Emily from Tanglewood Farm, here! My mother has been a huge role model in my life. She is incredibly practical, hardy, and full of life, and it’s these traits that I’ve been trying to cultivate in myself as I’ve grown.
She has a sort of quiet appreciation of things, and the ability to find wonder in any natural thing, often exclaiming things like “Hickory trees are nice!” or “Hello, squirrel!” Oh Boy, she’s going to kill me for posting those quotes… but it’s things like this that make me love her. She’s not afraid to blurt out the little-kid phrases that pop into her head. She’s willing to admit to staring at the way water pools on leaves and closing her eyes to pick out the songs of the local frog population. I don’t think of her as a hippie, no. More of a Hobbit. We’re all Hobbity folk, in my family – aside from living above ground, that is. (Radon gas is a real threat to modern-day Hobbits!)
This is the first Mother’s day that my mom and I have been apart. She has moved to New Hampshire while I remain in Michigan. Every year I think about how Mother’s day is so silly. It’s just one of those consumer driven buy-this, buy-that sort of holidays. Then it hits me (every single year) I don’t care if it’s consumer driven. My mother is full of inspiring energy and hard work, and it’s from her that I get my love of gardening and making things. I owe her a day – my life, really – even if I’m states away. Happy Mother’s day, Mom.
For me, Jennifer, moving from my tiny corner of Northwest Indiana all the way to Nashville, Tennessee was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, next to raising my own daughter. Fifteen years ago I decided it was time to break the invisible umbilical cord that I felt was holding me so close to my mother.
We’d been through a lot together, she and I. For ten years it was just the two of us. Because of that, we’d grown tremendously close. I’ve always considered her my best friend – from the time I was a small girl. It was incredibly difficult when she remarried, as I was afraid I’d lose my best friend. What I didn’t realize was that I was gaining a wonderful dad and a brother that still amazes me.
Moving away from that family, and the woman I idolized, was difficult, but to this day we talk several times a week. We make plans to visit as often as possible. Sometimes I even think that being so far away from each other makes our relationship and our visits that much more special. Extra efforts are made to make every moment count.
I miss my mom horribly. And to this day, fifteen years later, I still tear up when we part. I’m just glad to know that that umbilical cord still exists, but is now reciprocal. I love you, Mom.
Mother’s Day is very bitter sweet for me (Xan). My own mother died when I was a young woman, so I’ve made up the whole motherhood thing as I went along. I wrote this for my daughter when she graduated from high school. I have no photo, but rather a poem about a photo.
I think sometimes about a picture I have of the three of us
My mother, my daughter, myself
We’re laughing, arms linked and people turn to see
granddaughter catching grandmother’s eye.
I have been imagining this moment since I was a child.
It’s just a fantasy
My mother died eleven years before my daughter’s birth.
She never knew my daughter nor my daughter she
Except in the crumbling pages of the black and white photo album.
“You look just like her, Mom”
I shake my head, because I look neither like my beautiful mother
Nor like my beautiful daughter
Their beauty reaches around me,
Embracing me and connecting them
Two vibrant women who are so alike
And look so much alike
And can never know each other.
Still, I think about the three of us
and the image in my mind is so clear, it must exist on a black and white photo somewhere
I’ve just misplaced
That is why I know it so exactly that I can tell you what we’re doing:
We’re laughing, arms linked
People turn to see because we are so happy to be together
And so connected by the shared face of my mother and my daughter
Who can never know each other
Except in my imaginary photograph.
Where we are always laughing, arms linked.
For Nora Aspasia, from her mother Alexandra, down the generations, through her grandmother Olga Aspasia and her great grandmother Eleni and her great-great grandmother Aspasia
Thinking of all of you mothers out there, with fondness in our hearts.