Mother's Day memories

Sorting though a box of cards, I found a note written in the wobbly hands of two 11-year old boys:

(Boy #1):
For this WONDERFUL MOTHER'S Day we will give you hugs and kisses for ever!!!
(Boy #2):
Tu est comme une fleur, une abeille qui fait du miel, un chat qui est est si gentil.
(You are like a flower, a bee who makes honey, a cat who's so nice.)

The next note in the pile was from 8 years later and says:
I went to bed @ 3 am. Let me sleep in till noon or wake me up if you're going out for lunch.
PS. Happy Mother's Day!

Sic transit gloria matrem. (And please correct my Latin, the accusative case is lost in the mists of fifty years.)

Over the years, I've received gifts ranging from the earnest Gummy Lump to pearl earrings, and not one is favoured over the other. In fact, the whole commercial aspect of Mothers' Day is irrelevant to me; I simply reflect every year on this experience, which was almost lost, as I did not have children till I was all but 39. 

The occasion puts a pin in the map of memory and invites me to pause in gratitude for the gift of being a mother.

A few years ago, my friend Susan sewed satin pjs with animal-print trim for her 90+ year old mother, Kay. She's lucky to have her. And so, I think of my mother, too, with whom I (and nearly everyone else) had an intense and complex relationship.  

Here she is, holding one of my sons; she is 80; Jules is nearly 1. Mom lived on for nearly 20 more years, obdurate, sharp, even charming when she felt like it for every one of them. She was a force of nature, and I miss her.









11 comments

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

So true...those notes do change over the years...but I believe the deep sentiments remain! Happy Mother's Day!

Hope you can stop by my blog and read the story of a woman who went from biochemist to fashion designer in her 50s!!

LPC said...

Aw. Very sweet. I am smiling to see your tender side. And it is sweet, to have kept those notes, all the way through to the 3am sleeper.

materfamilias said...

That is a wonderful, wonderful photo! I can see a strong likeness to you in your mother, who is still quite beautiful at 80.
Because I'm mater in Blogland, (although often just ma to you, which I love!), I thought I should double-check the Latin, mine also being almost 50 years old. It does seem to be that the case needed here would be the genitive. In which case (ha!), we'd have "Sic transit gloria matris" (Schoolboys must have laughed at the pronunciation possibilities of mothers as mattresses -- ah, the good old days of classroom shenanigans).
You will probably have some very erudite reader supply the proper grammar -- I'm going to have to check to see.. .so few opportunities to "use" my longlost Latin. TY!

Susan said...

Thank you for showing us this photo Duchesse. And I understand complex relationships.

Today, in the mail, I received a Mother's Day card from one of my girlfriends! The front of the card shows a well dressed (1960s style) mother with the caption, "Being a Fabulous Mom is Hard Work, but somebody's got to do it"

I was charmed to receive the card recognizing that no one appreciates mothers as much as other mothers do.

Bourbon & Pearls said...

The accusative case - I haven't even heard of that for 30 years.

How very lovely of you to have saved those notes, what a special keepsake.

Bourbon & Pearls said...

Oh no, mater actually understands the genitive even now!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day, Duchesse! Should be a good one, with both sons nearby. Younger daughter and I will be going downtown to older daughter's apartment for a pajama party Saturday night, followed by brunch on Sunday. I still remember the first Mother's Day brunch she arranged: toast with peanut butter and jelly, and a very large glass of water...

C.

Duchesse said...

Pam: Same to you!

LPC: I have a big box of cards, wouldn't part with them for the world.

materfamilias: She was a beauty- and I do take more after my Dad's side but I got her curly hair. Let's see who the Catholic school girls are!

Susan: It's so lovely to have your friend acknowledge your mothering. One of mine delivers roses to her friends.

Bourbon & Pearls: You mere child! mater is a font of knowledge on many subjects and I would definitely defer to her grammar skills.

C. I'm enormously happy to have both sons close by. Your extended Mother's Day party sounds delightful and makes me wish once again that I'd had at least one girl.

materfamilias said...

Absolutely! I was channelling Sister Mary Augustine there. . .
btw, your son is so very cute in that photo!

Louise @ INGREDIENTS said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, Duchesse! What great memories. Thanks for sharing the photo of your mother and son together - your mother looks so happy. I approach Mother's Day with a whole range of emotions - I know all about a complex relationship with my own mother!

Hope you have a great weekend!

lagatta à montréal said...

Well, perhaps you'll have a granddaughter for a girl!