Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is bitter-sweet for me: my mother died about fifteen years ago just after her 65th birthday. In this way (not having a mother on Mothers Day), I think Mothers Day is bitter-sweet for many of us. I have a couple of "motherless" friends. We used to get together every Mothers Day for brunch to remember our mothers. We haven't done that in a long time--we've all remarried, some have had grandchildren, in other words, we've gotten busy. None of us, though, had perfect mothers. None of us had June Cleaver type mothers, or Hallmark Card relationships with our moms. The relationships were as complicated as we were and our mothers too. But we all missed our mothers every day.

I love this picture with my mother in it. I look at it most every day. The reason I love it is because my mom looks so happy in it. She looks silly, almost giddy. There I am, all huddled in my father's lap. Can't tell if I'm being shy or pouty. Probably both. But my mother and my sister look happy as clams. I think I'm four in this picture. Within two and a half years, my father would be dead and I would never see my mother this giddy again. She had a tough life after Daddy died, but she did her best. She was not a cuddly kind of mother. She was not the type to join the PTA. She was not the type to tell her daughters, "You can be anything you want if you try hard enough." Maybe if the love of her life hadn't been killed by a drunk driver and left her with two young daughters to raise, she would have been "that type." But maybe not. But she did teach me to walk a mile in other people's shoes before I judged them. She taught me to be self-reliant and to not suffer fools lightly. She taught me to take care of myself financially because you never know what life will throw at you. And towards the end of her life, she taught me not to whine and ask, "Why me," but rather to ask, "How can I live this life I've been given with grace?" And in the end, maybe what she did teach me is worth a bucket load more than all the PTA cupcakes and gooey sentiments.

So happy Mothers Day, Mama. I miss you every day. And happy Mother's Day to all of you who are "motherless" on this day too.


  1. PTA cupcakes are nice but your mother taught you the lessons that counted! Some of our parents (like my Dad) didn't come from a very "gooey" background...they showed their love by what they did. I love the tribute, and I'm sure your mother would too!!

  2. Thanks, Kathy. The other thing she taught me was to laugh at myself and to not get "the big head." I've tried to pass that along to my stepchildren.

  3. Great tribute, Bobbie.


    (another motherless friend)

  4. What a beautiful tribute to the memory of your Mother. I too, having lost my best friend 10 years ago, find comfort every day in the life lessons she taught me and only hope that when we hug again she'll proudly say, "Well done my daughter, well done."

  5. Thanks, Jean and T.K. It seems like no matter how old we were when we lost our mothers, we still feel "motherless."