Reub's journey

06 May 2015

Mother's day

My mother died last month, and now I see "Mother's Day" in front of me, that charming, antiquated day which persists year after year,  a holiday that was nearly rescinded after Anna Jarvis, its originator, protested that it had become too commercial. Still, you should call your mother, maybe send her some flowers. At the very least you should give her some thought.


As I process her death, there is a lot that flits by, both good and bad. In the end I've decided that none of us should be held accountable for our first and last ten years. The garrulousness and intractability of those years, well, that is not who we are, or were, not really.


With my brother Jeff, and flowers in her hair
My mother was a beauty, and none of the rest of us were ever as gorgeous and self-sacrificing as she was for most of her life. I have always been perfectly ok with that.



Me and my grandfather. I am in jeans. But one side got wet.
The memories of her useless one-on-one singing lessons directed at me, or the countless times we struggled over how I should dress...they are funny to me. I could never help being myself, and she always respected that, with a sigh. Hey thanks, mom, I know you were just fine with how I turned out. I still hate most dresses.





Still, I have a weird love for the reality TV show America's Next Top Model, and I always watch Project Runway. My mother looked great in everything she ever wore. How fun would that be? But she never complained about ending up on a rural Wisconsin farm, isolated from everything. That is the single most amazing fact about her.



My mother, age 17, kissing my father.
I miss my mother. And that is all.


28 comments:

  1. Sorry for the loss of your mother. This was a wonderful tribute!

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    1. Thanks Linda. Mother's Day brings on more memories this year than ever before.

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  2. I am sorry for your loss. Your mother was beautiful.

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    1. Wasn't she? She was a fashion model in Milwaukee before marrying my father.

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  3. lovely share, it is our memories we will celebrate.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, now there are memories that keep her alive in my mind.

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  4. I am so glad you had such a wonderful relationship with her. It has made you the person you are and all that you meet benefit from that.

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    1. To be honest, it wasn't always a perfect relationship, but I guess that goes into who we are just as much as the good parts.

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  5. Kerry, these photos are wonderful! So great to have glimpses of her at so many stages of her life (the kiss with your dad? holy wah!!). I met her in her 80's and she was so elegant and effortlessly put-together. thank you for sharing these - i am thinking of you!

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    1. Haha! That kiss is shocking, right? It's strange to see them like that, and me now at age 65, looking at it. :)

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  6. This is lovely, Kerry. The first few holidays are always difficult after losing a parent, but especially so when it's Mothers Day, even if you never honored it! After 15 1/2 years I still miss Mom so much and always get her a hanging impatiens or geranium for Dad to hang in the yard by "her"garden.

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    1. We all still miss Eliza. What a force she was, and the empty space she left behind will never fill in.

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  7. I had a very contentious relationship with my mother who has been dead for years now. I won't go into it here. suffice to say, I envy people who had/have good relationships with their mother.

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    1. How many of us have perfect relationships with our mothers? Probably not that many. Still it would be awful to have a hateful thing always going on between mother and child. If that happened to you, I am so sorry. The scar tissue must be really deep.

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    2. I wouldn't go so far as to say we were hateful to each other. my mother was a very self centered selfish person who didn't like young children, would push us away when we wanted to snuggle and in fact rejected me when I was born telling the nurse that brought me to her the first time that that dark haired baby couldn't be hers. I was, apparently, a needy child that wanted her affection which she couldn't give. that never really changed. as a teenager, I shielded myself by not caring. as an adult, I refused to pander to her or put up with her bullshit. when she died my sorrow was not so much for the loss of my mother but for the loss of the possibility of ever having the mother I wanted.

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    3. That is a loss for sure. There were times when my own mother could be distant and unaccepting, but it didn't extend to outright rejection most of the time.

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  8. loved the photos and your memories of her. mother's day and other holidays are always difficult for me, too. living far from family and having lost several members, you feel a little like an island floating out there, detached from who you used to be.

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    1. Thanks twg. There is definitely a detachment, like an island.

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  9. This is a beautiful post and I can only imagine how hard it must be. Huge hugs to you and yours across the ocean.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thank you Cubano, you are kind.

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    1. Oh dbs. You too? This is an unkind holiday for some of us.

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  11. You went about this in an interesting way. You are right that we should be forgiven for the first and last decades and possibly much in between. There's probably little that most of us can help given our combinations of nature and nurture.

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    1. Ah yes, we all have our frailities. And for those we must be forgiven in the end.

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  12. These are some very lovely charming memories ! Your mother indeed was stunningly beautiful !

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    1. Thank you RR. She was a beauty to the very last days.

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  13. I love the way you write and process your thoughts. Your mother sounds similar to mine, especially this sentence: "My mother was a beauty, and none of the rest of us were ever as gorgeous and self-sacrificing as she was for most of her life." God bless you as you grieve your beautiful mother.

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