Two important things

I realized two important things recently.

When I visited Jeff Hillard’s Cincinnati Authors class to talk about Dancing in Heaven on May 1st, one of the adult or non-traditional students said, “My daughter’s friend has a sister who is disabled and in a wheel chair. I always felt a little sorry that my daughter’s friend wasn’t able to share the mother-daughter experiences that my daughter and I were able to share. Her mother was always too busy taking care of the disabled sister.” She made the comment to point out that Dancing in Heaven showed her another side, a different side, of having a disabled sibling or daughter.

I smiled, but made no comment in reply, because she hit a very sensitive and very deep nail on the head. And I think that is one of the things I’ve grieved for with the loss of my mother the most—the hope I had, the possibility I had, of having some of those special moments with my mother. That’s one of the things I realized recently. And perhaps the word “realized” isn’t the best choice. I always knew that Mom wasn’t able to do the some of the things with me that my friends’ parents were able to do, or that I had wished she were able to do. “Faced my denial” might be more accurate.

I remember only three shopping trips with my mother. One was to help her buy a dress to wear to my grandmother’s funeral in 1984. Another was to the drug store in 2012 so she could buy all the over-the-counter rememdies for her stomach pain that we all attributed to stress but was actually cancer. And a time when I was a young teenager that she wanted to walk to the grocery store, not thinking in advance that we’d have to bring all the groceries we bought back home. We weren’t able to carry them all between the two of us, so we decided to push the grocery cart filled with bags home. We hadn’t crossed the first street when Mom tipped the grocery cart over as she bumped it down the curb. The groceries spilled out into the street. I laughed so hard I was afraid I was going to wet my pants.

I have often gone shopping with my daughter Anna. It is one of my favorite things to do.

I went out to lunch with my mother once, I think, although I can’t really remember it well. Then my sister and I took her out to lunch for her last birthday in May of 2012. I remember that one a lot better.

I have taken all my sons and my daughter out to lunch.

You might say I even have a passion for creating those mother-daughter and even mother-son experiences.

But while doing all this self-revelation recently, I can’t help but remember all the things my mother taught me. Or the things she made for me. Or how she patiently ripped out and fixed badly sewn or completely wrong seams in my fashion creations. Or the late-night conversations at her kitchen table on the overnight visits. Or how she was always there when I really needed her the most, if not in person, then certainly across the telephone wire. The time when she and Dad came to my dorm room with a computer when mine died the night before a test. Or when she and Dad came to my hospital room the day I had neck surgery, or the day I had Michael. Or the way she hand-wrung out the wet baby clothes in a washer full of water that wouldn’t drain when she came to help me at home.

Some people have mothers who are alcoholics, or drug addicts, or too self-interested to bother. Some people have mothers who die young. Some have mothers who leave.

No. My mother didn’t have a lot of time for lunches and shopping with me. But in every way that she could be, she was a mother to me. She was a very good mother to me.

And I miss her so.

If your mother is still with you, I hope you are able to enjoy her each and every day. If not, I hope you can remember her kindly for what she was able to give you under whatever circumstances or challenges she faced. And if you are a mother, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day.






16 thoughts on “Two important things”

  1. Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day filled with memories of a mom who was there for you in the ways that she could be and who showed you love in all of the little ways that she could.

    1. It’s so good to hear from you, Paula. I truly am glad you stay in touch. Maybe we can have lunch sometime. I’ve had a rough couple of days here, but then the middle of May always was a double whammie for us with Mother’s Day and Mom’s birthday. I went to the cemetery today and planted rose bushes. I hope all is well with you and that you are adjusting to your emptying nest.

    1. Thanks, Susan. I hope your day was happy too. I feel like I’ve been knocked down this year with a lot of family things going on. It’s heartening to see old friends like you sticking by me even though I’ve been MIA.

    1. Thanks William. I’m actually having a bit of a rough time here with the whole thing. May was always a big Mom month with Mother’s Day and her birthday on the 15th. I used to get her flowers for her pots and window boxes and plant them for her for Mother’s Day. I went to the cemetery today and planted a couple of rose bushes. I hope you passed the day okay. I hope to get back to your blog again one of these days. I’ve reallly fallen off that wagon. Thanks for sticking with me.

  2. Such a beautiful post! Isn’t it wonderful that we have Mothers’ Day? It’s too easy to take our mothers for granted. My mother died three years ago. When she was alive, Mothers’ Day was a time for taking her out to lunch. Now it’s an opportunity to remember what a good mother she was.

    1. I’m not sure I’m feeling so wonderful about it this year. I’m having a rough go of it. But then May also held my mother’s birthday on the 15th so it is a double whammy. I got through it okay last year, but then maybe I was still numb from it all. It’s good to hear optimism from others like you who are a little bit further ahead of me on this journey. It gives me hope. I hope you enjoyed Mother’s Day and spent time with many happy memories.

  3. Such a lovely tribute to your mother, Christine. I’m so sorry that you lost her, too soon, too, too soon. Beautiful writing, my friend. And a belated happy Mother’s Day to you.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    1. Thanks Kathy. I haven’t gotten around to reading your latest posts yet, but intend to. I’m lagging behind. Thanks for sticking with me, even though I’m a bit non-responsive. It’s been a busy, and somewhat emotionally challenging, year for me so far. I hope things slow down soon.

      Hugs from the Midwest.


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