Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Day Re-visited

I tried to do a happy post for Mother's Day, really I did.  And I really am happy each Mother's Day.  I love going to church on this Sunday and watch mothers - the new with their toddlers to teenagers - and the older ones with adult children home from far away places.  I see the smile on a young mother's face as she holds her children just a little bit tighter and is a little more tolerant of their fidgety behavior on this day.  I see the joy on the faces of the older mothers as they beam with pride to have their children and grandchildren at her side.  I am one of those.

I love spending the afternoon with my two daughters and their families and watching the love and laughter in their homes.  I marvel at what wonderful mother's they are - each of them adored by their own children.  I always enjoy the thoughtful gifts my girls give me and the sweet conversations that we share.  It reminds me of the sweet conversations I shared with my mother.  I am proud of the men that they've married who treat them with love and respect.

But my happiness on this day is always tinged with sadness.  A nagging little sadness that has defined each of my Mother's Days since 1988.  Was this the first year that I lost my mother?  No, she passed away three years earlier.  I wrote this story last year and posted it on my blog, but since this story not only defines my Mother's Days, it also defines who I am, I will re-post it below.  No Mother's Day ever ends without this story being forefront in my mind.  And those of you who have read this before, please bear with me as I re-visit it once again.

A re-post from Mother's Day, 2011 - May 8th

The kiss of a Dad on Mother's Day

Today is May 8, 2011 - Mother's Day.  Mother's Day also fell on May 8th in 1988 and on less than a handful of May the 8th's since.   I remember that year well.  My girls were thirteen and nineteen and I had been hearing sounds of pots and pans and laughter as I lay in bed trying to catch a few more winks of sleep.  Ahh, the sweet sounds of breakfast in the making.  The phone rang and I picked it up on the second ring knowing who was on the other end.  Mother's Day was a lonely, sentimental day for my Dad, having lost my mother, his wife of sixty years three years earlier - the mother of his seven children - his best friend.

"Good morning, Daddy", I said, without even waiting for him to say anything.  He laughed, thinking it was funny that he didn't have to identify himself.  "Can you come over and help me pick your mother's peonies to put on her grave this morning?".  "Sure", I said, "can I wait until I have breakfast?", but knowing full well what he would say.  "Come on now, if you don't mind.  You can eat breakfast later".   At eighty-five, Dad had earned the right to ask pretty much what he pleased.

I quickly dressed, told the kids to put breakfast on hold and drove the mile to my Dad's farm.  As we cut the peony stems, we talked about mom and how much we missed her.  We talked about her love of flowers and how she especially loved peonies and enjoyed sharing the tubers each Fall with her friends so they could enjoy their own come Spring.   I arranged them with other greenery in a large metal flower basket that Dad had saved from Mom's funeral flowers.  They did look lovely as we placed them on Mom's grave at our church a few minutes later.   Dad and I shared a few tears as we held hands and prayed over Mother's grave, all the while imagining her smiling down at us from heaven.

A couple of hours later we all sat in the family church pew and shared worship together.  Daddy gave my girls their customary juicy fruit chewing gum and a kiss, and then turned to give me a kiss and wish me a happy Mother's Day as we left church.  "Girls, be good to your mother", he said.

That was the last kiss I ever received from my Dad.  He was killed in a car accident the next day, May 9, 1988.  Mother's Day always holds bittersweet memories for me.  A day when I celebrate my memories of my beautiful mother and a day that I mourn the loss of my sweet Daddy.   A few month's back, I found my youngest daughter's first Bible on a bookshelf in the library.  I opened it up and tucked away in it's pages was a piece of cellophane with something flattened inside.  It was labeled "the last piece of chewing gum Grandpa Carter gave me".  My girls had loved their grandpa with all their heart.  I left it where it was, closed the Bible back up, and cried - wishing we could all hold his hand and pray one last time.  But then I smiled as I imagined the two of them, holding hands in heaven still sharing the love they had here on earth for over sixty years.  Happy Mother's Day Mom.... and Daddy, please take good care of your best friend.


  1. Dearest Glenda,
    Oh, you made me cry, my friend!!!
    It is SO hard to lose a family all of a sudden. And For you, just full of the beautifl memories with your father the day before. Your parents sure are happily togather in Heaven, my dear friend.
    It sure is kind of different from my case but;
    When I lost my bro all of a sudden two years ago, I cannot accept the fact the way he chose... it left me the full of thoughts there must have been somethings for me to do for him. my friends told me that it is kind of same for other illness, however I cannot still get over form the thoughts. Just trying to think he and my mother must be together in heaven and in peace. he sure was a mother's son and did his best as a elder (even though he was single)
    Haha, so sorry for my personal story. I hope we both will have time when tears won't come down thinking the departed family who disappered all of a sudden, my friend☆☆☆ Happy for you to have wonderful daughters!
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

    1. Thank you Miyako - so sweet of you to comment. Maybe the sad moments in our lives are meant to make us appreciate the happy ones even more. I love to hear your personal stories. It's always a pleasure to learn more about the Japanese culture through your blog posts.

  2. I did read this story before and it made me cry this time as well.

    I know our folks our often in our thoughts, especially as we get older and begin to appreciate what exactly what they did for us.

    I'm glad that the rest of your day was wondeful - I'm sure Grandfolk Carters were watching over you.

  3. Meant to say I love your new header photograph

  4. Oh dear Glenda, that post certainly brought a tear to my eye my friend. I don't remember reading that post before about your dad. Gosh, how sad is that to be taken at that age by such a terrible accident, and so suddenly. I can just imagine what a dreadful shock it was for you all, especially after spending that time with him on Mothers Day. You just have to hang on to the fact that your mum and dad are now together in heaven, but I know that that doesn't ease your pain. Beautifully written story. Hugs.

  5. Blinking away tears.

    I am so sorry. :(

    They are together now and happy though. So this time can be a time to rejoice as well. :)

    Take care my friend, Janet W ((hugs))

  6. Oh..... that is so sad. You are bound to have your day tinged with sadness & memories.
    Both those dates are significant in our family. (We don't have Mother's day on that date in England, though.)
    We should all try & be kind to each other because we never know if we're going to even have a tomorrow. At least you shared a precious moment with your Dad and you left breakfast and gave him your all. Think how you'd have felt is you had have put it off.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. A sweet and sad post Glenda. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom and Dad. A shock under any circumstance but to lose your Dad in such a way my heart goes out to you. My parents passed within a year of each other so many years ago now, and I lost my sister a couple of years back. They'll always be with us won't they? Not a day goes by that I don't miss them.


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