I walked into Papyrus to get a birthday card for a friend and right inside the door were racks and racks of Mother’s Day cards: pink, red, and my mother’s favorite color, yellow. It was the middle of the day but I felt like I was alone in an open field at midnight and suddenly I was surrounded by people shining flashlights in my face. It was too much to take in.
Of course, my mother is always on my mind. Even though it’s been a full year since she passed, I bring her into my conversations with friends and family and I talk to her when no one else is listening.
Instead of bracing myself for Mother’s Day on Sunday I decided to embrace it by asking friends about their moms. I said: What would you like us to know about your mom?
I so enjoyed hearing the stories about moms and daughters and hope you do, too.
Ruth Essex from Essex, UK and her mum, Wendy
My mum, Wendy, has made me feel so unconditionally loved throughout my life; it has been like always having an invisible hand to hold. My mum has passed on to me the confidence that I am stronger than I know, and braver than I think. She climbed mountains, dived from the highest boards and shared her passion and knowledge for clocks and antiques. This gave me the courage to test myself and find the challenges and interests that make my life so exciting and fulfilling. No one will ever probably understand me as deeply as she does, so I am lucky to have had her in my life, and yes, I love her unconditionally too.
Leila Stoff from Belvedere and her mom, Mildred
I loved everything about my Mother from her perfect small frame, dressed impeccably, to the way she smelled. Caleche still clings to the paper lined drawers of her antique chest that lives in my home. She was glamorous like no one else and yet, she loved becoming a young grandmother; loved to be called, grandma. She delighted in taking her granddaughters to the park, to the Nutcracker, and of course, shopping. She was fun, funny, smart, brave and worked hard to become independent after a stroke at age 55. Her granddaughters and I miss her.
Sue Jacobs from London, Ontario and her mum, Norma (best known as Chic)
My mom is the strongest most resilient person I know, my hero. Orphaned at an early age, she was not to be defeated. She fibbed about her age to be able to serve in the United States Navy, worked her way up to being a Wave (nurse) where she met, fell in love with and married my dad, a US Naval Captain. She was widowed at 59. At 79 she remarried, rode elephants in Thailand at 86, met the Pope at 89, and travelled to Japan and to London, UK to visit my daughters. Her memory does not serve her well today at 94, but when I look in her grey blue hazy eyes I see strength, hope, frailty, beauty, love and compassion that comes deep from her soul. She is and always has been the wind beneath my wings.
Debra Ruff from San Geronimo and her mom, Dena
My mom is a fashionista. At 92 she still looks like she walked out of a magazine every time she leaves the house! My mom is my confidant, my best friend. I still tell her everything and she gets it! She is my mental scrapbook. She always remembers things in the past that I forgot. I just ask her when I can’t remember something. My mom is strong willed. She can definitely take care of herself! My mom listens, not just hears. In her eyes, I can do know wrong, I am the perfect daughter!
Karen Snow from Palo Alto and her mom, Barbara
My mom grew up during the Great Depression, learning by example how to be a superb homemaker on a shoestring budget. She was an expert organizer, cookie baker and handicrafter, with a green thumb and a special eye for making practical things beautiful. The month of May was when she and my dad would plant up the patio pots with marigolds and snapdragons and blue lobelia. Her special gift from me on Mother’s Day was always a new geranium – until I moved away and then it was a gift certificate to her favorite nursery, Molbaks. Home and family were treasured most and she used her gifts and talents to show us in so many loving ways. She always helped me fulfill my dreams. What a blessing to have been her daughter.
Adena DiTonno of San Mateo and her mom, Rita
I always thought my mom was the most beautiful woman. She was always an inspiration to me because she was raising four of us as a single parent (following divorce) at a time when there just weren’t many women doing that, at least where we lived in the Midwest. She had already graduated from college, but she went back and got her teaching credential, and then taught elementary students for 35 years, including all four of her children at one point or another as we passed through her classroom. She was a real inspiration to me of how to work in your career, and how to be a good example to your kids. And she’s still one of the prettiest women I know.
Brenda from Sonoma and her beloved mother, Alma/Girlie
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I don’t have a card for you this year but I do have bushels and bushels of love.
Will you share some words about your mom? I’d love to know more about her.