Mother’s Day? hummmmm.

I’m thinking about my mom more then ever this Mother’s Day.  I find as my life hits a new challenge I am even more in awe of her grace and support. And this year has been a challenging one.

My memories of her, thank God, never seem to fade. Our Mother’s Days were a highly anticipated event. We had about 30 cents but we could celebrate. I always had a “made” gift for her, and my mother cleverly made me feel that macaroni necklaces were much more special then even the largest Tiffany diamond. And I believed it. She had a way of doing that. She could tell me anything, and I believed it without a doubt. I wonder if my children trust me as much?

My mom was so strong, yet had the softest skin. Her big beautiful brown eyes were always tired but full of love and hope. She never complained about anything, even though her feet were so abused from standing eight hours a day at work that she had to wear orthopedic shoes from the early age of thirty-five.

My mother, Christine, sacrificed everything for me but never let me know. Somehow she sent me to private grammar and high school, got me braces, sent me to private summer camp, enrolled me in the beach club. And the list goes on. She couldn’t say no, and never did. We even went to Disney World—of course we had the time of our lives. We both loved the beach and having fun. I had the best childhood anyone could ever wish for, all in a three-room apartment in the Bronx. Want to hear a secret? I thought we were rich.

She was funny, planning for my wedding from when I was 10. She had to start early, she told me, because she was sure I’d have men asking me to get married from an early age. I had an elaborate, full set of china by the age of 12. But more than things and wonderful memories, she gave me the gift of confidence and love. She made me feel as though I could conquer the world. Nothing was good enough for me. I was beautiful and smart and so very special.

My mom stole from Peter to pay Paul and somehow took me to the theater and opera. She wanted me to know it all. As a single mother, it was hard, but again, I never knew how hard. She made it look easy. She told me she was lucky, and as I said, I believed her.

But when I was 14 it ended. She left without saying good bye. Until the moment she passed we hoped that somehow she could beat this too, so goodbyes weren’t necessary.  She was so strong and such a fighter. But she couldn’t win this time. It was her time to move to heaven and give them a chance to see her love. I’ll never forget that day they told me she was really gone. I felt my heart leave, leave with her.

But her love brought back my heart, with my children. I see her in their eyes. When they laugh so hard that they cry, I see her. And thank God for the glimpse of her.

Do I wish I had more? Yes, every day! I want her to babysit and give me tips on chicken soup. And to hug me again. To remind me I’m beautiful, and to tell me I’m a good mom. To shower my children with her love and warmth and unselfishness. To tell me that I do things the way she did.

So, Mother’s Day . . . another year without her. It’s hard and not fair, but it’s my road.  And my mom told me all the time, Don’t question why you have the road you do, just know it’s yours and every day you have the chance to change direction and make it better. I wish it was that easy, Mom. I think somedays I would choose to go in reverse.

But of course I go forward, with your love in my heart and your memories in my soul and the hope that I can be half the mother you were. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you.

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  • Patricia May 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    A lovely tribute to your Mother. As this Mother’s day nears, I think of all the good things I have been fortunate to have been gifted from my Mother. At 86 she always has something positive to share and always kind words. I think every Mother deserves a tremendous amount of respect for all they do.
    Surely your Mother is smiling down on you and lives strong in your spirit and your heart.
    I see your spirit in your children and that is admirable. We are only here for a short time and to know that her memory lives in you is magnificent.
    All Mom’s are to be admired.

  • Carol Solanto May 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Your life reflects the love your mother had for you. She is ever alive in you and in all the good you do for others. Sorry that I didn’t know her in person but I have the greatest glimpse of her in you and in your love for your children.

  • Susan M. May 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    That truly was beautiful. I know it doesn’t mean as much coming from me, but…….You are a great mother. Your mother would certainly be proud!

  • Kristine May 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Phyliss, we all are the lucky ones, because your your wise mother is speaking through you to all of us. Her message is so true..just love your children and make them feel like they are so special and nothing else matters. Kids don’t need any extra material things in life just to know they are loved sooo!
    thank you for sharing and your mommy is telling all her friends and family in heaven..Look that’s my Phylis beaming with pride~

  • Erica May 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Absolutely heartfelt and beautiful….you are a magnificent writer and a tribute to your mom and her love!

    Love you,

  • Jeannine May 8, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Phyl, I feel like a know your mother so well now. Thank you for sharing her memory with us. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Dayna May 8, 2010 at 7:30 am

    That was just beautiful. You are such an amazing person Phyllis, That was really a touching tribute to your mother. Happy Mother’s Day.

  • Susan May 8, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Sweetie, sent my personal response to you directly…WoW! You are MY hero!

  • Ellen Gerstein May 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Beautiful tribute to a very special woman. You were both blessed to be together, for however short a time. Happy mother’s day!

  • Yvette May 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    That was beautiful! Your mom was a great person, and I’ll tell you alittle secret…. you’re just like her! I’m glad you’re a part of my life too!

  • marian May 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Phyll – that was just beautiful – tears in my eyes as I read it – what a beautiful way to honor your Mom’s memory – and OMG you look just like her