Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

That's me, my sister & my Mom, in our Sunday best, probably somewhere around 1964. Probably Easter. My sister & I are wearing coats made for us by a family friend, & our Barbie dolls had coats that matched ours.

My mom was in her early 20s then. I was born six days after her 20th birthday, & my sister was born 21 months later. When I was 2 & my sister was still a baby, my dad's employer transferred him to a small town in northern Saskatchewan, some 600 miles away from the area where both he & my mom had grown up. We lived in a tiny, rented two-bedroom house on the edge of town. We didn't have a lot of money, but not many people did in those days. Long distance was expensive, so people mostly wrote letters (which makes me laugh now -- my mother is a lousy letter writer). My mom said she did call her mother the night the mercury dipped to -50F to ask whether it was still possible to breathe when it was that cold outside.

I didn't realize until many years later, struggling with anxiety, that my mother too had struggled with anxiety & depression. In the first 25 years of her marriage, she lived in 11 different houses in 7 different towns, raising me & my sister while our dad worked long hours, giving up newly made friends & jobs and pulling up stakes to start all over again. My dad would often have to report to work in the new location on very short notice, leaving my mom to pack up the house and deal with the movers (& my sister & me, who found it harder and harder to move the older we got). She had what she called "an Irish temper," & would sometimes explode in frustration -- but we clashed no more or less than any other mother & daughter, I think. She still frustrates me at times, to this day. ; ) But the older I get, the more I appreciate how difficult it must have been for her, and how much she did for us.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. And thanks.

*** *** ***

I'm glad this day is almost over. It's not been fun (never is), but no worse than any other Mother's Day over the past 12 years. We went to see "Iron Man 2" at the movies which was fun (the theatre was far less busy than it usually is on Sunday afternoons), then went to the cemetery. There's a small Peter Rabbit-ish stuffed toy that's been hanging from Katie's niche since Easter, & as we solemnly approached the columbarium, I realized it was hanging backwards -- i.e., Peter Rabbit was mooning us. For some reason, this struck me as funny & I cracked up. And then the laughter turned to tears & I wound up fumbling for my Kleenex anyway. Dang.

And then we came home & I turned on the computer and didn't feel quite so alone anymore. Thank you.


  1. Your story about the cemetery really hit home. Peace.

  2. ((((hugs)))) Loribeth, and happy mothers day. Even after having A, this day is difficult for me, and I found myself in tears more than once. I'm glad its over too.

  3. This is a beautiful post, Lori. And it made me cry - just all of it - your connection with your mom through shared struggles with anxiety and depression (something my mom and sisters and I are just beginning to reveal to each other) and then the laughter and tears at Katie's grave. It's just a very human post.

    Hugs to you.

  4. That is a great story, thank you for sharing it and the photo. I have been to Regina SK, and I can't imagine what a smaller town in the province would have been like in the 1960's. It must have been an incredibly different time for your mother.

  5. I was happy to read that you laughed yesterday, the reason why you laughed is irrelevant, all that is relevant is that on a day when so many of us can physically feel our heart aching, YOU managed to laugh.

    I laughed yesterday to, it came from an unlikely source but I laughed.


  6. I can't begin to tell you how much I love that picture. And the little coats that matched ones your Barbies wore? So sweet.

    Thanks for talking. Have I ever said that to you? If not, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. On Mother's Day, I participated in a presentation that I do almost every year called A Mother's Story. Your story of your mum sound so similar - all the moving, the anxiety, everything she had to deal with. It's great that you honour her with telling her story. I imagine what story Katie would tell of you - and I do think she would know how much very you love her, now and forever.

  8. I'm glad you got a small reprieve, even if it was at the expense of Peter's private's.
    Thinking of you and Katie. Always.

  9. I like what Anna said - it is a very human post. You write about emotions and feelings in such an eloquent and complete way.

    The older I get, the more I realize how much my mother did for us. It is a shame we are all programmed to not understand our parents until we are much, much older.

  10. Hope the weekend wasn't too painful. I don't much celebrate it either, but I know it's much harder for you as I imagine not too many people said Happy Mother's Day to you. And while it's not happy, I am saying it to you since you are indeed a Mother! XOXO