Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven

May 10, 2020 | Death, Dying, Loss

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day in heaven! I’m not surprised, even in dying you did everything right and God took perfect care of you. Thank you for staying alive until you could see, wave, smile and talk to all our children out the window. Thank you for fulfilling a truth that I’ve often shared with people who say, “Your mother is so beautiful” and yes, you’ve been beautiful your whole life, even on your last day. Thank you to God and to you for dying gracefully, without suffering from the most horrible effects of Covid19 that we’ve all read about. Thank you for driving all around five years ago and looking at retirement homes, when you didn’t think you needed to but you could imagine the future. Thank you for accepting the fact that the day may come when you might need more care than we can give you. Thank you for choosing Wyndemere because everyone there took perfect care of you during these past five declining years. Thank you to all of them, they kept you from dying in a hospital where no one could even see you from outside a window. Thank you for loving all of us so much that you went above and beyond what any normal mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend and lover would ever do. Thank you for loving Jesus because you get to be with him today and all the other mothers of history that I’m dying to meet. Thank you for embodying the good, old fashioned true religion and virtue that makes life worth living. Thank you for always wearing lipstick and letting me brush your teeth and hair when you couldn’t do it anymore. Thank you for always being on our side. Thank you asking the hard questions. Thank you for painting roses with me, just two and a half months ago. Thank you for letting me push you at breakneck speed around Lake Ellyn when it was about to rain so we could see all of the emerging springtime. Thank you for laughing with me to the point of actually peeing in our snowpants when we went cross county skiing together for the first time. Thank you for holding on to me to get back up, even though you believed you could get back up yourself. Thank you for humbling yourself. Thank you for buying our children practically every article of clothing that they ever wore. Thank you for taking them shopping when I was working. Thank you for believing in me as a writer. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for creating a book with me. Thank you believing that art can change the world. Thank you for adoring your extended family. Thank you for loving and accepting our foster daughter, Jessica. Thank you for loving your faithful caregivers, Maria, Margaret and Renee. Thank you for listening to them. Thank you for seldomly answering the phone because you were doing other more cool, important things. Thank you for taking our kids to Oak Brook mall. Thank you for teaching me everything about plants and giving me my first garden. Thank you for loving the color green. Thank you for taking my cousin to Diana Ross in downtown Chicago. Thank you for believing the best in people. Thank you for keeping poetry hidden in the lower desk drawer of your secretary. Thank you for always having stamps in that desk. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for remembering all of us even when your memory was deteriorating. Thank you for keeping journals. Thank you for learning the Bible. Thank you for marching around on rainy days in rain boots and on sunny days in high heeled sandals. Thank you for going to Door County on your honeymoon. Thank you for marrying my dad who I adore. Thank you for loving my husband from the start. Thank you for your precious, astonishinghly strong, wise, adorable, priceless, fearless mother Goggie who still burns a bright light in my heart. Thank you for putting wheat germ in our milkshakes (actually no — that tasted awful) and making us take vitamins. Thank you for caring deeply about health and wellness. Thank you for doing yoga.Thank you reciting this poem, every Mother’s Day we’ve shared together so I give it back to you today. I know you know that you were the best mother and grandmother in the world. For everyone who doubts their mother, mourns their mother or still feels the sting of an absent mother you need to know today that “Somebody’s Mother,” even a difficult mother matters so very much. I love you Mom and I will see you in a blink of your twinkling eye, Happy Mother’s Day. 

Somebody’s Mother by Mary Dow Brine

The woman was old and ragged and gray,

And bent with the chill of a winter’s day;

The streets were white with a recent snow,

And the woman’s feet with age were slow.

At the crowded crossing she waited long,

Jostled aside by the careless throng

Of human beings who passed her by,

Unheeding the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street with laughter and shout,

Glad in the freedom of ‘school let out,’

Come happy boys, like a flock of sheep,

Hailing the snow piled white and deep;

Past the woman, so old and gray,

Hastened the children on their way.

None offered a helping hand to her,

So weak and timid, afraid to stir,

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses’ feet

Should trample her down in the slippery street.

At last came out of the merry troop

The gayest boy of all the group;

He paused beside her and whispered low,

‘I’ll help you across, if you wish to go.’

Her aged hand on his strong young arm

She placed, and so without hurt or harm

he guided the trembling feet along,

Proud that his own were young and strong;

Then back again to his friends he went,

His young heart happy and well content.

‘She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,

For all she’s aged, and poor and slow;

And some one, some time, may lend a hand

To help my mother- you understand?- 

If ever she’s old and poor and gray,

And her own dear boy so far away.’

Somebody’s mother’ bowed low her head

In her home that night, and the prayer she said

Was: “God be kind to that noble boy,

Who is somebody’s son and pride and joy.”