"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Friday, March 30, 2012

791 Sundays...

letter to my Mother;

...16 years ago today I held your hand while you took your last breath. Part of me praying that this nightmare would end for you, part of me knowing the nightmare would be starting for me. As I left the room and headed for the parking lot it became crystal clear to me that now, as the eldest daughter, I was expected to know what to do, who to call, how to make the arrangements. In other words, I was now a grown-up. No longer would I be known as TT's daughter, I would be expected to be the keeper of all things. What you didn't know mama is that I hadn't the slightest idea how to be that person.

When my first-born-son died you were there. You were the one who talked with the doctors. You were the one who called the funeral home and made all the arrangements. You were the one who called the family to tell them of this horrible tragedy. You were the one who made sure he received the Blessing. I couldn't and until this day, sixteen years ago, I didn't realize just how hard that must have been for you. You did it without a word, without being asked, you stepped up to try and protect me. Did I ever thank-you for that?

I gathered the family, I made the calls and the arrangements and although it was not easy I insisted that you receive your Blessing. I stepped up and did it without a word, without being asked to try and protect daddy, to try and protect my siblings. It was my gift to you mom.

I look at the tulips and I think of you. I look at Maude and I see you in her eyes. I hear your laugh in my daughters voice. I see your hands when I look at my own. Your fiery red hair is turning white on my head. Your love of books is ablaze in my sons soul. Your Irish wit alive and well in your children.
The thief of time has taken you away from me but not from my memories. Those I hold dear to my heart...especially today, as you dance in heaven with my daddy and my son. Rest well mommy, I love you.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful tribute. And all I can see when I look at my hands are my mother's, too. I think she is smiling down on you today. And always.

  2. Thanks for sharing your tribute. I went through the same things when my mom suddenly died when I was 14---calling the funeral home, making arrangements for the autopsy, calling the relatives, etc. while my father went into a stupor. And then at the wake I was the one who went into the stupor when I saw 3 women hanging on him and found out after believing I was his only child that 3 daughters came before me and his first grandchild was 19 days younger than I was. He came out of his stupor 6 months later when he remarried the mother of his daughters and then divorced again 2 years later.

    My stupor began and is going strong 44 years later.

    I know your mom is so proud of you for taking care of everything and going through the life trials you have. Love you!

  3. A very beautiful and touching post about a very strong woman. The love you share shows so much here. Hugs!

  4. What a lovely tribute to your Mom. They are always with us you know, we are so much part of each other....their mothers and their mothers before them! It's what makes us who we are to a great extent.
    Sometimes parents can do too much and not enough as well. Guess there is a balance in there somewhere. My Mom was sick most of her life. She wasn't able to 'teach' us certain things about life. Thankfully most of her children figured it out along the way.
    Giess parents can only do what they know to do.
    Thanks for this Jojo....you struck a cord here.

  5. Joanne-I am reading this with tears in my eyes. I am an eldest daughter, too....for me it has been 26 years and I am moving to the place that I hope someday MY own children will remember ME as you have remembered your own mother here. God bless you- xo Diana

  6. Such a lovely, heartfelt post. Death is a very hard thing. Your mom would be PROUD.

  7. how lovely! This is so beautiful. What a wonderful post about your mother. I know how hard it is to live without them. I am still struggling with it. I can't even imagine 16 years, wow. It has only been 17 months. I love how you see your mom in Maude and your daughter, not to mention yourself. How beautiful.


  8. How wonderful that you were able to do that for your mom. My mom and I were estranged when she died. She was difficult to love, my mom. She was opinionated and unforgiving. She was demanding and would only accept your love on her terms. Her terms for me meant choosing her over my children. She never liked my husband, but he didn't really care. My kids, though. She was afraid of flying and blood. She bled to death in a life-flight helicopter. I was not there for the viewing. I was traveling to get there. I did get to see her before her cremation, though. I talked to her and fixed the botched job of dressing her. It was very sad, but I don't regret the choice I made. My mother had a very difficult childhood and I know that shaped her life, she was just not able to forgive. I feel sad that she pushed those who loved her away.

    You were blessed to have that relationship with your mom.

  9. Just beautiful, Jojo. I so wish me and my Mom had that relationship, but we don't, and it's sad, but it's how it is. My Mom is a live still. My Mom, always put herself first, and still does. I hope, I am the Mom my kids will one day say kind things about. Thanks for the beautiful post.

    God Bless~

  10. Sometimes memories are a blessing and sometimes they are a burden. I think when our parents die, our memories are both. That was a beautiful tribute to your mom. I'm sure she is looking at you with great love and pride.

  11. This is a very touching post.I am happy you have good memories of your Mom.

    Thank you for your visit and kind words-I hope you at least get to visit P.E.I.!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. This is beautiful and I'm crying as I read this.So much love. Just so much love.


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