An Ode to Motherhood

Scan 1

Mom and me in California – one of my favorite pictures.

Happy Mother’s Day!  This post is dedicated to all the mothers living and those past.  If you read this blog, I spoke about two questions that were posed to me a couple of months back that made me dig down and really think about my response.

The first question was about legacy.  What did I want my legacy to be or in other words what would my tombstone say.  I decided, “She could, so she did”.  That statement encompasses my general outlook on life.  I love living and realize it’s a great gift.  No time to waste – lol.

The second question came quite innocently at a photo-shoot.  I was getting some pictures taken for the blog from my good friend Karen Conley, whose photography can be viewed at Blue Road Images, and her other photographer friend Lara Falardeau .  They clicked away and I spoke about this blog its meaning and my running.  Then Lara asks, “How are you most like your mother?”  I wish I could lie and say the question had no effect on me.  I choked back some tears – I was tough.  Why was I this upset?  I’m a very strong person, emotionally.  People often confuse my emotional kindness and caring with weakness, wrong answer.  The fact is I just don’t know.  I don’t know how I’m like my mother.  In fact I’ve spent a lifetime trying to be different and better.

Scan 3

My mother died at 31 years of age from complications of Colitis.  She was waiting for a new and upcoming operation that had just come available and unfortunately luck wasn’t on her side.  Her large intestines ruptured and she died from toxicity.  The 11315 is calculated from the time of her birth to the day of her death, roughly 11315 days.  I was eight and my brother was 3.




What I remember:

  • Pale skin
  • Long brown hair
  • A wild laugh
  • Blue eyes
  • She decorated my room in yellow flowers
  • Being disciplined in a restaurant after spitting milk all over the table – my brother made me laugh that it came out of my nose
  • Feeding the dog my lima beans under the table that she would force me to eat
  • A sick woman in a hospital bed
  • We were too young to visit her hospital room in intensive care so she had to come to the lobby to visit us
  • Her walking in the lobby with the I.V. at her side
  • Talking to me on the phone before I was able to finally go up to her room, you had to be 13, warning me not to be afraid of the machine she was hooked up to
  •  Seeing her on this machine and for the last time
  •  Not saying goodbye
  • Remembering my father breaking the news of her death to us in my yellow-flowered room
  •  Not attending the funeral
  •  Seeing her gravestone for the first and last time when I was fifteen
  •  Promising myself I would never be as weak

This blog is not meant to be a sad reminder but a celebration.  The idea started with my mother, but has since grown.   I started it because over the years I felt sorry for my mother.  Sorry that she was sick, in pain, died so young, and didn’t get to enjoy the experiences I have enjoyed.  Maybe saying I felt “sorry” for her is negative and wrong, but that’s how I feel.  I’ve had the opportunity to travel, meet amazing people, and live my life to the fullest.  I’m lucky to have been healthy and fit and I lean towards the incessant temptation to try new things…what’s a few broken bones, eh?

Fast forward and I’m a mother.  I have a beautiful, smart and caring 18-year-old.  As I think back on this life experience it has been a great gift.  All of the things that I couldn’t experience with my mother, I now experience with my daughter and the ride has been fantastic.  She will be graduating this year and moving on to college to study dance and I couldn’t be happier.  What’s life if you can’t take some chances and go after the things you really want?  One day we’re here and the next we’re not.

Live on, run on and appreciate….

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