mother’s day without you


the ring I gave you for Mother’s Day- 2007?

It is hard to be without you today, every day. My soul still seeks you, a message in every throb of my aching heart:

I miss you.
Thank you. 
You were wonderful.

On this day, I would buy you flowers, or a piece of jewelry.  Some small, stupid item that could never say enough the good you did the world, how tremendously kind and loving you were to everyone and everything you touched.  Mothering is more than giving life- although you did that for me too. I was your only child by birth, yet you were a mother to many. You nurtured, you encouraged, you eased, you pushed and you believed. And we miss you here, in this life, in this world.

The Mother’s Day gifts of the past were inadequate, but it felt good to do something, to make even a lame attempt at showing gratitude. I miss the simple joy of sliding a necklace around your warm neck, or watching you close your eyes as you inhale the aroma of roses. These days, I have no such recourse for showing thanks. Maybe your spirit is at such great heights, a little fleck of firmament, too distant to hear murmured prayers of thanks. Or perhaps you have absorbed into my skin, or disseminated into the air I breathe, and you are so very small, so omnipresent, so close there is really no you anymore. In either case, I cannot reach you. You are too close.  You are too far away.

So, I could do nothing else with today but surround myself with beauty, to ease the aching loss of you. I went to Sabino Canyon with my dear friend. The one I believe you sent for in the last hours of your life, so she could be there for me at the moment of your departure. You loved her, I love her, and we remembered you today, as we gazed upon the wonder of it all.


12 thoughts on “mother’s day without you

  1. Swimming In The Mud

    If I may say anything at all–which is difficult after you have bared your very soul–it is that I would have wished for you exactly what you did today… to either breath in something beautiful where you know she still lives (and that, in my mind, is easiest felt outdoors in exceptional places in nature, like where you found yourself today) or that you create something beautiful in her honor each time you think of her… that you keep on giving her something special on this day each year and on every day that you think of her.

    You are a very creative and strikingly talented writer but even with that, there are limitations to writing. Once we write, we tend to file it away. Why not explore another lovely form of creative expression in addition to your writing (painting?… sculpting?… glasswork?… jewelry making) where you create something that speaks to her and that you can surround yourself with afterwards knowing what inspired its creation. Collectively, what you might create would honor your Mom and allow you to channel thoughts of missing into visions of beautiful connection. I have a feeling you have so much more to express, possibly even more than can be done with words.

    I know we hardly know each other, but you break my heart every time you write. I send you love and wish you so many wonderful things–peace and happiness amongst them.

    1. bornbyariver Post author

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- I am paying close attention. I’m not much of an artist, really, at least not in a visual medium, and Mom wasn’t either. But maybe there is some other form of expression that can bring us closer. I did just buy myself a swanky new camera. Maybe there are some images that can be creative that will help me explore in a realm without words.

      I appreciate your supportive insights and I’m honored to have such an inspiring woman among my readers. Thank you!

      1. Swimming In The Mud

        Thank you for your kindness. We don’t think of ourselves that way very often, do we?… “inspiring.” And yet, we all are to each other. I’m always humbled by the universal sisterhood and what we all bring to the table. We are lucky to have fairly easy access to a support system mostly unrivaled by men folk. Lucky and blessed. Safe travels to you as you find your way. 🙂

  2. Loni Found Herself

    I’m glad you had a friend with you, and that you could spend the day outside where it’s beautiful and where you could look at a sky and a canyon as big as your love for your mom (and her love for you).

  3. Kathy

    I couldn’t blog on Mother’s Day or read any blogs. I am a mom and had a great day with my kids. But I also miss my mom so much. My husband had asked me to remind him to call his mom. I said that I would and thought – I wish I could call mom. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Lucia Maya

    Wow, this is so beautiful and speaks to me in ways I can’t even begin to describe here. This was my first Mother’s Day without my older daughter, who died last September, and everything you say I can relate to. It describes my feelings so perfectly I actually wondered for a moment if my daughter had somehow posted this…

    I went to Mt Lemmon on Sunday, with my partner, and celebrated that way, with a picnic, and had a lovely phone conversation with my younger daughter. And, it was a painful day, with gratitude and joy, and deep sorrow.

    Thank you so much for this piece. My prayers and blessings to you.

    1. bornbyariver Post author

      I really appreciate the nomination! I have kind of fallen off the awards map… but we’ll see if I get around to official acceptance 🙂 In any case, it means a lot.


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