Skip to content

My Mother Left This Life In November 2011

December 15, 2011

I had this dream the week after my mother died –

She stands at the center of the living room, large open boxes and her twelve young children surrounding her. They know she’s sick. She knows she’s sick. They all know this moment is a gift. She’s beautiful and young. Her hair is dark. Her skin is pale and her face serious. She’s wearing a red knit dress. It hugs her and shows how frail she is. She reaches into a box and with a slender, weak arm she lifts an ornament and hangs it on the Christmas tree. Her children giggle and whisper their delight to each other, “Look at her, she’s up, she’s here.” They tuck their arms to their chests in self hugs and, in happy disbelief, they press their knuckles to their smiling lips. Implicit in each disposition, hers and theirs, is that she will soon be gone – this moment is a miracle. The children know this is their Christmas gift. Nothing could make them happier.


She was their sun and their moon –
their north, their south, their east and their west.

She was the sparkle of light through a drop of morning dew.
She was the scent of ocean in the air, a “sea turn” she called it.
She was the refreshing first sip of her iced tea on a hot July day.

She was the twinkle of the Pleiades and all the stars of a dark night sky.
She was the mystery of the sun spots she recorded through her telescope.

She was the cool air on their bare legs as they ran through the yard.
She was the thrill of burning piles of just-raked fall leaves.

She was the heartbeat beneath their hand as a flag passed on Memorial Day.
She was the innocence of the Christ Child and faithful to the Savior Christ.

She was the old ash tree that now lives on without her.


In the end, we lost our footing on a downhill run.
It came on fast, and though we tried to out-pace death, we landed in a heap, startled and dazed.
When we’d gathered ourselves, she was gone.
Our hearts are broken.

Mum and me, 1957 (photo by my father)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 8:19 am

    Mary, thank you for your so thoughtful and heartfelt comment on my post about my own aging mother. It is a very hard time for me as we are very close. I am her only child, really all she has left, and to watch her fading leaves me breathless. I don’t know what else to do. But write about it and help her. You are a wonderful writer by the way, and glad you found me now I have tp look around your site and see how I can follow you and also look at you kindle book. I hope you can follow me back. I’m hookeec up with some great Facebook writing groups which is a great way to net work if you’re interested. If so , let me know and I’ll give you the urls. I keep up best with blog posts that way….thanks so Michael again. Sandra


    • July 19, 2012 11:29 pm

      You’re welcome, Sandra.
      I found your post such a reminder of my mother’s last few years.
      Keep her in your loving care – and take care of yourself, too.
      PS You’ll see that I’ve subscribed to two of your sites!


  2. Frank permalink
    December 31, 2011 6:33 pm

    Reading this is a perfect way to ease out of this year.Captures it all Mare,a perfect salute.


    • January 1, 2012 1:51 pm

      Thanks Frank.
      I know you know the meaning in every word, the literal and the nuanced.
      Thanks for all you’ve done, especially during the downhill run.



  1. Judy Collins In Concert In Bath, Maine | sublime days
  2. Health and Carlson Cod Liver and Fish Oil | sublime days

Share a thought!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: