Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Today would have been my Mom's birthday.  Not a day goes by that I don't miss her but it is especially hard on this day. 

I finished reading The Secret Life of Bees just the other day and it couldn't have been  more timely given what this day means to me.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  I"m adding the movie to my Netflix queue asap.  Anyway, without giving too much away, the story is about a young white girl and how she and her black housekeeper escape an abusive father and a jail sentence, respectively.  They flee to Tiburon, SC and live with a household of black sisters who are also beekeepers.  The little girl lost her mother when she was young and is trying to do everything she can to connect with her mother - despite the fact her father repeatedly told her that her mother didn't love her and that she left her.  It does to me have an upbeat and enlightening ending just so you don't think I'm all doom and gloom!  My favorite quote from the book was this:

You have to find a mother inside yourself.  We all do.  Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside.

It's true.  No matter how many people are around you that love you and support you, you have to first love yourself.  I hope one day I can have children and bestow on them all the love my mom gave my brother and I.  In the meantime, with the memory of my own mother strong, I need to find a mother inside of myself.

Even more timely, my sweet mother in law sent me an email today with this poem attached (she had no idea it was my Mom's birthday):

Mother-In-Law’s Prayer
Teach me to speak or to hold my tongue

when silence is divine

Help me, I pray, to understand

this newfound child of mine.
Keep me from taking bitter sides

or adding angry flames.

Teach me to leave them both alone

like children at their games.

Teach me to be a friend in deed

whose smile they’re glad to share.

Never too near yet never too far

this is my humble prayer.


  1. When my mom died, it felt like this:

    For my whole life, it's like my friends and family have stood in a ring and I've stood at the center. When I fall, forward or backward or left or right, whichever way, someone is there to catch me. When Mom died, there was a giant gap in the ring. She had always been the biggest part of that ring of support, with her arms way way outstretched, ready to catch me just about any way I fell. But suddenly she was gone. When I fell, I hit the ground.

    It's taken years to get to the point where my other friends and family have edged a little closer around that ring to fill in the giant hole. But there are still some gaps, so I've had to figure out how to steady and catch myself, too. Which is where that "finding a mother inside yourself" thing comes in. It's an ongoing struggle.

    How funny is it that your mother-in-law unknowingly sent you an email today - like how my mom's irises bloomed three years in a row exactly on Mother's Day. Even if it's just a coincidence, it's awfully comforting and makes me feel like she had a hand in it somehow.

    Happy birthday, Cameron's Mama - you have a sweet daughter who makes me smile and cry!

  2. Lovely. Both of you carry your mom's love with you everyday. I can see it because it is what makes you both such gorgeous people. :)


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