Sunday, May 11, 2008
Happy Mother's Day
First off...Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!
This is a photo of me and my mom, taken in 1969 at a cousin's wedding. She was probably taking a break from dancing up a storm as she usually did at these sort of gatherings. I always loved that dress that she is wearing. My mom was an awesome seamstress and actually made that dress. Many, many years ago she let me have the dress when I thought it would be a cool retro thing to wear. No matter the dress is something like a size 4 and I might have been a size 4 for two weeks in 6th grade. But anyway, I still have it, and who knows, I might be able to wear it someday!
My mom passed away in 2005, so this is the third year I have had the wonderful experience of attending the "Memories of Mother" tea that is hosted by the Torrance Memorial Home Health and Hospice. The purpose of this event is to allow us "motherless daughters" a chance to celebrate and honor our mothers. This year I did OK, but the first two years I was pretty much of a basket-case, and I was grateful for the support of the others.
Everyone brings a photo of their mom to place on a large table. It is great fun to see all the different photos of all the moms. Some photos are old, and some might have been taken literally a few months ago. The Beach Cities Harp Ring provides soothing music as we gather together and reminisce.
One year the event was a panel discussion of women that had lost their mothers and shared their stories. Last year two or three women told their stories. This year we here honored to have Hope Edelman who pretty much wrote the book, so to speak, with her now classic, "Motherless Daughters: A Legacy of Loss" in 1994. I didn't know this before, but the day before Mother's Day is designated Motherless Daughters Day and there were similar events happening all over the US.
Hope shared her story of losing her mom when she was only 17 years old and how she searched and searched unsuccessfully for information and help to deal with her loss. Her search ended in the writing of the book and through it, she hopes that she can help other women who are going through the experiences she did.
No one is ever ready to lose their mom, but to lose your mom when you yourself are a child, teen or young adult is especially devastating. Some women feel lost without the nurturing and role-modeling a mother gives.
One thing that Hope mentioned and other women agreed with was that after her mother died, everybody in her "support sphere" (my quotes) just STOPPED talking about her mom. After the funeral she says, it was like her mom never existed. WOW.
That's crazy. I might be in a "special" family or something... (Well, yeah, I KNOW that is true) but we ALWAYS TALK ABOUT those that have passed before. Heh-Heh...and maybe not always in the most favorable of terms! My family has a HUGE lore of those that are no longer with us. Emails shoot across the country on "Ethel-isms", crazy stories of Angie, Kitty, Phee, and Barb. TONS of stories of Tommy and Bobby. Of COURSE we talk about them....how could we not?!?!?!? I know that in my immediate family circle if someone says something a little too anal...they are greeted with a joyful "OK BARB" (That's my mom, and loving, compassionate, caring, cool person she was....she had also some "quirks" and we loved her all the more for them)
The presentation was powerful and uplifting. I'm fortunate I was able to have had my mom around for a relatively long time (not long enough!) and I can't begin to imagine not having had her love and support when I was growing up. I got to thinking that my mom was a motherless daughter herself, having lost her mom when she was only 8 years old.
Here's the write-up from The Daily Breeze