Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Hello Lovelies,

While I hadn't originally intended or scheduled to do anything for Mother's Day, I've been reading more than a few of the wonderful posts that you've all put up and I have to say: I'm inspired. So, I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a very Happy Mother's Day.

While I myself am not a mother nor do I believe it's likely I will ever become one (that whole 'being a dude thing' doesn't work well for that regard), I have to say that I always tend to be a little introspective on Mother's Day. While I don't really talk about it, my mother actually died some time ago; pretty much right after I turned 18.

The thing I only recognized later on and the thing that many people are very confused by is that I actually didn't know much about my mother's past. I remembered her birthday but not the year she was born. I know that she grew up in New York and that's where she met my father before they eloped and ran away together. I know that I was named after my grandfather who had already passed on and that, to this day, I only have a single living relative from that side of the family. That's basically it.

The reason for it, however, (and again, I didn't realize this until MUCH later on) was that she raised me to not look back. She didn't talk about her past or where she came from. She didn't talk about the long lost or abandoned family. She didn't want me dwelling on the forgotten or the escaped. She wanted me to enjoy the now and to look forward to what was to come. I don't doubt that she more than anyone else in my history helped make me the person I am today.

Even more than that, she is the one that nurtured and instigated my love of reading. As a kid, she read to me more nights than I can count (dad also gets credit here to). But once I stopped asking to be read to, she kept it going. She always found a way to get a new book for me. To find something that would interest me. And, when I got a little older and started to think of nothing but video games, she made a deal that I had to do an hour of reading for thirty minutes of game time. Likewise, once I got even older, she encouraged me to start writing AND to start telling stories to other people. 

I will never claim that she was the sweetest person in the world, yet there was no falseness to her. If she showed you love, it's because she treasured you with all her heart. If she told you that you were screwing up, you probably already knew you were. She had this brutal honesty that was always matched with a well-thought out and kind word. She was never cruel, but she did have a tendency of calling me out on my bullshit (of which there was plenty).

The one thing I will always remember about my mom was her smile and her laugh. Even now, having lost her over a decade ago and having little more than two photographs of her, the one thing I will forever remember is that image. Silver haired with emerald and gold eyes like my own, her head thrown back and laughing loud at my silly bullshit.

And, the one thing I will regret, is that I wasn't there when she passed. My mother died of cancer twelve years ago. While she had previously gotten and beat it into remission, it returned quite unexpectedly and with vigorous speed. Having moved from her ovaries to her brain, it laid her out and gave me my first true understanding of loss. In my stupid, younger years, I had come to California to visit my dad and, afraid to see my mom like that, I refused to come back. Up until then, I always trusted she would get better. Maybe she'd feel bad for a while, but the doctors would fix her like they did before.

She suffered for two weeks. One morning, fifteen minutes after asking where I was and why I wasn't there, she died. To this day, I will never forgive myself for not being with her through that...all because I was scared because of how I'd feel because she was dying.

Maybe I didn't learn enough about not looking back.

While this all took an unintentionally sad turn, it does boil down to my point. Tell your Mom you love her. Give them a great big hug and a kiss and take them out for dinner or make them dinner or whatever it is you can to show your love. You will have them as long as you do and lose them when you do so make your moments count and make sure they know you love them. And, for all of you mothers in the crowd, I hope you have a wonderful and Happy Mother's Day.

I'll see you soon, my lovelies. <3


  1. This is an incredibly moving post. Thank you. Both of my parents are gone and while our relationship was complicated the gift of reading is something I thank them for every day.
    I am pretty certain your mother would have forgiven you for being afraid - and perhaps you could follow her lead.

  2. I'm sorry, Robert. Losing a parent is something we just don't want to think about, and at that age, we think everyone is immortal. Yes, forgive yourself and let go of the guilt.

  3. Hi Robert - it is not easy ... and the difficulties so many have in times like yours. Being there for them is the important thing - I was lucky I was able to do it - I have challenges now, but that's another matter - I gave my mother and her brother in law what they wanted at the end of their lives - and they understood I was 'stretching across my own life' to be there for them. I know you'd have expected your mother to recover once again ... just sad the realisation you've had ... my thoughts to you - Hilary

  4. That's gut wrenching, Robert. My husband lost his mom to cancer when he was in his early twenties and wasn't there when she passed either. Also, the regrets. It's tough. We just don't expect death to happen when we're young.
    Big hug,

  5. That is heartbreaking. My father died when I was 11 and I didn't go see him the week he was in the hospital. While I'll always wonder if I should've, at least I remember him as he was, healthy. (He died of hepatitis and was very yellow and sick at the end.)

  6. I'm not a mother, nor will I become one, either. We also didn't post about Mother's Day, possibly making us terrible sons. But we appreciate your Mother's Day post, and this is such a heartbreaking story. It's brave of you to share it with all of us.

    To end this comment on a positive note, I'll say that my mother nurtured and instigated my love of reading, too. I truly would not be the writer I am without her.

  7. Sorry to hear you lost your mother. My mom passed away 6 years ago. I'm a mom of a 25 year old daughter and I've always tried to be a good mom so I hope she can look back and have good memories of me when I'm gone some day.

  8. Yes, I also have lost my mother. But I have awesome memories of her.

  9. I'm so sorry. But if you were only 18, that explains a lot of it. At that age, we're all about ourselves. I'm sure on some plane now she understands. And forgives you.

  10. Your story is a lot like mine, but put my dad in there instead of your mom. Lost him from cancer when I was 17. Didn't know much about him since he wasn't present in our lives until I was around 10 and my rebellious teen self didn't care to spend much time with him during those years. Thankfully, I was by his bedside when his time came, but looking back, I wish I would have taken more time to just talk with him. I am sorry you missed those precious last moments with your mama :(

  11. She raised you to not look back... Well, there's nothing wrong with that. Cancer is horrible, horrible thing. Sigh. Anyway, thanks for sharing the things you do know about your mother. It's a wonderful post.