Friday, November 30, 2012


Today we celebrate Moms. Why? It isn't Mothers' Day, is it? Nope. But I have unfinished business with my Mom and today is as good a day as any to finish that business.

I offer my condolences to the Dolan family who lost their Mom, Edna Dolan, to lung cancer on Monday of this week. She had eight children. Lian the youngest posted a eulogy that I thought was just beautiful.

I never met Mrs. Dolan but from the way Lian writes about her she was one hell of a woman. I also know from the Satellite Sister and The Chaos Chronicles various postings that Mrs. Dolan's children appreciated her every day that she was alive.

After reading Lian's touching tribute it made me face the reality of my own Mom's mortality. Mom is 96, will be 97 in January. She isn't going to live forever. I really doubt she will make it another twelve months. When she goes it is going to create a tremendous void in my life. I'm not sure how I will be able to handle it. Looking at Mom's mortality made me wonder if I really have appreciated my Mom everyday that I've been life. I have been caring for an elderly parent in some fashion for over ten years. That really is an inordinate amount of time for anyone to care for anyone. There were a lot times when I resented being in that position. There were a lot times during those ten years when I acted poorly, when I wasn't on my best behavior while watching Mom. I have asked for forgiveness on more than one occasion. In my behalf I did my best. I also on many days created a fun atmosphere. Made a strong effort to get her out of the house two to three days a week (the only one in the family that takes her out). I did tell her that I loved her on numerous occasions. But did I ever tell her what I appreciated about her? Or how much I appreciated her? Or what a good mom she was?mNo. No. No.

I don't want my mom to move on to her next life with those questions still being answered with a no. Now is as good a time as any to correct that.

Mom I appreciate you. I appreciate the many times when I was growing up that you went without so I could be with. Mom I always felt lucky to have you as a mom. Sure you weren't perfect. Parenting doesn't come with an instruction book. It really is more trial and error. While I am sure I created many trials for you, you didn't make that many errors. In a contest of mothering skills my money is on you. When I needed help you were always there. Heck you were even there when I was beyond help. While there may have been times when your rules kept me from doing things that I wanted to do there was never a moment I didn't feel love. And those rules probably saved my ass more than once.

Now life has made it difficult for you. As you have always been, you are my everyday hero. How much pain you must be in with a degenerative hip. With a body overtaken by arthritis. I watch you struggle to take just one step. I watch you struggle to transfer to your mobile chair. I see you try to work with hands that you have trouble holding anything with. Yet I still see you smile. I watch you laugh so easily.

Mom did I tell you how proud of you I was when you told me what your Christmas mission is this year? You told me since you couldn't go shopping on your own that you were going to take up painting again. Then you would give paintings as Christmas gifts. I thought it was a wonderful, heartfelt idea. I just didn't think anyone 96 with your set of disabilities could do it.

Wednesday. The day you put me in my place. With nary a word. Just with talent. I was unloading my car to spend the night. I went through the garage, your studio. I looked at the painting on the easel. I sat down and cried. The painting was incredible. I honestly appreciate your talent. OK, when do I get my painting?

Today is the day when you tell my about your Mom. Have anything you would like to tell your mom and haven't yet? It matters not whether she is still with us because I believe wherever your Mom is she will read your words. OK, fire away about your Mom. Don't hold back.

Comment Away.

Closing with a poem and with pictures of Mom's recent paintings.

For all the Moms everywhere. The ones past, the ones present. Thank you.

"I don't think I ever told you,
how much I appreciate the things you do.

You have been there when I cried,
and always known when I've lied.
You taught me how to read and sing,
and punished me when I did the wrong thing.

You were there to tell me goodnight,
and always knew how to make things all right.

I look up to you, Mom,
and I love you very much.
I don't know what it would be like
without your loving touch.

You will always come first in my heart,
no matter how far we are apart.

Mom, I have not told you,
I don't know where I've been.
You're not only just my mother,
you're forever my best friend."

by Candice Winn

In order the paintings are as follows. The first one is the first one Mom painted since she started painting again. It goes to my sister. The second one is the second one Mom painted and goes to the caregiver. The third one is only about 70% done. It is of a place on the Oregon coast and goes to my Nephew in Texas. The next one she is going to paint is of a kitty surrounded by flowers and goes to me.


Lady DR said...

My prayers go out to the Dolan family.

Thanks for sharing the pictures your mom has painted. She's obviously very talented and I can't imagine a better gift than one of her pictures. Last year, Mom gave each of us one of her handmade quilts, each beautiful. What a treasure.

You're right. Every day is Mother's Day and, like you, I have some unfinished business, in terms of letting Mom know what she's meant throughout my life. Like you, I have doubts Mom will make it another year and, frankly, I'm not sure she wants to, given all the health issues and aches and pains and losing her sight. While I can't tell her personally, I'm going to write a letter - in very large type she can hopefully read herself - and tell her all she's meant to me.

She's always been there, whether with support and encouragement or with discipline and questions I needed to answer. She did without, so we could "have." She became a tupperware dealer, not only to earn money for things we needed or wanted, but to earn great "prizes" in contests, which became gifts we'd never have had otherwise. She kept us clean and well fed and, most important, well loved. We didn't/don't always agree, but her actions and words are rooted in caring and concern. She kept on keeping on, after Daddy died, after the diabetes diagnosis, after macular degeneration became a part of life, after the open heart surgery, after her knees gave out. She taught me you either make do or you make changes, you're thankful for what you have and don't complain about what you have not. Like you, there were times when she lived here, when I was camped out at the hospital or the rehab facility, when it seemed I spent more time caring for her and her house than for me and my own, when I felt some resentment, particularly with no help from siblings. But I had time with her they never had, memories they'll never have. Yes, we do the best we can. Yes, we often don't tell our moms how much we appreciate them, what they've taught, the difference they've mad in our lives.

William J. said...


What a great tribute to your Mom.

She was one heck of a woman. I wish I could have met her. But I think I know what a lovely woman she was from knowing her lovely daughter.

I love quilts. Even if the get ripped to shreds I never throw them away. They just have to much meaning.

I also don't think my mom wants to last. She is in so much pain that it is just to difficult for her. When they want to let go they usually do.

I don't think it is possible to spend as much time caring for parents as we do without some resentments. But like you I will have memories others won't have. I get see how mom interacts with strangers that others don't. I get to see her humor in tough times. We all is said and done we really are the lucky ones.