bush. She said maybe but that she cannot make me any promises. She picked the box up and looked at it awhile. I pretended to not act phased at the prospect of her saying no. You know how it is; you act cool with anything so as not to hurt your moms feeling because youve been disappointed. Then she placed it in our cart. WHAT THE, I thought. See, in poor people land its no small thing for a struggling parent to spend survival money on a toy. And one thing is for certain, what possessions you have; you appreciate and take care of.
That night I was in Masters Of The Universe Bedlam. I didnt have Hordak, so I pretended that Skeletor had seized the mechanism from Hordak. No one was safe. Tri Klops got slimed. Spikor? Slimed. He-Man, Zodac, Ram Man, oh it didnt matter. I had no problems carefully removing the slime and re-using it over and over. My imagination took off and stories played out in my mind. My room was the size of a glorified closet, but I turned it into Eternia. I would whistle the Masters Of The Universe theme song from the cartoon. I might have been the happiest kid in the state of Arizona.
I will always remember times like these when my mother would try and make our hard lives a little softer for us. I could tell when she was heartbroken for not being able to do better for us kids. But under the raggedy set of circumstances she did everything a mother could. She worked herself to the bone to keep us together after our father had moved us from Missouri only to abandon us in a desert state. Any time I need a lesson in strength and character, to this day I look to her.