“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism.”

I wrote this on a past Mother’s Day. I don’t think I could write better than this about my mother.

Special days have special posts. 

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. 

I am amazed at how long ago I lost my mother. Sometimes it seems like a day while other times it feels like forever. I keep her close always, in my heart. 

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. She was tricky, that woman.

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 on holidays and weekends. 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 and one time a dictionary, a big dictionary, was thrown which luckily missed me though the binding broke when it hit the wall. I pointed that out to her and that made her madder. 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, but then in a split second I remember. 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. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!

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4 Comments on ““Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The years have flown by since my Mother passed. Today Mrs MDH and I are celebrating Mothers Day with our daughter who is experiencing her first Mothers Day. Somewhere in Denver my son has a new baby girl and a 3 year old. Delta will take us this Friday to meet our new granddaughter and enjoy a 3 year old’s 3rd birthday

    The generations change fast, the job is to stick around and enjoy them

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      My sister in Colorado has three kids, and they all have kids. Justin, her middle child, became a father last November so he will celebrate his wife’s first Mother’s Day. The oldest grandchild will be a senior in high school next year. Lordy, that time has gone so quickly!

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    My mother passed away in January 1961. It’s been so long that my memories of her and that of other family members are getting harder to separate. Sadly, time has a way of modifying my memories.

    Today, my spouse and my daughter went to lunch followed by seeing a movie of my wife’s choice. Most of the day was cloudy with varies amounts of rain.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Time has a way of modifying all our memories, but I think because I was older when my mother passed away, I still have vivid memories of her. She was the third of eight and only one of them is left. We are the old relatives now.

      It sounds as if your wife had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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