Sunday, May 10, 2009

Remembering my mom

On the evening of Mother's Day I'm thinking about my mother. She has been gone for over twenty years--and I still miss her. When she died at age 67 my son Jamie was only six months old. I am sad that they didn't get to know each other because I see the special bond that can develop with a grandmother and grandchild.

My mom had a hard life. She was widowed in her twenties and was left with two young girls to raise on her own. Then after an unsuccessful second marriage she found herself alone again raising a son. She did everything she could to make a good life for her children, worked at a demanding job until age 65, and often didn't have the time or energy to enjoy her family. She was just beginning to unwind from her working life when she was diagnosed with leukemia, which took her out of this life. I think of her today and hope that she knows how much we love her and miss her.

I remember shortly after my mom died I came down with a terrible cold and the thing I really wanted to do was to call my mom and tell her. Because only my mom would really, really care that I had such an awful cold. She'd have said something like, "Oh darling, that's too bad. Please take good care of yourself." And it would have made me feel instantly better.

There were times when my mom's concern kind of stifled me but now that she's no longer here I recognize that is was always centred in pure love. I'm hoping that Jamie will get to that point some day. I'm seeing glimpses of it already.

We spent this afternoon having a lovely lunch at a winery restaurant with my brother and sister and their families.

Here's my brother and his wife Laine with their little girl Callie. Callie has Laine's mom as a "Nana" and I'm happy for her. But I know that my mom would have also loved to be part of today's gathering. I believe she was probably there in a way--but it's not the same as being able to sit around a lunch table together.


  1. Oh, Joanna, it's as if you were inside my mind yesterday. My mom died just before Theo was born and I grieved more that they would never know each other than for my not having a mom anymore. You're right, they are with us, in a way, when we gather as a family. I wonder what she would think of her great-grandkids and what our relationship would be like today.
    Thank you.

  2. I thought a lot about my mom yesterday too. She was so sick her last year of life, that it was a relief of sorts when she passed away. What surprised me most of all was the emptiness I would feel on the days that I worked. It was my habit to come home after a twelve hour shift, make a cup of coffee, and call mom. It took me a full year to stop feeling so bereft on work days.

    Nobody could possibly make us feel better when ill like our moms. Thanks for posting such lovely thoughts on your mom. I'm quite certain that in many ways, she is still with you.

  3. Thank you Stephanie and Rudee for understanding and sharing the sense of loss about our mothers. I appreciate your comments.

  4. this is so sweet. I often think of how lucky I am to still be able to call my mom.
    Your story is very touching and so are the photos.


I really appreciate your comments.