Still Missing Mom

Looking so "at home" in the kitchen

I love this photo of Mom because it's so typical--finding her drying dishes and putting them away.
I love this photo of Mom because it's so typical--finding her drying dishes and putting them away. | Source

Thinking about Mom on Special Occasions

Years after my mother's death, I still think of her frequently and miss her. Now in my seventies, I will undoubtedly feel that void for the remainder of my life. Fortunately, most adults adjust to the death of a parent and, after a period of time (which differs according to the individual) that initial intense grief fades to remembrances only tinged with sadness.We are able to contemplate happy memories of our loved one as we go forward with our lives.

Even so, special occasions often give rise to more intense thoughts of those who are no longer with us. Mother's Day, as it's known in the United States, is one such event. A national holiday designated to honor mothers, the day is somewhat bittersweet without Mom physically here to hug and pamper.

One of my adult granddaughters, an insightful young woman who lost her own mother too soon, reminded me of something very wise. Even when we can't be with our mom on her exclusive day of honor, we are not motherless. A special woman mothered us, and her influence shaped us in many ways that still define us as unique humans. Our tribute to her on Mother's Day is the gratitude and love we feel for all she gave to us.

Another special holiday that makes me think of Mom is Christmas, because she loved that season with the unbridled joy of a child. She decorated the house by trimming two trees: one that stood on the floor and another that was tabletop size. Mom delighted in setting up the replica of an old-fashioned ceramic village with miniature buildings and charming props to which she added for years. Her love of sweets came to the fore during Christmas preparations, and the house smelled of spices for days as she baked numerous cakes and pies for family gatherings. These sensory memories of Mom at Christmastime are my own holiday gifts.

Birthdays--both my own and hers--are reminders of my mother that contain bits of the pleasant mingled with the poignant. On my own birthday, I am thankful that she gave birth to me and during my childhood often went without things for herself as a divorced single mom in order to provide for me and my siblings. One of the best things she gave me was a sense of self-worth, and this was because she believed in me and often told me so.

Every year since she left us, on the anniversary of her birth, I wonder what she would think of world events during the previous twelve months. Many things, particularly war, terrorism, strife, divisiveness, and hatred within our own country would, I believe, sadden her. She lived through the two big world wars, at a time when it was believed they were the wars that would end all war. She lived to discover that was untrue.

Mom would be happy over the good things that happened during the year between one February 22 and the next, the joyful occurrences within our family and among her friends--new marriages, babies born, anniversaries celebrated, job promotions, many causes of happiness in the lives of those she loved. She had the generosity of spirit that allowed her to be genuinely happy for other people's good fortune.

I think about the world she was born into and all the changes she witnessed throughout her long lifetime. I am thankful for the years she was with us, even though she's no longer here to eat birthday cake (which she loved--especially when topped with buttercream frosting). I think about her on the anniversary of her birth, my heart says, "Happy Birthday, Mom," and I smile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mom's Beginning

My mother grew up in southwest Mississippi, near the Louisiana border. During her lifetime, she also lived in Connecticut; Louisiana; Tennessee; California; and New Mexico. She gloried in moving around the U.S.—the only person I ever knew who insisted she even enjoyed the packing and unpacking, but especially the thrill of making friends in a new place. People were drawn to Mom, and she made friends everywhere she lived or visited. They stayed in touch by letters when she moved again. (For her 75th birthday party, enough of her friends scattered around the country sent letters, photos, and cards to fill two large scrapbooks.)

Mom liked to put pen to paper and write chatty letters to those she loved. I’m glad I saved a few of her letters to me and wish I’d kept them all. But how could I know that someday her words written on paper long ago would be so precious? Ah . . . it's sad I didn't foresee their true value when I had the opportunity.

She never knew her birth mother, who died when she was only 17 days old. She was named “Eva”, also her mother’s name, but I never knew this until I saw her birth certificate late in her life. My adoptive grandparents called Mom “Evie” rather than Eva. Remembering my strong-willed grandmother, I suspect the minor name change was a proprietary move on her part…staking her claim on the baby girl. Ironically, the name was rarely used, because my granddad gave her a nickname (“Jake”) that stuck. When I was a small girl, I never thought it strange that my mother answered to a name most people associate with a burly longshoreman. Women in the Deep South often have odd nicknames. (My grandmother Bernice was always called “Snutz.”)

Mother was fortunate that she had the opportunity to meet and bond with both her birth father and older siblings and, later, their families. She had plenty of love to go around. I can remember days from my childhood days when we visited the home of her brother, my Uncle Russell, and his wife, Aunt Lillie. While I played with my cousins, Mom and her family members sometimes sat on the front porch making music and singing together, both southern gospel and bluegrass. She played piano, but could also play guitar and the accordion, and she had a pure soprano voice in those days. The musical talent and love of music she inherited from her birth family still branches out into our family tree.

Mom as a young woman with "Mama" and "Daddy"

Source

Mom as a young woman

Source

Mom and Me, Circa 1944

Source

A natural wife and mother


Mom was smart and musically talented, with a fine voice and the ability to play piano beautifully without reading music--"by ear." She only had to listen to a song a few times to play it well. Her talent, attractiveness, and friendly personality made her popular with classmates. As salutatorian of her small high school graduation class with above-average math skills, Mom should have attended college. My grandparents, who owned both a farm and a general store, could have afforded to send her to college, but higher education wasn’t prized in rural Mississippi in the early 1940s.

Instead, Mom’s ambition was to be a wife and mother, and that is what she became. I have three younger siblings—a brother and two sisters—but was temporarily an “only child” who didn’t have to share my mother until I was nine years old. When I was small, she played games with me. As I grew, she encouraged my love of books and music. She was like a combination of mother and big sister to me.

Mutual love between Mom and Puppy Girl

Source


During my 20s, 30s and 40s, Mom and I only saw each other once or twice a year because we were separated by geography, but we stayed in touch through letters and phone calls. In my early 50s, I moved back to Mississippi. Mom, by then widowed, followed me back to our hometown. From then until her death in 2008, we made up for lost time. She spent the last three years of her life with me, and our roles were reversed. As her memory and strength failed, I became the mother; she, the child. She took delight in simple things, and I delighted in watching her enjoy them.

The cruelty of Alzheimer's couldn't steal her spirit


Alzheimer’s Disease robs its victims of short-term memory first, but in the early-to-moderate stages, Mom could easily recall her childhood and youth. I listened carefully when she talked about those days, relishing her anecdotes, knowing the memory thief would soon take them.

The day she sat at my piano, placed her hands on the keys, and then looked puzzled nearly broke my heart. Instead of beginning to play from the large repertoire of her youth, she left her hands still for a few moments before she removed them and said, “I can’t.” I had to leave the room to hide my tears, but the failure didn’t seem to unduly bother her. She simply accepted it, as she calmly accepted the situation when she lost the ability to dress or feed herself and, later, to walk. It amazes me that she never complained, nearly always had a smile on her face, and seemed thankful for anything that was done for her. I try to remind myself of her exemplary courage when I want to grumble about my aches and pains.

Although she lost so many of her abilities near the end, sparks of her cheerful personality lingered. She never stopped recognizing me or the people she saw often, and talked lucidly with me the day before her death. For that, I am so grateful. I’m aware it was the exception, rather than the rule, of late-stage AD.

Source

We love you, Mom.


When Mom died, I wanted to write something that would express how her family felt about her. The words came to me as I thought about her, and I had them printed in the program for her funeral service:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No one is guaranteed a specific number of days on this planet. Some people desire longevity, though others wish only to live while their lives have quality. There are, however, different degrees of quality.

Mom lived 31,412 days on the Earth, from the time she was born on February 22, 1924, until she breathed her last on October 15, 2008. Although the last few years of her life were altered by Alzheimer’s Disease, which gradually stole much of her memory, she never lost…

her wonderful zest for life…

her beautiful smile…

her sense of humor and ability to make a joke…

her caring, nurturing personality…

her ability to endure without complaining…


or


the deep, everlasting love of her children, who called her “Mom” or “Mama”, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren—even the little ones, the great-greats—who knew and loved her as “Granny Jake.”

Such a large number of days—31,412—yet the time seems too short. We would have liked to keep her longer, for she enriched our lives beyond measure. Still, our memories of Mom will endure. Now she’s playing piano for the Heavenly choir as she played so many years in church, and she's singing in her clear, joyful soprano. Can’t you hear her? We can, in our hearts.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Mom holding a great-great-grandbaby

Still plenty of love for babies, even in her 80s!
Still plenty of love for babies, even in her 80s! | Source
Source



I’m not a poet, but as a Mother's Day without her approached, I felt the need to put into words my lingering sense of loss. Writing these verses evoked some tears, but also soothed my heart. (Each re-reading makes my tears flow, but the sadness is mixed with loving remembrance.)



Still Missing Mom


It will not seem like Mother's Day

without you here to give a kiss

and hug you gently, while I

watch your lovely smile that

always made your entire face light up with joy


And so I look at photographs—that smile—

It shines in every one,

your blue eyes twinkling merrily,

a ready sense of humor so evident

even in an image flat and silent.


And yet…I cannot hug a photograph.

I feel that lack so strongly,

even though the soft feel of your cheek

against my own still lingers

in my sense memory of touch.


I cannot hear your voice, although I sometimes

swear its faint echo sounds within my dreams,

your laughter rippling as you tell me all about

something that made you laugh

and left you happy.


I hear you playing hymns on the piano, singing,

your lovely soprano still in fine fettle

Why didn’t I record you making music while I could?

Your joyful songs now play in recollection

I hope I never lose those melodies, your confident chords.


I cannot tell you face to face on Mother’s Day,

how much I loved you, dearest Mom,

how much I love you still

and always will.

I sorely miss you...even now.


And yet I tell you every day,

in every fleeting thought of you

and each remembrance of

some pleasant time we shared.

Such memories are my saved-up treasures,

and I cherish every one.


These verses are still true, and I miss her especially at Mother's Day, Christmas, and on both her birthday and my own. I hope our dear mother knew how much she was loved by her children, grandchildren, and numerous friends. She was the heart of our family.







Mom with me at a Christmas event, December, 2005
Mom with me at a Christmas event, December, 2005 | Source

Mom's handiwork--an embroidered pillowcase

Source

Looking at her stitchery is another reminder of her many talents.



Mom embroidered the borders of a set of white pillowcases for my birthday thirty-five years ago. I used them carefully throughout the years, but--as she grew older--they became very special as examples of her handiwork. She loved to embroider and crochet, and the patterns she chose were usually floral. I now showcase one of these lovely pillowcases by placing it over a pillow and leaving it atop the shams on my bed. Every time I see Mom's embroidery, I think about how she made it just to celebrate my birthday.

One thing's for certain: as long as Mom was alive, I could count on at least one person remembering my birthday! As another one approaches, I'll enjoy this special gift from my mother all over again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

© 2013 Jaye Denman

More by this Author


Comments 64 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 24 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Bibliopola, for reading this essay and for your kind comment. I understand why you still miss your mom and wish she was with you on your birthday. Those special days are difficult when that very special person is no longer there to share them with us. I hope your birthday is the beginning of a year that will bring you much joy. Happy Birthday! Regards, Jaye

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ologsinquito - Thanks for your lovely comments. It wasn't difficult to love and appreciate my mom because she was a very sweet and caring person. In addition to the love of her family, she had many friends who cherished her friendship. That is a good thing to be able to say of someone at life's end.

Regards, Jaye


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 24 months ago from USA

This is such a beautiful story about your mother, whom must have been a wonderful woman. I'm sure you miss her. She was also so fortunate to have a daughter like you, who appreciated her.


bibliopola profile image

bibliopola 24 months ago from Istanbul

A beautiful tribute. I read with tears. Thanks for sharing.

My mom died in 2002. I also miss my mom so much. Today is my birthday and I wish she could be with me.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, OhMe. AD is a monstrous disease that robs its victims of too much, too soon, and finally everything. Your mom must have had the early onset type to get it in her fifties...even sadder that it struck so early.

Yes, we never stop missing them, but must rely on the happy memories we have of our moms. I enjoy looking at the many photos I have of my mom and thinking about her. I can almost hear her speaking or laughing at those times.

Thanks for reading and your comment.

Regards, Jaye

P.S. Welcome to HP.


OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom. My mom also passed away with Alzheimers. She was just 56 when she was diagnosed and not much was known about this disease at that time. She suffered for 9 years and passed away in 1978. I still miss her, too.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Shyron - Thank you, my dear friend. You have such a kind heart. Perhaps I should say that I only attempt poetry when something or someone truly inspires me.

Blessings and hugs back to you....Jaye


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jaye, you say you are not a poet, and I think of a poem I heard long ago.

"Sometimes her words are singing birds, and sometimes deep still waters but her greatest works are not of words but a lovely son and daughter."

And the poem I just read was written by a poet.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Kim. Mom was a very special woman, and barely a day passes that I don't think of her and miss her, especially her laugh. Fortunately, I can summon my favorite memories of her at will, which I often do. It's a way to keep her in my mind and heart for the rest of my life.

Regards, Jaye


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

This near brought me to tears. It was so beautifully done and so heartfelt. Thank you for sharing your Mom with us. Your tribute was stirring. All the best. Kim.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

MothersOfNations - Thank you. I'm glad you found this hub today while remembering your father. You definitely know how I feel. Aren't sensory memories marvelous triggers? Certain smells, sounds--even textures we touch provide blessed remembrances about our loved ones who have passed on.

I frequently look at photos of my mom and keep framed ones all around the house so that I often come across her smile during the day. It always makes me smile as well to remember the joy she felt and shared with everyone.

Blessings to you.....Thanks for reading.

Regards, Jaye


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

What a beautiful tribute to your mother, beautiful poem and pictures. I'm sure she's still watching you, joyfully, proud of her daughter. She still lives, in another plain, with our Lord, and one day the two of you will have the joy of sharing heavenly music together.

I too have lost a parent - my father, in 2010. While we didn't have as much time in his last few years as I would have liked to, his memory still blazes in my mind and in my heart. I can still smell his cologne, hear his voice, remembers his favorite lines, and his never-ending love for his children. He taught us love & forgiveness more than anything, and for this I will always be grateful.

I haven't stopped missing him one bit. Matter of fact, I was looking at some of his pictures last night. Seems not a coincidence to have run across your article today. He's remembered in so many things that I do, as we had enough in common as far as our interests, and I'm grateful to see some of those gifts within my children as well. Our loved ones are a blessing and this is why we won't ever stop missing them. Either way, their blessings stay with us, even when they're not...

God bless you.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Lady Guinevere - Thanks and hugs back to you. I've been reading some of your hubs, but didn't realize it had been so recent that you'd lost your dad. I'm so sorry for your loss.

It is very rough when you lose someone you love very much. A lot of time has to go by before it gets easier, and then you still miss him. Grief, although it's so painful, helps your heart to heal so you can begin to think of him with joy and be thankful for every moment you had him in your life. That's when you can take out your memories of your dad from your mind and heart--sort of the way you do when you look at photos-- and enjoy remembering those times. You will even be able to smile. Although you will always miss him, comfort and peace will replace sorrow when you think of him. That is what I wish for you.

Blessings.....Jaye


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Aww what a beautiful tribute to your mom. Thank you for sharing all this with us. I know the pain of loss that you feel especially on those days that celebrate our parents. I just lost my father on May 27, 2014 and the Father's day right after that was heart wrenching. It was so empty and that emptiness is like a hole in your whole life. HUGS and more HUGS.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Prairie Princess, for your lovely comments. Yes, writing about Mom was helpful to me. Our mothers were special, so they should always be remembered with love. I'm sure the memories you have of your own mother bring you joy in the remembrance.

Regards,

Jaye


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada

Jaye, this beautiful tribute made me cry, and I felt your loss as you described this beautiful, vibrant woman. How wonderful that you thought of her as a sister, as well as a mother, a testimony to how close you really were. I am sorry for your loss, and am glad you could write about her so in such a powerful way.

I found writing a tribute to my Mom, whom I also lost, really helped me process my feelings about her. I hope that it did the same for you. Blessings and take care!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Grand Old Lady. I appreciate your kind words.

My mother was, indeed, a very special lady.

I realize it was the exception rather than the rule for Mom to still recognize me, other family members and friends until the end. I will always be very thankful for that blessing as well as the three years of special closeness we had toward the end of her life. Alzheimers is a very cruel disease, and it is difficult to watch someone you love lose memory and ability to do almost everything. I'm glad my mother could still talk, smile and know she was loved.

Anyone who is coping with AD in her or his family has my empathy. I hope research will soon find a way to stop this memory thief in its tracks.

Regards,

Jaye


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Although I've never met your mother, she sounds wonderful. Your description is so visual that I could see her doing the things you describe. Her embroidery was very beautiful, and it's wonderful how you featured her photos, from the time of her childhood until she grew older. Her having Alzheimers must have been very difficult for you, but you still saw her strong spirit underneath her failing memory, and the lucid moments before her death was a gift from God. What a lovely poem you wrote for her. God bless you, and thank you for this wonderful story about your beautiful mom.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Kathleen. There's no timetable for the easing of grief, but the day will come when you can reminisce about your dear mother with joy and be able to smile or even laugh as you recall happy times. I do hope that day arrives for you soon. Blessings for Mother's Day.....Jaye

Paula - Yes, there will be tears, but we also recall those special qualities about our mothers that made them so dear to us.

I love that photo of chubby toddler 'me' with Mom, and you're right--it's a priceless memento. I see that little dress I was wearing, with its lace and embroidery, knowing she sewed it for me. I was born right in the middle of World War II, with its shortages (including money), so all of my clothes were made by Mom and my grandmother (her mom).

Happy Mother's Day to you, too.....Jaye


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jaye.....The years go by and the tears come too. This is a beautifully touching tribute to your dear Mom.....I see the gentleness in her eyes, Jaye.

The pic of you as a "baby" with your Mama is absolutely priceless.

I will miss my Mother once again..too.....but hold tight to the precious memories as you do.

Have a special day, Jaye..."Happy Mother's Day!....UP++


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

What a lovely tribute. I know the time will come when I can think of my Mom and just be happy. Not there yet, but at least I don't cry at the thought of her any more.

I enjoyed getting to know your Mom a little bit. She'd sure be proud of you - I'm sure she was.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Victoria. My mom was a wonderful person with a zest for life. Her birthday just passed (February 22), and in remembrance I looked at photos taken at her 75th birthday party given by her family. She looked so happy and there were so many friends present. (She made friends so easily.) I miss her daily, but find joy in memories. I have many framed photos of her in my home and never look at one without smiling.

Enjoy every minute possible with your mother. There is no one else like her.

Regards,

Jaye


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Oh, my, what you said at her funeral really touched me. Actually, the whole article is a wonderful tribute to your mother. When my mother dies (I can't imagine) I will miss her forever. Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, epbooks, for reading this tribute and for your kind words. You're right that we never stop missing a loved one, even though it becomes easier with time. I'm so sorry you lost your dad at such a young age.

Regards,

Jaye


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Wow- what a touching and heartwarming tribute to your mother. I read this with tears in my eyes as I could tell how much you loved her. the pictures were beautiful and don't sell yourself short- your poem was perfect!

I don't think we ever get over losing a loved one; it may just get a little easier as the days go by. My father died 32 years ago when I was 9 and I still miss him all of these years later!

Beautiful hub- voted up!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Rajan....If your own mom was affected by Alzheimers, then you are well aware of that disease's ravages. But you are right--our moms left us with sweet and wonderful memories that Alzheimers could not take away. Thanks for reading this and sharing in my memories of Mom.

Regards, Jaye


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Wonderful tribute to your mom, Jaye. Moms are always missed and leave sweet memories for us to cherish.

My mom was affected by Alzheimer's related dementia so I know how it feels to see a loved one lose memory and other functions as the disease progresses.

You have so many lovely memories to cherish. The pictures are beautiful and the poetic tribute is very touching.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Thanks so much for reading my mums RAF stories, Jaye, and I am glad you liked it, nell


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you Nell Rose...We never stop missing our mothers, do we? I still get choked up when I remember that moment Mom realized she could no longer remember how to play piano after playing beautifully since she was a teen into her 80s.

I want to read the hub you wrote about your mum's WAAF stories.

Jaye


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I also have tears in my eyes now reading this, 'Jake' sounds like a wonderful woman, and the photos are awesome too. The piano bit made me cry, as it reminded me of my mother too. I lost her back in 99, and my dad the year before that. I had just started to get used to the fact my dad wasn't there then my mum went, I wrote a hub about her too, when she was in the WAAFs back in the war, funny stories that she always told me, it makes me smile and cry at the same time, lovely hub, nell


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Shyron--Your mother does seem to have shared some talents and traits with my own mom. We were both blessed to have had them, and I'm sure your memories of your mother are just as special to you as mine of Mom are to me. No one ever takes the place of a loving mother.

I'm so sorry that your photo album got lost. Perhaps another family member has it and, if you ask around among extended family and friends, you'll locate it and get it back. I do hope so. If not, maybe some of them will have photos of your mom and your children to copy and share with you. It won't hurt to ask.

Thanks for reading and your lovely comments. (Tears are okay. Sometimes they just happen along with the memories.) JAYE

Suzanne--Thanks for your kind words, vote and feedback. I do have sweet memories, for which I'm very thankful. JAYE


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

Lovely photos and sweet memories! Voted up and beautiful! :)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Jaye, this is like reading about my own mother, who moved us almost every year to a different state, after she married my stepfather. Mom played violin, guitar, and mandolin, she sang in a nightclub in Nashville.

She also wrote poetry and wrote poems for her friends.

I don't have many pictures of my mom. And none of my own children. When mom moved here and my husband and I were following I allowed her to bring my brown leather photo album to keep for me when I moved here and when she died in 2004, I have not seen it.

It was hard to read with my eyes full of tears. Your mother was a beautiful person and you were fortunate to have her.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, LKMore, for your kind words. I'm so glad my story resonated with you. Our mothers were indeed precious and loved us unconditionally. There is no one else like them...ever. Regards, Jaye


LKMore01 profile image

LKMore01 3 years ago

My eyes filled with tears you have shared a deeply profound story. We have lost the mothers that we loved, who loved us so unconditionally. No matter the number of years that have passed we treasure those memories, those moments of absolute love. Beautiful, Jaye. I especially loved the cherished photographs. You have touched my soul.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, drbj---That is just what she would do. Mom's personality was as sweet as her smile. She made friends very easily because people were drawn to her cheerfulness and sense of humor. She was proud of her family and loved to talk about her children and grandchildren. I can almost hear her saying, "My daughter wrote this!"

Jaye


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

This is a lovely tribute to your sweet-looking mother, Jaye. I like to think she is sharing your beautiful words with everyone she meets in Heaven.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Deborah-Diane...I'm glad you enjoyed it. I, too, think Mom would like reading it. She was always supportive of anything I attempted, especially if it was creative. I appreciate your comments.

Jaye


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

What a loving tribute to your Mother! I enjoyed reading it so much! It was so touching and I know she would have loved to read it herself.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Audrey--I'm glad you enjoyed this tribute to my mother and gained a sense of her personality and spirit. I enjoy looking at photos of Mom, and they make me feel closer to her as they bring back memories. I especially enjoy the pictures of her younger self--especially because she told me so much about those days before that part of her memory deserted her.

I feel very grateful that she did not lose her recognition of me and those other family members and friends she saw frequently. I realize this isn't a common occurrence with AD, so feel very blessed in that aspect of her illness.

Perhaps other family members and friends of your mother can give you copies of their photographs of her. I'm sure they will be glad to do so, and you will enjoy having them now that some time has passed since that initial shock.

Regards,

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Joe. I do think Mom would have liked HubPages and the friendly people in our HP community.

I have my own fears of Alzheimers, as do my siblings, since there appears to be a genetic component. It is a cruel disease, as you know. I try to keep my brain (fairly) sharp by writing, reading and by working brain teaser puzzles and hope, as you and your wife do, that current research will soon find a cure.

I appreciate your kind words--Jaye


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I read this hub last night and was most impressed. You used such colorful words that a person could picture your mom and what she was like. You were so good to your mom when she was so sick. How brave! I cannot believe that she recognized you. You must be a special person that loss of memory does not take away. The photos really added to the hub. When my mom died, I was so upset at the shock that I told my relatives I did not want any photos. How I regret it. Thank you for sharing your mother and your tribute at Mother's Day time. Take care.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Hi, Jaye! This is an absolutely delightful and heartwarming homage to your mother. Thank you for sharing her with us in this beautiful tribute. You know, as readily as your mom made friends (and I see the same trait in you), she would have absolutely loved being a member of HubPages.

Alzheimer's Disease affected the quality of my wife's grandmother's and mother's lives...and the specter of fear thus hovers overhead. In our lifetime, I pray that the research scientists find a cure for this cruel disease that holds an individual's mind captive in an otherwise healthy body. Thank you for your courage and determination to share this information as well.

Our community of writers is blessed to have you as a peer, Jaye. Aloha and blessings!

Joe


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Kathleen...I'm so glad this hub brought you comfort. Writing it provided solace for me, but I know in my heart I will always miss my mother. I display photos of her in several places thoughout my home, and every time I walk past one of them and look at her smiling face, I remember her so vividly. Yes, our mothers lived long lives, but they were so special to us that their absence can't help but leave a void. And it's especially difficult for you since this was the first Mothers Day you experienced without your mother's presence. I recall what that was like. All of those "firsts" after we lose a loved one are difficult. Bless you....JAYE

Kevin...Your comments are so sweet. Mom was a truly lovable person, and she made friends from all ages groups throughout most of her life. I'm glad the photos reminded you of your own mother (and I hope you still have her with you to cherish). Thanks! JAYE


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

I too started loving your mother a lot. She is so cute and lovable. You have described very well on your love for your dear mother. The pictures included in the hub are very wonderful. They remind me of my own mother. Great hub!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Look at all these comments. I think you really ministered to people with this hub. I know you did for me. Just passed my first Mother's Day without my Mom and I so appreciate the support I received from friends and family (that includes hubbers.)

I used to think things like, well people don't live forever, 88 is a long life so this is not a tragedy, the death of a young person is sad not the death a person who had a full life. But I didn't know what it was to have a person you loved simply be gone from your life. You've done a good job here.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Mary. I consider it one of life's blessings that I was in the right place at the right time to be with Mom toward the end of her life. We were indeed fortunate to have them, weren't we?

JAYE


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

How wonderful that we had the great Moms that we did. My Mom died in a nursing home in 2005 at the age of 88. Her last stroke left her partially paralyzed and we couldn't take care of her anymore. I visited her every day for the five months she was there. Her mind was clear and she would often ask, "why is it your mind is okay and your body isn't OR your body is okay and your mind isn't?"

I read your hub with tears in my heart for the loss we both have suffered. Well done Jaye. God Bless.

Voted up, awesome, and beautiful.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Aviannovice--Mom was indeed a great lady, and I was very proud of her. I hope I look something like her. I seem to see a resemblance these days. JAYE


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

A beautiful and inspiring tribute, Jaye. I can sure see where the family resemblance hails from. She was a great lady, and obviously made you proud.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

My sister Patsy sent me an email saying she read this and tried to leave a comment, but wasn't able to do so. This was her response to what I wrote, so I'm including it here for her:

"Beautiful. thank you so much for sharing. You captured Mom perfectly. She would've been so honored."

My sister's satisfaction with this essay is very rewarding to me. Individuals don't always see their loved ones in the same way, so it makes me feel good that Patsy thinks my word picture of our mother is accurate.

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Good morning, Nellieanna...Sorry it took me so long to respond, but "life" has a way of demanding my attention at times.

I'm a very sentimental person. I know, if I'd lived most of my adult life in one house with an attic, that attic would be bursting at the seams with saved mementos!

I feel confident that everything you did for George during the years of his declining health was "just right" for him. Your relationship with him seems idyllic, the sort of love that most people dream of having but don't achieve. Many of us do not marry our soul mate, and thus do not experience the type of bond you had with George. (I'm not envious, just wistful on my own account, while being very happy that you did have such a wonderful marriage that your closeness to George lasts even now.)

Have a great day!

Jaye


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you, Jaye. I've kept many letters and cards, and then in a time of 'purging', for the sake of order, have disposed of some of them which now I regret. However, I find that those I have saved mean all the more. I don't dispose of pictures, ever, but cards and even letters have been lost. I must admit those purges have been rare, at least. I've always said that if something survived one of more of them, that thing was installed for life; - at least for my life. Things my parents saved which I have in my possession never are purged. Some of the things which were so ordinary at that time - old calendars & magazines, for instance - now take on special value. Their saved pictures go back to some tintypes! Their keepsake letters go back to the Civil War! Amazing, isn't' it?

By the way - the 'book' of Emily Dickinson's letters is actually a 3-book set by Thomas Johnson.

I write occasional hand-written letters, to those of my few surviving peers who still write them. I should say - my one surviving peer who writes them.

I text because my grandkids and great-grands do. In fact, my daughter even texts me. My business associates text, as well. Their time is so busy, I think it's simpler for them to grab a moment and use their cellphone rather than having to get out a computer or even an iPad. I type fast and well on the computer, but I'm awkward on the little iPhone keyboard, and must go it, 'one-finger'. I'm not too slow with it, but it's tiring. I'm probably as happy on it, though, as on the phone, in many cases, where I tend to be too brief or too lengthy! haha

I know George and I made each other's lives happy, and that it special. We were soul mates. But I can think of more I could have done to make him even happier, especially during his decline, when I had to do everything. He was always happy, anyway, though, so maybe it was all 'just right' for the circumstances. Occasionally he'd have an extremely lucid moment and realize what-all I had to do. He'd feel so badly for me, that it made him sad. So it was better, actually, when he didn't realize it fully. His last years were spent at home, tinkering with his beloved things, practicing his golf stroke and fishing cast (in the yard!), talking with me and good friends, and being George.

We were never apart, though we respected each others' spaces, which were always 'together' - under the same roof. We met in 1979 and he died in 2008. For those 29 years, we were apart only twice, once for 3 days when he had a business trip before we were married. and once for 5 days when we had been married for a couple of years, when my daughter needed me. We made many a trip and stayed at length at the ranch, with each other (and our two cats) for company, and those were among the sweetest of our days. Yet we were never omnipresent or smothering. We both knew how to appreciate that. So it was pretty much ideal. We simply loved, respected, appreciated, enjoyed and got along with each other. I do miss him, though, - again, - he'd not want me to grieve or be sad & gloomy, and I'm not. I feel his presence nearby - but still, it's not smothering.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Michelle--Thank you so much. Mom was indeed very special to me, my siblings and our families, as all mothers are, and I felt the need to pay tribute to her today. I appreciate your kind words. JAYE

Peggy--Thanks for reading this and for your lovely comments. Although those of us who no longer have our mothers feel their loss more keenly on Mothers Day, we honor them in our hearts and feel grateful for the time we had together. Bless you...JAYE


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Jaye,

I read this with interest but also with tears in my eyes towards the end. It is so obvious that you shared a special friendship as well as love with your mother as I also did. My mother was born in 1925 and died in January of 2010. I miss here dearly as I know you do with your mom. Loved seeing the pictures you shared with us and a bit about her life. Bless you today on Mother's Day and always. Our mothers will be waiting for us when it is our turn to pass on to the next life. Of that I am sure. Up and beautiful votes.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Your mom sounds really awesome, and this is a truly beautiful tribute. Happy Mother's Day to you as well, Jaye.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Randi--The memories we make while we still have our mothers are there to be brought forth at will through all our senses. Looking at photos of Mom awakens them all for me. Remembering the joy she took in baking a cake or banana pudding (one of her favorite southern desserts) for loved ones while she was able to do that makes me smile. She was the sort of nurturing person who showed love for people by cooking for them--a tendency I either inherited or learned from her to a certain extent, though baking sweets is not among my talents.

Happy Mothers Day 2013 to you, too, Randi!

JAYE


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Bill--I love looking at old photographs and seeing how people I've loved looked in youth before I knew them. Mom talked to me about her school-day friendships, and seeing pictures of her from that time helps me imagine what her life was like. Thanks for reading this "love letter" to my mom and for your kind comments. JAYE

Colin--The loss of our "mums" is truly one of the saddest events in our lives. Adult children who forge beautiful, strong friendships with their mothers have the best of both worlds--a loving mum and a best friend. While mine was alive, I always knew that, no matter what was happening in my life, I had her love and support.

While your biological family may have ended with your mum, you've gained an extended family in the friendships you have on HP, Colin. You have only to re-read comments on your many hubs, my prolific friend, to know that you are loved.

I like your mum's philosophy about loving, which I share. The poem, "Full Moon Song", by Georgie Starbuck Galbraith, expresses it so well in the verse, "And the heart is richer that chances pain

Than the heart in cotton wool."

Warm wishes to you, Colin, and Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel from Jaye and Puppy Girl here in the Deep South, USA, on this Mothers Day, 2013.

JAYE


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

So beautiful, Jaye! I read this with tears in my eyes. I love the pictures. How wonderful that you have them and the memories, so very special. Happy Mother's Day!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Nellieanna--All of your writing is so beautifully descriptive and enjoyable to read that I'd be willing to wager the letters you've written throughout your life would make a fine collection. Your talent as a poet makes your prose equally lyrical.

Previous generations saved letters as a matter of tradition. In our contemporary "disposable" society, correspondence of any type is more likely to be considered clutter and tossed away. I'm such a sentimentalist that I've saved favorite letters, notes, cards with handwritten comments and children's artwork, in addition to thousands of photos. It's too bad I wasn't organized enough to place them all in scrapbooks with acid-free paper rather than packing them away to be brought out and enjoyed occasionally.

I avoid texting altogether and tend to write long emails rather like conventional letters. A partial loss of manual dexterity makes it easier for me to type rather than write with a pen these days, so I type a limited amount of correspondence that's mailed via the postal service. I deplore the abbreviations that some young people of my acquaintance use even in regular emails and wonder if many of today's students will know how to write grammatically and spell accurately when they become adults. The reaction you received from someone in an online teen chat room is all too typical of that age group's disconnect with proper language usage.

I don't think there's any doubt that you deserved George, Nellieanna, and he, you. From what you've shared about your relationship, it seems obvious that the two of you were true soul mates, each of whom enriched the other's life immeasurably.

Jaye


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Good morning my dear Jaye and yes you and I both miss our 'mums' - my mum passed away back in 2004 at 83 and she was my best friend.

On that sad day I was left with no family at all in this world and my only family now is my two cats Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel.

But my mum used to always say - it's better to have loved than not to have loved at all - and when I took a stroll with you just now down memory lane I heard that song by Barbara Striesand in my head - The Way we were. Yes your tribute here is a true labor of love not just from one beautiful heart but two - both yours and your mum's.

Sending you warm wishes on this Mother's day from the Stewart family Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time canada 11:23am


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love the old pictures....love the poem...and love the obvious love that flows through your words. Well done, Jaye!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Ah, yes - letters seem to have become obsolete, though my parents saved all my letters from the time I went away to boarding school at 15 till they passed away in the mid 70s, and I have them now. There is a file box full of them. I was prolific. They also saved letters from their other children, though I have only mine and my eldest sister's who died long before they did. I'm sure my other two siblings took theirs when we were sorting through the personal things.

George bought me a big book of all Emily Dickinson's letters, which I treasure. Some of her letters are more beautiful than her poetry, in my opinion. He had to order the book through SMU's library.

I don't know about e-mails. I write e-mails rather like I always wrote letters, - at least as far as using complete sentences and spelling out words. I keep copies of those with any real 'stories' in them.

Texting is another matter, though. haha. No, even there, I use real sentences and very rarely use the shorthand that passes for writing in many people's online 'correspondence'. I may have mentioned that once when online interaction was mostly through chatrooms, I visited a teenage chatroom, and started 'speaking' as I usually did in them. One kid asked me what was I 'on'! haha! That must have been how 'foreign' it sounded to him!

Yes, I'd agree that George was courageous and selfless. Sometimes I have to ask myself how did I deserve him. I'm sure he was just being himself, not consciously trying to be selfless. But he was. It's obvious that your dear Mom was the same way, naturally kind and thoughtful.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Nellieanna, for seeing the essence of Mom's lovely spirit that I tried to portray in my words. The similarities in the physical and cognitive effects both she and your George experienced is rampantly increasing among the population, but the way the two of them met those challenges without complaint and continued to enjoy their lives, though altered, is truly extraordinary.

I felt such admiration for Mom, who, after she was diagnosed with AD, worried more about how her disorder would affect me than she did about herself. She was courageous and selfless, and it seems your George shared those traits.

I'm sure we will both continue to miss our mothers, no matter the number of years that pass. Mothers are too special to be replaced or forgotten.

The letter writing our mothers practiced is an art that's almost disappeared with the popularity of texting and email. The near extinction of writing "real" letters is why I'm driven to read collections of published correspondence, especially those between writers and other creative people during the last century. Theirs will probably be the last published letters, as I can't imagine anyone collecting emails for a book, can you?

Thanks for your kind words, Nellieanna, and I wish for you a happy Mothers Day!

Jaye


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Oh, Jaye. I feel as if I know your dear Mom. You've captured her personality and spirit here so beautifully. So much reminds me of my own dear mother, the joyfulness and undaunted spirit, though my Mother Elcy didn't suffer Alzheimer's. That part and your Mom's cheerfulness through it reminds me of my George, though. His was diagnosed as Dementia, but the effects were similar. It was sad for me to observe him losing abilities he'd had before but he didn't complain and seemed to take it in stride. He remained a good conversationalist and enjoyed what he could still do, like your Mom did. He and she died the same year, 2008, by chance. Perhaps they've met 'up there'. Your Mom was only 8 years older than I, so she would have been only 2 years younger than George. He and I were both born in February, too, though earlier in the month than your Mom. February people have special affinity for each other, you know!

My darling mother was born Dec. 18, 1892 and died Jan. 11, 1974. I still miss her so much and also wish I'd kept all her letters. She loved to write, though seldom wrote long ones, but she wrote often. However I have 6 pages of a letter she wrote my Aunt Nellie when I was 10, telling of some of her escapades, such as riding a horse around Del Rio. I guess she didn't finish and mail it. But it's such a treasure.

Your tribute to your dear Mom in prose, poetry and photos is truly beautiful, Jaye. She was a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing it! Happy Mother's Day to YOU, as well!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working