Another Mother’s Day

If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day. It’s a day that makes me feel especially without. More recently I’ve thought about creating some special ritual to honor my mother, but have yet to come up with an idea that sticks….

This photo looks like it may have been a Mother’s Day. (I’m the little blond girl)

Mothers Day?

On a whim I entered this contest to write 200 words to share my personal story about what my mom means to be…. so I could win 2 tickets to the Womens Conference (Maria Shriver’s big shindig). Here’s what I came up with:

frozen at the doorway
it was a dream, no
a movie I watched once
lights flashing like red lightening, or
a projector,
not an ambulance
not that ambulance
everyone in slow motion—
You, Mother
on the floor, tiny and still
Father crying

I lost my mother when I was thirteen. Cancer. She had cancer. Sometimes I like to say cancer twice to give it more impact. Sometimes still, more than thirty years later, I have trouble saying my mother died. It’s not like I can just introduce myself and say, “Hi, I’m Jennifer, my mother died when I was thirteen.”

For a long time I let memories of her death cloud memories of my mother’s life. It was through writing about her, about her life and about my own life that I realized how much more there was to her. To both of us. I keep on my wall beside my desk a scroll, decorated with purple and pink tissue paper flowers and a poem of sorts from second grade:

Great, Fantastic,
Helps, Thinks, Cares
Loving, Joyful, Warm, Fun-Filled Mother

That is the mother I want to remember. That is the mother I want to be like.