These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I didn’t always love my mother. There were times when I thought she was the meanest, most insipid person in the world. Surely no woman who gave birth to a child could possibly treat that child with the uncaring attitude that she did. I was surely not her child. That was all there was to it.

Fortunately, those times were few and short. Or at least they seem short to me as I consider the whole of my life. In retrospect, of course, I realize also that it was not her who was behaving badly, but myself. I knew, even back then, that it was not her but me that was being a jerk, but in the years of early teens, most of us didn’t have the developed ability to think like a human being, only like a teenager.

In those days I simply thought my mother was the worst at times. Of course, those times more or less alternated with times that my father was my enemy, depending on the mood, the situation, and other common factors at any given time. But my angst with my mother at that time was simply greater and more frequent than was my conflict with my dad.

Now days, that all makes sense to me because I understand that I was in the process of separating from my mother, “individuating,” and the professionals would call it. I was pushing away, finding my own person, learning to be who I was to become. But I didn’t know that or understand that when I was 14. I just knew that my mother was an unreasonable, wretched person who clearly seemed to want to make my life miserable.

We both survived those years. And with the exception of about three years in those early teens, my mom was one of my best friends, my champion in many ways, and my protector. When I was small, I thought she was great, and as an adult, I loved her immensely, admired her and felt a close, loving relationship with her. No, she wasn’t perfect. No, I didn’t always agree with her. No, I didn’t always like what she said or did, but our love for each other was strong and forgiving.

I miss my mother. She has been gone for eight years now, slipping to the other side just after Mother’s Day, 2000. I had already lost her to the tangled web of Alzheimer’s several years before that, but as long as I could still touch her, it seemed less lonely. I still have times when I think of her without really realizing she is gone, When the truth hits me, it is the prelude to a sinking sadness. These days it doesn’t last long, but it still gives me a few moments of deep sadness that I can’t have her hold me and make it better. Nor can I hold her as I did in those final years, making it better for her as she regressed into a far away world where she was young and frightened.

The years between my teenaged snit and my mom’s drifting away from me were good ones. I enjoyed my mom most of the time, had fun with her in many ways from the telling and retelling of family stories to working side by side at many tasks. We understood each other well. Again, we didn’t always agree, but we understood and tolerated and loved each other as if it would never end. As if it would never end.

Sadly, it does end for us all at some time. But if we take time to stop and rejoice in the love, the commonalities, and even in the differences, we are creating “a forever.” I still have my mom. She is in my heart. She is in my name, for my middle name, Grace, is also hers. She is in the eyes of my children. She is in the curve of my grandson’s ear, and my granddaughter bears her name, as well. The other granddaughter has her great sensitivity, the propensity of crying at a sad story. She is in every tiger lily or bearded iris I see, and behind the wheel of every Volkswagen bug on the road. There are many small things that keep her present with me. She will be with me forever in more ways that I can count.

As hard as I worked to "individuate" from her as a teenager, I now realize that as just one step of making us permanently one. What an amazing thing!

I will miss her this Mother’s Day, just as I have for the last seven. But I won’t forget her and how deeply imprinted are her love and her values on me. It wouldn’t be possible. She will always be my mother.

~ ~ ~ ~

Happy Mother's Day to each of you,
to your mothers and your daughters.

~ ~ ~ ~

PS added later - -

I just wanted to share this picture. It came from a tender email about "mothers," sent to me by Daisy. This was the final picture in it, and brought nostalgia big time for me. The picture is circa 1940s, judging by the woman's swimsuit. I remember my mom wearing similar ones. Notice that the woman is wearing shoes with a small high heel, even standing at water's edge. It was common for women to wear heels .... with everything, going anywhere, because that's what ladies did in that day. And, of course, flip flops hadn't been invented yet! My mother wore high heels almost all the time until the last few years of her life. I remember her gardening in heels, and I never understood why since they sunk in the soil. But that is who she was, dressing as was "right" and comfortable for her. That child could well be me with that curly mop, too. Yeah, I probably had a wedgie most of the time, too!

I was thinking of going to see the iris extravaganza at an iris farm about 20 miles away today, in honor of Mom and her love for irises. I decided that it might be too much today as there will be lots of people there for Mother's Day. I'm going to go on Tuesday, when I can have some quieter moments. Yeah, that will be better.


  1. Lynilu, This is a beautifully written tribute to your Mom and your relationship with her. The mother/daughter relationship is often complex, but ultimately filled with joy and an incredible knowledge of the love she had for us. Happy Mother's Day to you today as you remember your Mom. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  2. Lynilu this is written so beautifully. You are capable of writing what I would have said, but don't have the way with words that you have..Thank you so much! Happy Mother's Day.


  3. Happy Mother's Day to you. I love what you wrote here...and yes, there is something so incredibly powerful about a mother/daughter relationship.

  4. This post reminds me of the Ray Bradbury book "Dandelion Wine". Your tribute to your mother is very moving.

    I have a hard time thinking about my mother. She's been gone for a long time. I see my life in 2 segments: Part 1: With Mother and Part 2: Without Mother. Part 2 has been very difficult.

    Happy Mother's Day, Lynilu.


  5. So well said. I remember fighting horribly with my mom when I was a teenager. I thank her often for not killing me. ;-)

  6. Beautiful my dear. Absolutely beautiful. Happy Mother's Day to you.

  7. Cheryl, it is certainly a complex relationship, but so worth the challenge of the maze of emotions. I feel great sadness for those whose relationship has gone off track. I'm incredibly blessed to have the history, the memories. Thanks.

    Ruth, I think sometimes that I write as much for others as I do for myself. And in this relationship of mother/daughter (whether we are the former or the latter), we are a sisterhood so that each of us needs others and is needed by others to walk through the tangle. Thank you and you're welcome.

    Jenn, I see this relationship growing with you and Bellie. There will be hard times, for certain, but I believe that you, like my mother, have the foresight and patience to weather the storms and become best friends. :)

    Betty, I haven't read that book. Guess I'd better! Life without Mother is always difficult. Our moms are supposed to be here forever to continue guiding us through life. I was fortunate to have her until I was 56, but we all feel like children in need of mommies at times, regardless of chronology. Thanks, Betty.

    Melissa, Mom and I talked about those years, and she told me that she thought .... often .... that if she heard "Well, excuuuuuse me for living!!" just one more time, she would help me to not have to made apologies again!! She remembered that as the only time in my life that she felt pushed beyond reason. I'm glad that I wasn't one of her "trials" that were persistent throughout her life. :)

    Thank you, Traci, and Happy Mother's Day to you, also.

  8. That was a beautiful Mother's Day post, Lynilu. Insightful, understanding, poignant...

    Your Mother STILL is in your heart, and always will be... And you are and will be in your children's...

  9. Annie, thank you so much. Yes, she is forever with me. I'm blessed that we had so many good years together. :')

  10. What a special loving tribute to your mom.

    Enjoy the irises.

  11. Such a beautiful post, Lyn. I got sent this same email with that picture and the heels were the first thing I noticed. :)

    Here's to the wonderful memories you and your mother created together...

  12. Daisy, thank you. And thanks, too, for sending the email with that pic. It really took me back!

    I will!

    Catherine, thanks. It feels good to remember and share the memories. Wasn't that a sweet email?

  13. Bittersweet...........

    I DREAD the thought of losing my parents.

  14. MQ, I know. I hope you don't face it for a long, long time. :')


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