Mother's Day is one of my least favorite days of the year on two levels. First, despite having ample opportunity, I have chosen not to be a mother, so there's not a damn thing in it for me. Secondly, I am estranged from my own mother, and have opted to see her only three times in the last 25 years. The essay below explains both decisions above. ...more
“So how old are we now?” My mother’s ophthalmologist asked, as if he hadn’t seen her in centuries.
This might seem a blatantly rude question if coming from a less hulking posture of a man dwarfing his own office to the size of a dollhouse broom closet; whose formidable stature matches his renowned expertise.
My mother was undaunted: “I’ll be 95 in September. And I plan to live a long, long, long time!”
Her plate sits before her and she worries over her dinner roll, tiny pieces dropping onto the table top. My own dinner has gone tasteless and I'm begging her to be honest because the words Liam drops among us can't possibly be true. These guilt crumbs gathering up and her picking picking picking but never speaking speaking speaking. I'm fighting for clarity over the situation because I am not the mother of a bully... could I be so naive?...more
PG turned nine recently and as always her birthday coincided with the end of the hockey season, which means she usually gets shafted. She’s a good sport about it. The year the boys won the league championship on her day, and she was one of the first to hoist the cup, is still one of her highlights....more
I’m a woman in midlife, and I make no bones about it. I’m fine with it. Admittedly, after my divorce, I went through the “I need to look younger” phase, where I wore only tight skinny jeans and form fitting tank tops. Then one day I looked at my 26 year old daughter wearing the same outfit and had what I like to call my Christopher Columbus moment: “Honey, that ship has sailed.” Now, I color my hair, get a shot of botox now and then, exercise, and do the best I can with what I have. I feel good about myself, and then, something ...more
July 7, 2006
Is it better to tap into memories of your mother when you’re sad, or serene?
I don’t remember the details of my mother’s last 22 days the way I wish I could. The way I feel I should in order to fully memorialize her.
Part of me feels like a bad daughter – perhaps there when she needed me but not fully present enough to remember the conversations, activities, or emotions that would have compelled me to ask the important life questions of those you love. When they needed to be asked. When time was running out. But was time really running out? I had no idea.
Parenting reveals how often you move or, more specifically how often you didn’t move before. Your understanding of motion and stillness is forever altered. You bring your baby home and there is constant motion -- scurrying for burp cloths, clanging about for gum gel, scrambling for a wipe. Then they are toddlers and your jerky movements are to swipe the lit candle from their reach, moving the cushion to break their fall, and swooping in to grab them before they actually kiss the back end of the strange dog. By the time grade school comes they are getting so fast that your movements are sometimes to keep up and other times it’s to hide the emotion when they say, “I’ve got it. I don’t need you, mama.”...more
the strength of liz When Liz was in high school, sitting in a classroom, listening to her teacher lecture, she fainted. Right there, while resting her chin on a clinched fist. Unexpectedly, she lost consciousness. And no one even realized it, except for her friend who was sitting nearby. Before that, when she was in junior high, she took the annual pay for it yourself Washington D.C....more