“A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.”

Today is Mother’s Day. It is the day I honor my mother and my memories of her. Every year I post basically this same entry with only a few little changes.

My mother was amazing. She was generous, fun to be with and was the perfect martyr when she needed to be, a skill I think most mothers have. It was her tone of voice so filled with pain that caused our guilt to well to the surface. “I’ll do it myself,” she’d say. We’d scurry to do whatever she wanted.

My sisters and I laugh often about the curses she inflicted on us: the love of everything Christmas and never thinking you have enough presents for everyone, giving Easter baskets overflowing with candy and fun toys and surprising people with a gift just because.

My mother had a generosity of spirit. She was funny and smart and the belle of every ball. She always had music going in the kitchen as she worked so she could sing along. She played Frank and Tony and Johnny and from her I learned the old songs. My mother drew all the relatives to her, and her house was filled. My cousins visited often. She was their favorite aunty. My mother loved to play Big Boggle, and we’d sit for hours at the kitchen table and play so many games we’d lose track of the time. Christmas was always amazing, and she passed this love to all of us. We traveled together, she and I, and my mother was game for anything. I remember Italy and my mother and me after dinner at the hotel bar where she’d enjoy her cognac. She never had it any other time, but we’re on vacation she said and anything goes. I talked to her just about every day, as did my sisters. I loved it when she came to visit. We’d shop, have dinner out then play games at night. I always waited on her when she was here. I figured it was the least I could do.

My mother loved extreme weather shows, TV judges and crime. She never missed Judge Judy. She also liked quiz shows and she and I used to play Jeopardy together on the phone at night. She always had a crossword puzzle book with a pen inside on the table beside her chair, and I used to try to fill in some of the blanks. On the dining room table was often a jig saw puzzle, and we all stopped to add pieces on the way to the kitchen. My mother loved a good time.

She did get feisty, and I remember flying slippers aimed at my head when I was a kid. She expertly used mother’s guilt on us, her poor victims. We sometimes drove her crazy, and she let us know, none too quietly. We never argued over politics. She kept her opinions close. We sometimes argued over other things, but the arguments never lasted long.

Even after all this time, I still think to reach for the phone to call my mother when I see something interesting or have a question I know only she can answer. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was of her, and how much she is missed. No one ever told me how hard it would be.


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6 Comments on ““A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    This is a bitter sweet day – we celebrated Mrs MDH at Seldon Standard in Detroit with 2 of our 3 munchkins and even the Terrier got in to the act with a gift and card.

    And underneath is the thorn of the loss of my Mum to the cruelty of cancer.

    May 8 is an interesting day – my sister’s birthday, My Father and Mother in Law would have been 90 today – guess we all know what happened on the summer holidays in the first two weeks of August.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I miss my mother all the time but today is the worst. We, my two sisters, my brother and I, lucked out when it came to a mother. She was amazing.

      My two cats and my dog sent cards. Those devils must have sneaked out and bought them when I was otherwise preoccupied.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Happy Mother’s Day dear lucky daughter of a great mother!

    It’s Mother’s Day here too, Father’s Day was on Thursday.
    My mother would have been 80 about a week ago. It was a crappy life for the most part and her early death came as release.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks so much, Birgit.

      My sisters and I often talk about how lucky we were and how great our mother was. She gave us so much we all cherish in each other.

  3. Bob Says:

    Unfortunately, the memories of my mother are fading over the years.

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