My Mom

My mom was all the things I wished I was: outgoing, funny, incredibly brave, a great cook, amazing with plants, incredibly wise, and oddly intuitive. She made life seem colorful and humorous.

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My mom and the love of her life, her husband, my stepdad ’91

Unfortunately, she was also sick for the second half of her life. I have to say, despite it all, she handled her illness with grace. She never complained to me about being sick, or feeling sick, she just kept pushing to live her life to the fullest, embracing the moments, seizing each day. She loved her grandson and filled her walls with his pictures. If I had to choose one of the biggest regrets about losing her 17 years ago, it would be that her and my son missed out on the most amazing relationship. She was the first to hold him when he was born, and I don’t think I’ve her seen her as proud as when she cradled him in the hospital. I think she called every phone number in her address book that morning to tell them she had a beautiful grandson. 😊

Today would have been my mom’s 68th birthday. Each year as this day comes, I prepare myself, each year intending on not letting myself get too down, and instead celebrate what a beautiful experience it was having a mother that was as neat as her. On our last vacation together, we spent a couple weeks at a family cottage in upstate NY on the finger lakes.

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My mom and my son (age just 2) chitchatting on the lakeshore ’98

It was her first and only time spending so much time with her grandson, my son (we lived far apart). They had an absolute blast together. It was very clear that they were two peas in a pod. She made sure we did everything we planned to do, no matter how hard she pushed herself. She never complained and spent all day, every day playing with her grandson. Those memories at the cottage are some of my most treasured.

As I’ve shared here before I believe my mom had MECFS. I know other things contributed to her being chronically ill but her symptoms and mine, her labs and mine, are mostly the same. I can’t help but think that maybe if there were a test, and treatment she might still be here. I miss her more than words can articulate, still, but I know that she would have wanted me to celebrate her, her life, her colorfulness, her laugh, but mostly she’d want me to smile (not a phone call went by where she didn’t either tell me to breath or smile, often both). Today’s blog is in memory of my mom, the chronic illness warrior, the lover of life, the funniest, wittiest, most be-true-to-yourself mom and grandma I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Love you, mom 🌸

I’d like to close by sharing one of my favorite poems:

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints of snow.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of,
quiet birds circled flight.
I am the soft stars
that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there. I did not die.

~ Mary Frye, 1932.

A few more doodles from World Watercolor Group prompts below. And I forgot one more thing from above, starting at about 12 my mom started encouraging me to write, thinking I’d likely become a writer, so she’d love this blogging thing I’m doing here. 😊


17 thoughts on “My Mom

  1. berne05

    I loved this post, you Mam sounds as if she was a truly wonderful person to have had in your life. It’s great that you had her even for such a short time. Life is short and sometimes with illnesses very hard. I also love that poem and have read it many a time when loosing a friend or loved ones. Thank you for keep on writing. I don’t always leave comments but always read your posts and this one has truly hit me and made me realise that yes no matter how quick and short life is but to always remember and treasure what time we have with one another.
    Kind Regards
    Berne05 from the UK xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely tribute. It sounds like she was a wonderful mother and grandmother.

    My mom also had a bunch of wonderful qualities I wish I had, and while she’s technically still alive, I miss the woman she used to be everyday. Big gentle hugs to you, and happy birthday to your mom. I hope they’re throwing her a fabulous party, wherever she is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lindsay🌸 I’m so sorry that you and your mom are having to go through what you are. It’s a rough road. I know what you mean about grieving the loss of who she is even though she’s still here, I did lots of that too and it’s a painful process. I also know life’s not fair blah blah blah, but sometimes it truly feels incredibly out of balance on the scale of the way things should be. Hoping this week is going best as it can for you, and your pup whose posts regularly bring me a smile 🐶😊


    1. I’m so sorry you lost your dad 💔

      So true what you’ve written. You make space in your life for the grief and learn how to live with it, but it feels like it’s always there. And I would also argue that when you’re chronically ill you need and miss your parents even more because you need them, even if it’s just emotional support. Hoping today is going easy on you. 🌸


      1. I have a post in the works…its thoughts ive had since a dr appointment about my dad and being sick etc and needing him yet the direction my thoughts and post have gone is not about needing him. I will share in a few weeks once i have more info from my tests etc and ive jotting more thouhts into it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet

    Your mom had the best laugh. She laughed easily and freely and it was also sort of conspiratorial, like you and she were in on something really special. Hers was a real hee-hee-hee kind of laugh that made you want to laugh all the more. You are like her in your optimism and appreciation for the little things that really matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She really did have the best laugh, and the greatest sense of humor. Years ago I was up North visiting with one of her dear friends, and chuckling about something. Her friend stopped in her tracks and with tears explained that I had my moms laugh. It was nice to hear. And yes her humor was such that you did always feel like she was bringing you in on something hilarious, but private. Thank you for sharing your memories. You’re one of the only people I talk to that knew her, so it’s neat to reminisce. ❤️


  4. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mum. I’m sure she would be so proud of your blog, the way you reach out to others in the online chronic illness community and the strength you have to deal with your illness every day. I wish she could have had a longer relationship with your son too, and you. ❤️️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know you’re right, I never thought about it before but she probably would have thought it was neat I was reaching out, and I bet she would have had her own blog too. 🙂 My son and her were more the same than different. Thankful we all got experience what little time we did have. Thank you for your kindness, hoping today is treating nicely🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry, Mishka. I don’t think any amount of time passing would make losing a wonderful mother much less painful. I think she would be glad she was able to meet her grandson when he entered the world, and she would have known he’d grow to be a fantastic young man because he had a brilliant mother in his life.
    This is a lovely tribute to your mum 🌷xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so very kind of you.🌸 You’re absolutely right. The pain doesn’t go away, you just make space for it in your life. And yes, she was beyond tickled when he arrived…partly because he was overdue and she’d been staying with me awaiting his arrival. 🙂 I think when chronic illness slows you down to a snails pace, you begin to potentially realign your priorities. Those we adore head straight to the top. Wishing you a lovely weekend and hoping you’re on the upswing and in less pain 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Mishka. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure no matter how many years it’s been, it’s still difficult, especially on those special days. I can only imagine how proud she’d be of you – you’re such a caring, compassionate person and you’re using the creativity she encouraged in you to help others. Sending love and hugs your way sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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