Professor J's Place

28 February, 2008

To Mary

Dear Mama,

Today is the fourth anniversary of your death. It was a different life for me--almost a world away--and just yesterday.

This weekend at the grand opening party, I thought of you so often. You loved art and music and serving people food. Cousin Butch and his wife Susan were at the party, and they talked about you quite a bit--Butch told me about a coat you bought him fifteen or twenty years ago that he still wears. It was a thrift store treasure, and he loves it. And Susan talked about your cooking and your serving them meals back when Butch was still in law school. They both loved you.

Some people at the party made a fuss over the food I put out--how nice it looked, how good it was. It was all very simple stuff. I kept thinking that you would have done it better. But I was proud. It is one of the ways I like to think that I am like you.

And I am like you. Like you, I love to cook for other people, I love a good laugh, I love to read. Like you, I'll start singing at the drop of a hat, and I can rarely stop until I've sung the whole song. Like you, I love animals, and I talk and sing to them on a regular basis. I love a good bargain, I love to give "the perfect gift," and I love art, poetry, and music. I love. I am a passionate woman.

Like you, I struggle with depression. I am quick to anger. I can misinterpret the most innocent statements or actions. I isolate myself. I am not always easy to live with.

I have not "turned into" you, as we so often joke about our mothers, but I cannot miss seeing you in some elements of my personality.

I miss you so, Mama.




Blogger Pearl C. Pritchard said...

Oh Professor J -- that was really poignant. I'll bet your mom was so proud of you.

What a nice tribute.

February 28, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa Milton said...

Very lovely. I can't imagine the day I will be in your shoes.


February 28, 2008 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was so beautiful. Your mother seemed so radiant.

I fear the day.

February 28, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This was so poignant. I'm going to call my mom this very minute.

And thanks for stopping by the blog today!

February 28, 2008 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Very nicely written. I will miss my mom so much when she goes!

February 28, 2008 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

Aren't you beautiful? The energy and the light of your tribute are just jumping from the screen and into my heart.

February 28, 2008 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I know how you feel. I love what you had to say.

February 28, 2008 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Mike Golch said...

Lady I really feel the pain of the loss of a Mother.I lost mine Sept 2003.she had lung cancer,and yes we see a little of our parents in our selves a lot of times.there are times that i explode in anger over something silly like Dad did,there are times that I'll be sad over something little like Mom.
So here is a GREAT BIG HUG for you.Blessing your way my friend.

February 28, 2008 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Mrs. G. said...

I'm sending you a big hug.

February 28, 2008 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger we_be_toys said...

Now you've gone and given me a sniffle! What an incredibly sweet and beautiful tribute to your mother. You are lucky indeed, to have had such a wonderful and loving mother. Now I have to go cry.

February 28, 2008 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous supertiff said...

i couldn't read past the first sentence, because i have my own version of this story. (i say 'version' because, really, don't we all have one...eventually?)

i don't want to disrespect your loss, and what i'm sure are some beautiful words...i'll be back soon, one a night when i'm more able to go to these places.

until then, peace to you. and your mama.

February 28, 2008 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Amy Y said...

This was so beautiful...
Thanks for stopping by my blog ~ it's nice to meet you!

February 28, 2008 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous a. beaverhausen said...

She's watching from someplace and I know she feels your love.

February 28, 2008 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Sojourner said...

We had our own little chat about mothers today that left me feeling a little blue.

You really are special, kiddo! And yes- I see a bit of your mama in you too. The good stuff. She was a hoot and a holler, and I know you miss her!

February 29, 2008 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger JCK said...

It is lovely that you can feel her again through yourself. And I bet she can feel you, too. She sounds very special.

February 29, 2008 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Family Adventure said...

A beautiful post, Professor J. I, too, wish she could have shared this weekend with you and Susan.


February 29, 2008 at 4:10 AM  
Blogger Ginaagain said...

That was a lovely post. Thank you Professor J.

February 29, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Oh wow, that was so moving, so beautiful...simply and sweetly so.

February 29, 2008 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Mary Alice said...

Lovely. Maybe we don't so much "turn in our mothers" as we refine and define in our personalities what was wonderful about them. To mamas. Cheers.

February 29, 2008 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Claire B. said...

How very beautiful. I can only imagine how much you miss your mother. Hugs to you!

My mother is also a Mary!

March 2, 2008 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Grandy said...

What a great letter to your Mother!! Thank you for sharing.

March 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before, but it's worth saying a thousand times-- the peace, acceptance and love that radiates from your letters to and posts about your mom are inspiring.

March 2, 2008 at 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How lovely. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful, interesting person.

Thanks for sharing her with us.

March 3, 2008 at 7:20 PM  
Anonymous aaryn b. said...

Just so lovely.
I'm typing through tears.
Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and I'm sure she would be so proud of you.

March 5, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger anne said...

Very beautiful letter to a very beautiful person.

March 6, 2008 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger K. said...

This is so honest and beautiful, which is one of the things I enjoy about you most, now that I think about it.

Since my father died, my mother and I have had a VERY difficult relationship. I want you to know how much it helps me when you blog about your Mom - it makes me feel like maybe it is possible to make peace with my feelings about my own, and that I don't have to strive for some impossible, perfect happy ending in order to be a good daughter.

So thank you for that, it means more than I can say.

March 6, 2008 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous supertiff said...

wait: moms are allowed to die?

i'm going to hide under my bed now.

March 15, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

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