This is the first Mother’s Day I’m experiencing without my mother, as she passed away on September 29, 2010. I’ve been fortunate in having many family pictures and her own picture albums of her growing-up years, and I enjoy looking through them and remembering her stories and the people she’s known, some of whom I’ve known as well. I knew that eventually I’d want to put together a video montage of pictures showing what she was like, and what was important to her, hoping to convey how important she was, and is, to me.
What was she like? As a person, she was full of fun, always ready to laugh and see the lighter side of things. She loved to dance, loved to roller skate, loved music of all types and played the piano and accordian, as well as the ukulele. Her favorite color was red. She enjoyed reading, cooking, going to the movies, and good conversation. She was an outstanding secretary, an expert typist, winning multiple awards for her skill in using shorthand. She was a champion bowler. She loved to travel, and was an excellent driver. She had beautiful handwriting. She was a stickler for good grammar and spelling, and never met a dictionary she didn’t like. She was always ready to learn something new, always interested in broadening her horizons.
But what I like remembering about her were the little things, like the way she used to scoop me up when I was 6 years old and she came home from work, and I’d giggle as she swung me upward. I liked watching her get off the bus in the afternoons and walk down the street toward the house, proud of how she looked in her downtown dresses and pearls. I liked the way she worked so hard to make every holiday special for us, showering us with surprises as we wondered how she accomplished it all. I liked the notes she wrote for us when we returned to school after an illness; they were always very crisp and professional, written in her impeccable handwriting. I liked it when she turned up the radio and danced around the house, twirling and laughing to the music. She was tall and walked so fast; I had trouble keeping up with her when I was small, and liked the sense of accomplishment I felt when I finally grew tall enough to match her quick stride.
This Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me; I struggle with the pleasure of memories combined with the pain of loss. The video I made will, I hope, show in a small way how much she meant, and means, to me. If your mother is still living, you have a chance to tell her how much you love and appreciate her; do it today, while you are still fortunate enough to have the opportunity.
I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere…