A Glimpse Through a Window

I know for a solid fact that I have written here before, likely with an excess of emotion and too many words, about the relationship I have with Mother’s Day.  I’ve written about how so often when the girls were little it failed to live up to expectations – mostly because children were in charge of the execution, and I was in charge of expectations,  and  I always put too much weight on it. It always seemed to me that Mother’s Day should be the one day a year that motherhood came off like it was supposed to, and it never did. Instead it always ended up with someone crying because it wasn’t working out the way they had imagined, and that person was often me. Sometimes that was a seven year old trying to make banana pancakes (it is worth noting that I really hate banana pancakes) or a ten year old who didn’t get a turn holding the cake, but the point is that so often the day got away from us, and it took me about 20 years of mothering to come to understand that the biggest problem with Mother’s Day was that it was coming off the way it was supposed to was in fact inevitable, because Motherhood is a mess.  I’ve made a tenuous peace with the day, especially as the girls have gotten old enough to fight about cake quietly.

This year, I’ve been dreading it. Take the regular mixed feelings I have about the day, throw in a dead mother and I am a wreck. Emotionally speaking, it’s been like standing on the tracks and watching a train come. I’ve been worrying about it and trying to figure out what I can do to distract myself, and feeling sort of resentful about people who still have mothers and trying to remember that I am a mother, not just a motherless child, and that my kids have expectations of that day that I should think about. (I feel like that last bit makes me super mature.)

This is pretty much where my head was at on May 1st, not coincidentally the last time I wrote to you. That evening I went to a Bike Rally Meeting, sat down in my chair and got a call from Joe. He was calling to say that his Mum had had what looked like a big stroke, and she was in an ambulance and he was in traffic and… I stood up, walked out of the meeting, and 30 minutes later the whole clan was in a nearby hospital. Carol had indeed had a pretty big stroke, and it was scary.  Lucky for us, everything went right. She was home when it happened, Old Joe was home when it happened, she got to the Stroke Centre in amazing time, and she was given absolutely the most cutting edge treatment you’ve ever heard of.  It’s been 11 days and while she has a ways to go, things look bright. Joe still has a mum. A funny, loving, clever mum, who’s still all of those things, and we didn’t lose her.

Eleven days ago, if you had told me that there was any upside at all to Nana Carol’s stroke, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have said that this family has had about enough, and that we are too fragile and too hurt to manage any of this, and I would have been wrong, because as crappy as a stroke is (and don’t get me started, it’s plenty unfair, and lousy and Pollyanna has definitely not taken up residence here with an unlimited supply of unicorn sparkles and rainbows) there’s been a few things that have been amazing. The strength of this family has been outrageous. Maybe it took a few losses to really get us trained up, but we have got this down like you wouldn’t believe. We’ve been taking it in shifts, everyone showing up and sitting with her, talking with her, being with her, and not resenting a moment of it.  Carol hasn’t been alone, she’s had her favourite foods, her own clothes and linens, and yesterday she trounced Old Joe at Hearts three times, so clearly on the path to recovery. It’s so wonderful to see a mother so loved, and a family so generous. I am so proud of them, and her, and that feeling is going around. They’re a fantastic team.

From where I sit, it was a small gift of another sort. I thought I was about to have the worse Mother’s Day of my life, and couldn’t see past the sadness, the loss, the things I didn’t have and can’t get back… all the Mother’s Day celebrations with my own mum that I’ll never have again.

I’d been looking at this picture a lot. It’s my mum and her daughters, and Carol and hers, just a few years ago. The lot of us had gone out for a Mother’s Day dinner together. Just the Mums. I’ve been caught up in how I couldn’t have that again… I was so happy that day. I’ve been looking at this one too, from just last year.

I posted it for our family at the time, and the caption read “No shortage of Mothers to celebrate this Mother’s Day!” I look at that first one, and feel overwhelming loss. I look at the second, and realize that there was a few days last week, a few days where I looked through a window to a family with no grandmothers in it, where both Joe and I have no mum, and where everyone in the first picture is broken-hearted about everyone in the second, and I managed to find a little gratitude for what we’ve still got, which is an amazing mum, who’s so fabulous that she makes me miss my own so very much, every day.

Also, it turns out that if you’re hanging out in a hospital waiting for someone to get better, instead of the alternative… you can get a hell of a lot of knitting done.



119 thoughts on “A Glimpse Through a Window

    • You have so much to be thankful for! I lost my mom when I was 28 yrs old with 3 small children. Now 32 years later I still miss her. You’ve had your mom around for so much longer. How fortunate you’ve been.

      • I want to be very careful what I say here – I often feel the same way as you as my circumstances are very similar (my mom passed away 24 years ago at the age of 51, I was 29 and my two kids were 1 & 3). I am envious of anyone who was/is fortunate enough to have their mom with them longer than me. But I’ve come to believe there is enough empathy for us all. I can miss my own mom and still feel sympathy for Stephanie, as well as my good friend whose 83 year old mom has dementia and doesn’t know who she is. Hugs to all of us for whom Mother’s Day has bittersweet feelings!

        • Thank you, Traci. Your kindness and empathy shone through your reply. So many of us have fraught relationships with our mothers or daughters or Mother’s Day in general. There is indeed enough empathy to go around.

  1. Sometimes life sends us a reminder of how not everything is doom and gloom. Not that it is ice cream and puppies, but that we still have a lot. I hope that even as you very reasonably miss what you’ve lost, the feeling of having a lot is there for you too. Wishing good health to Carol.

  2. Whenever you are absent from here for a while, I know something important is going on in your life. And often it’s really tough stuff. I can only imagine how difficult this Mother’s Day is for you, and I’m happy that at least Carol is still there with you to cut the pain a bit. And I hope you and your daughters get it right enough this year. Be strong; together you’ll get through this.

  3. You also have thousands of mothers out here in the world of ether. We all love you, Steph. You are, perhaps, one of the strongest women i know. I almost lost my mother to a stroke…far too early. Thank wool for modern medicine. Happy mother’s Day ❤️.

  4. You said it, your family has had about enough. I think of the Queen and her ‘annus horribilis’. So glad for your family that you still have your MIL, and I hope she makes a great recovery. Surely you and yours have had far more than your share of bad times lately. Here’s hoping you have a long run of normal, nothing crazy times ahead.

  5. Holidays are hard. Really hard. The visions/expectations we have for how we will feel, how they day will proceed, how everyone will behave are simply unrealistic. I do not know why I, and others, set ourselves up for sadness. But we surely do. Let us vow to celebrate the people around us, just as they are, flaws and all. Not what’s missing, but what we have. Not to be stupidly Pollyanna, but to be grateful. Is it what I would have chosen if I were directing the scene? Probably not. But what I know for sure is I am thankful for what I’ve got.

    • Gratitude is powerful medicine for many things, including grief. Do you know the story of the doctor who gave a woman a RX for pain killers for her crippling arthritis with special instructions. She was to hold the pill in her hand, and loudly and clearly say “thank you” to her husband for anything that popped into her head, then take the pill. She was quickly no longer bedridden and her marriage was much improved. Her depression also departed.
      My mother had bipolar disorder and I mostly felt relief when she died of a stroke. Now she was no longer tormented by her mental illness. I’m a Buddhist, so I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo when I pray. .I chanted for her for 8 years before I finally felt at peace about her. I feel like she did the best she could with challenging circumstances, even if it was sometimes not very great. And I celebrate the good stuff. I make great yeast breads and a killer pie crust, thanks to her. French mother sauces? No problem. Pavlova cake? In my sleep. I’m sure she is laughing somewhere.

  6. I’ve been on the same learning curve, and yes, we unfortunately have to be all grown up about it…. or, better yet, appreciative as you are of what we do have. lots of love to you, the family and especially your MIL.

  7. Hurray for Carol and for Joe and for the whole clan.

    Sometimes, we get so focused on whether the glass is half full or half empty, we forget that it can be refilled.

    Happy Mother’s Day. Hugs to Elliot.

    • And sometimes we forget we have a glass. We are focused on the missing or lost things and we don’t see what is right in front of us.
      Chris S in Canada
      (aha – touch the house – how appropriate)

  8. Oh Stephanie, I can still read the hurt in your words. Your Mum will never be forgotten, and I’m so pleased that Joe’s Mum pulled through from that awful stroke. And you have your own beloved family, you are Mum and Granny to them. Enjoy your Mother’s Day, the very best you can

  9. Mother’s Day is hard for me too. I know my mother would NOT want me to feel this way so I try to celebrate her even while I’m just missing her so much – this summer marks 20 years that she’s been gone. I treasure my children and grandson. So we’ll celebrate her, my still-living mother-in-law and all the mothers in our lives. Wishing you peace, Steph!

  10. This is my second “motherless” Mother’s Day. I vividly recall 2 years ago on Mother’s Day seeing many people at the cemetery knowing that I would most likely be one of those people the following year. Last year II was given the advice to do something on Mother’s Day that remembered my Mom – for me that was making a pie because she was an awesome pie maker. That bit of focus helped through a tough day, I still think about and miss my mom every day, but nearly 2 years in I can say it does get easier.

  11. Oh Stephanie & Co,
    Sending you love & virtual comfort for your heartaches.
    In the words of Papa Mousekowitz, “If growing up were easy, would it take so long”?

    Maybe sleeping with some wool tucked in your pillow case would help. kb.xo

  12. My last mother’s day with my mother was in 2001. In my family we didn’t really make a big deal out of mother’s day, so we didn’t set ourselves up for disappointment too badly. A phone call, maybe a plant or flowers, lunch or dinner together if possible – but my sisters and I tended to celebrate our mother pretty much all the time. She was pretty awesome and we still miss her terribly.

    Now I am the mother/grandmother/great-grandmother – and our 4 generations (all 4 of us female) will have dinner together tomorrow with most of the people in our various blended families.

    It will be hard and it will be wonderful – because that’s how families are.

    I wish you more of the wonderful and less of the hard this year – blessings to all of you.

    Chris S in Canada

  13. Damn. Just when you think the spin cycle may be ending…!

    OK. Deep breath. 1) Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery for Carol. 2) Steph, this Mother’s Day, don’t try for perfection. Instead, enjoy playing with that grandson of yours and recalling happy memories of your mom. 3.) Remember to thank The Ladies for whatever surprises they spring on you — even banana pancakes. 4.) Also remember, The Blog is here whenever you need us.

  14. I was sure you were absent for a huge reason, and I was right. My family is a lot like yours, in strength and closeness. Love. You all have had a difficult year. Understatement! We have had our share sometimes. I’m happy you have such a family that just gets stronger and closer when it’s necessary. Keeping Joe’s mum in my prayers, and hugs for you. samm

  15. Hospital knitting is the best-worst knitting of all, am very happy to hear things are progressing well on the health and knitting fronts.

    You’ve done right by all the mums and all the awful-wonderful Mother’s Days with your words. I’ve read through twice, and reading it a few more times will get me through the mess of this ‘holiday’ weekend.

  16. My family did not buy me a Mother’s Day corsage even though I bought one for my mother and my sister. Every year hubby would apologize for me being one of the few who did not have one for Sunday services. The next year the same story. So, now on Mother’s Day I tell the children to go home after Sunday services and have a sandwich maybe a nap and be at the house ready to eat at 4:30 p.m. I spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons cooking and decorating and getting everything in order so my girls—daughter And daughter in law—have a Mother’s Day celebrating them. They don’t care for the corsages that I so wanted but they do look forward to a large meal with their favorite foods with leftovers to take home for the next few days!

  17. Wow! I’m so glad that things are going well for your MIL…..I lost my mother 3 years ago and have yet to deal with the guilt I feel because she was not a nice person and we didn’t get along. I try to remind myself that she did the best she could with all life handed her…Long story short, be kind to yourself, celebrate your Mum with memories and stories, and of course, your grandson and his Mum! Love to all of you

    • I lost my Mum 6 years ago now. She was not a nice person either and I don’t miss her at all, very rarely think about her in fact. But. I do feel sad for the relationship that we never had. I would have liked to have had the kind of connection that Steph and other women have with their Mums and it gives me joy and faith in the world that there are people who have that.

      • What a great perspective – not envious and bleak, but thankful that good exists even though you missed out on it. Blessings to you! I’m sorry that you were denied that relationship and I hope you got messages of your grear worth and high value from another source.

  18. It’s true that Mother’s Day can be extremely difficult when Mama is gone. My mother died two years ago, a few days before the holiday and a week before her birthday. We held her memorial service / celebration of life on her birthday. I think about her every day and those thoughts have been exceptionally frequent this week.

    We make it through such times largely because our mothers showed us how and we are fortunate enough to have loving family members with us still.

    Tomorrow is her birthday. I will wear the scarf we chose together for me to give her as a birthday gift when she was visiting me when I was living in Paris 40 years ago. I will remember our walk under the chestnut trees in full blossom that day. (The song is wrong most years. The chestnuts actually bloom more in May than in April, but “May” doesn’t scan.) I will smile and remember and dab away my tears and be grateful I had such a beautiful and loving mother.

    I wish you comfort and love.

  19. Stephanie – every one of your posts that deal with these deep issues is simply wonderful. It may seem crass and commercial of me, but perhaps your next book ought to be “Knitting – Loss and Found” (yes, that’s “loss”)… Thank you for sharing. As someone who lost my mum at 11, my favourite quote is from Hope Edelman, author of “Motherless Daughters” (which you might be ready to read now if you already haven’t), “It will never be okay that our mothers are dead.” Blunt – but so true. Best wishes to you and your family on this Mother’s Day weekend. – Maura from the Beaches, TO

  20. Sending you many gentle hugs, Stephanie. You will always miss your mum and it will always hurt at these times of year that she isn’t there, but your love for her is — and your family’s love is even bigger.

  21. Oh, Sweetie. I’ve been worried. But it’s a wonderful thing to behold when a family Jumps Into Action.

    You know I hate Mother’s Day, too. Hugs to everyone.

  22. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day since my mom actually died on Mother’s Day (13 years ago and I still dread the day).

    Fortunately, I’ve had loved around, like Steph does, and that goes a long way to helping.

    It’s very weird being the oldest generation of the family though.

  23. I lost my mother two years ago when she married again after my father died. Her new husband is selfish and jealous and stupid. And I am so very angry at my mother for letting this happen. I had a big debate with myself whether I would even send her a token card for Mothers Day and if so, whether I could even write on the card anything but “From Me.” This is dumb.

    What I have discovered is that lots of people don’t have mothers and quite often we women know how to mother each other. You are so very lucky to have such an intact family. Soon it will be YOU that is the grandmother. In fact you already are one, and your daughter now has the Mother’s Day expectations. Enjoy everything you can while you still have it.

    • My experience with a friend who was abused is that the quieter they get and the less you hear from them, the more desperately they need your reassurance that someone still loves them, someone still thinks they’re a good person, that they are still worthy of love no matter what the abuser says. I don’t know the specifics of your experience, just mine and my old high school friend’s (who is finally out of that bad marriage) but please know this: I wish you and yours all the best. Hugs.

    • It is rarely wrong to wish someone well, if you can do it. Just a small token, a card with only a signature….anything can make a difference, although you may never know.

    • It is common for abusers to cut communication between their victim and any family or friends. Please do what you can for your mother. Her husband may be telling her how stupid and helpless she is and your love and encouragement may make all the difference.

  24. My Mom’s been gone for eight years and I still miss her, not just on Mother’s Day but everyday. I am lucky that she often comes to me in my dreams and then it is like I’ve had a special visit with her and then I feel better for a while.
    Last year at Mother’s Day God gave us a little jolt when I was suddenly facing the thought of what if some year soon I was missing my daughter on Mother’s Day and not just my Mom. My daughter was diagnosed with an extremely strong and fast moving form of Breast Cancer. One year later with the help of prayers, good doctors, surgeries, a lot of chemo, and a very strong willed patient: we are all smiling this year. My daughter is said to be cancer free. Yes God takes away from us, but he always gives back.
    So we both have an early Mother’s Day gift this year. Nothing I will be given will beat the happiness in what I have.

  25. While I have not lost my Mom, I have lost my Dad (77 yo) and my son (10 yo). There is no word for what a Mother’s Day without your child is like. I’m sure I will be sad someday when I am motherless too. Hopefully, your mother had a rich and full life and knew she was loved. The loss of my Dad is a poignant reminder of the seasons of life – the loss of my son is a chasm that sometimes threatens to swallow me whole. I hope you find some peace.

  26. Sending a million hugs your way. My husband and I lost our mothers 3 months apart, 15 years ago when we were both 39. My children had to grow up without the precious love that only grandmas can provide. Mother’s Day is hard here too.

  27. So glad that your mother-in-law’s stroke was treated so quickly and that you have an amazing family. Thoughts are prayers are with you in your grief. I am also lucky to have both a great mother and a great mother-in-law, and I was lucky to see my parents love both their parents and their parents-in-law, and that’s a big thing.

  28. Love lasts past death and I know she gave you enough love to last you your whole life through. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell, but the love was worth it.

  29. My brother and I have spent most of the last week sitting with my father in the hospital. Mostly my brother, because I have a job were if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. There is no knitting getting done. I am glad your heart is feeling just a wee bit better and so sorry about the circumstances you are living through. All my love to you and your family.

    • It sounds like you could use some love and prayers too – please consider both items on their way to you from me.
      Chris S in Canada

  30. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which generation you belong to. A transition from a young generation to a middle generation sort of just happens, but the transition from a middle generation to the oldest generation is very difficult to make, because all the family members who might have helped have already gone. For the last transition, you’re on your own, there is no one left to lead the way.

    • Thank you from the depths for the link. I read every word. It reminds us how important it is to share experiences. We are not alone.

  31. Mother’s Day is weird. I like celebrating moms and grandmas and my sister and my friends. But as I get older and continue to be Not a Mother, it’s a little painful. Like a party for most inclusive club I’m probably never going to be part of. But then again, I still have my mom, and your post puts that in perspective for me. But then again, again, it’s also this strange reminder that moms, for some infuriating reason, don’t live forever. Like I said, weird.

    Sending healing thoughts for all.

    • My mom is gone and I am not a mom. It makes the day difficult. However, I just try to focus on what a wonderful mother I had. When others wish me a happy mother’s day, I just smile, say thank you and think of her.

    • I have never liked the concept of Mother’s Day. My mom did not either. I feel for the women who are not mothers and those who have lost children. Women are marvelous with our without children. We do not celebrate Mother’s Day.

  32. Happy to hear there is a chance for a good recovery. Give great thanks. Celebrate the Mum you had, not mourn the Mum you lost.

  33. Christmas day, my husband called his dad across the country to wish him a good one and his dad collapsed during the call. His brother took him off to the hospital, and after a few days of being told it looked like he was getting better and my husband not yet flying out, DadH was…gone. Just gone. (I managed not to say I TOLD you to go now!) It’s hard.

    So very happy Joe’s mum pulled through and I am so very glad you all were able to be there for her. You are the best.

  34. My dear, you are amazing. You’ve been dealt more than anyone should have to deal with, and yet you remain hopeful. Bless you. Sending love and light and prayers to Nana Carol and all of you.

  35. Healing thoughts for your mother in law. Happy Mother’s Day to you to. Look around, you have so much to be thankful for. My dad died at eighty seven. My mom was ninety three. She told me is I miss daddy I can’t enjoy doing things I used to do. Don’t cry for me. I’m ready to go. Her death was beautiful. She was on her journey for one week then she passed. My knitting group was here for the week . We knit, talked to mom, and cared for her. I miss her but she is with my dad and my dogs and cat that passed. Someday we will be together again.❤️

  36. I will probably call my Dad and step dad as they were both married to my mother. They both miss her too I think. I do not think much about Mother’s Day even as I am a mother of two. I think, instead about other mothers. The ones who have lost children and have no others who will remember them when they are gone. I think in particular, at this moment, the woman in NY who sold me her loom last month. My husband and I are putting that loom together on Mother’s Day. This woman lost her and her husband’s only daughter in a car accident. She has no other children. As I put this loom, together, I will think of Mrs. D and all the other mothers who have no children to remember them on Mother’s Day.

  37. I’ve had a crappy attitude this whole week. My mom’s birthday was Monday and Mother’s Day Sunday…And no mom. For the third year. I’m so glad your MIL is going to be okay. I get to spend some of tomorrow with my adult kids. I need to see the bright side, too. Blessings, Steph. We’ll get through this.

  38. Oh Stephanie, I don’t have the words… I’m just sending you so much love and so many good wishes: light, joy, and happiness for you and your family.

  39. I look at those two great grandmas, and seeing the absolute joy on their faces over that little peanut. I am happy for you that your beloved mother got to meet little Elliot. I am so sorry for your loss, during this year of firsts, and as time goes on so much will continue to be bittersweet, knowing how much your mom, er, mum would have enjoyed being there. It is because of this family closeness, these precious memories that make this time so painful, are also the greatest blessing.

  40. HI Stephanie,
    Please pass along my hug to Joe; I’m glad his Mum is recovering. And ask him to give you one from me … just because … because my Mum’s been gone a long time and your Mum’s been gone such a short time and every day of that is new for you. Thank you for the thoughtful, truthful words you put together on this post (and all). When you are so vulnerable and so brave and thoughtful as to write as you do, you give all of us – The Blog – a chance to comment, and to be vulnerable and brave and thoughtful too, for each other as well as for you. If you have even an inkling of how important that is, multiply that inkling by a thousand as to its actual importance. With kindest regards to you and your family. Maureen

  41. wise words, which you must take to heart.

    And I can only do idiot (non charted) knitting sitting in a hospital. My mother had a massive stroke, and it was debilitating. So glad Joe’s mother’s prognosis is a positive one.

    The thing is, you get out of bed in the morning, put one foot in front of the other, and cry in the shower. Because there are things you have to do, and people who need you.

    The memories are there, and they are there every day. As they should be. Sometimes we cry, but that will be replaced with less crying and more smiling at the memories. Trust me. You aren’t alone. And the memories are good, cherished ones.

  42. Thinking of you and your family. Very glad your mother-in-law was close to excellent medical care. Toronto has some amazing researchers indeed.
    Hearing that Joe’s mum is winning at hearts is really good news!
    The new leaves and blossoms are really needed these days.
    Your words are spot on as usual on these tough topics.
    best regards

  43. Gratitude is a very powerful balm to a wounded soul. I hope you gain solace from those around you today and that you have a Happy Mother’s day.

  44. Wishing Carol a very speedy recovery indeed! Your family has just had enough…life is so completely unfair sometimes. Gratitude for what you do have is the key to it all and I speak from experience. I have a very tortured relationship with Mother’s Day and really practice being kind to myself and those around me today. So many of us will slap on a happy smile and pretend all is well today, when it isn’t. But we all have the chance to help each other through. Thanks for telling us about Carol and stay strong.

  45. As I posted my memories of my mother and mother-in-law today, I thought of you and how hard this day will be.
    The hurt of a mother’s loss never goes away, but all the firsts are the most painful. My heart is with you as you miss your mom.
    But, winning at hearts less than 2 weeks after a stroke? Holy cow! It looks like she’s dodged a bullet. Wishes for a speedy recovery
    Hug that baby today and pass your mother’s love on to him.
    As a wise lady writes, may this day land softly on you

  46. I was never a big fan of Mother’s Day – my mother always seemed to expect more than we could deliver. And since our daughter joined us, we’ve never been in easy (one day total for out and back) driving distance of any family.

    Fast forward to now – hubby and I have no living parents or grandparents between us. (We had no living grandparents when we married, and only 3 living parents.) Daughter now lives 3 hours away, and we’d be together today except that we were last weekend for the marathon she ran with her dad, and in about a week the 3 of us head to NZ and OZ. I’ve received her hand-made card and she’ll call this evening. We text and email all the time.

    I’ve always found it amusing that the British families I’ve known seem to be widely distributed – England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia, South Africa, US, etc.

    I had surgery and chemotherapy 14 years ago, and so far, so good. (Sorry, I can’t sprinkle pixie dust on it, I appear to be entirely healthy, but you never know.) Ever since then, I’m grateful (but not slap-happy about it) for any time with family and friends, and especially our daughter. This year we were invited to dinner by childless friends who have no living parents or grandparents between them.

    I’m glad for you that you still have Joe’s mum in your life. Make the most of it.

  47. You’re exactly right about hospital knitting! I hadn’t figured that out, but you’re exactly right.
    When my kids were little, my mother’s days were so like what you describe! It took me way too long to figure out that if I managed my expectations, the day became unexpectedly wonderful!
    Love and healing thoughts coming your way. And especially for Joe’s Mom.

  48. Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective on Mother’s Day and life! I hope your day ended up being one of mostly happiness with some time for thinking about the fond memories of your sweet mother. I’m so happy to hear that Joe’s mother is recovering so well and that your family has pulled together to support her and one another. That means so much for everyone! Looking forward to seeing what all that hospital knitting has created!

  49. Stephanie, thinking of you today and hoping you are spending the day with your children. I understand when you speak of failed expectations. My adopted son assaulted me on Mothers Day 6 years ago and broke some of my ribs. The day has never been the same for me. My oldest son remembers those events and brought me flowers and chocolate today. No contact with the younger son, (my choice) has helped me heal and enjoy the day again. Hugs and prayers for you on this first M Day without out your mom.

  50. Stephanie, thinking of you today and hoping you are spending the day with your children. I understand when you speak of failed expectations. My adopted son assaulted me on Mothers Day 6 years ago and broke some of my ribs. The day has never been the same for me. My oldest son remembers those events and brought me flowers and chocolate today. No contact with the younger son, (my choice) has helped me heal and enjoy the day again. Hugs and prayers for you on this first M Day without your mom.

  51. I send you all lots of love and hugs, and wish Carol a speedy and full recovery. Brilliant that she was whisked straight to a stroke centre and treated fast, I hope it will make her recovery faster and easier than it otherwise might be.

  52. Wowsers, Steph. What a huge year! I have been thinking of you as Mother’s Day approached and had made up my mind to email you some encouragement and care if you didn’t post today. I hope that you feel that encouragement and care through the many comments here. In a world a bit obsessed with presenting things as happy, pretty and marketable, thank you for providing space here for people to be honest about grief and pain and struggle. That makes a bunch of people feel less lonely and more understood, I reckon. May you feel lots of gentle love and support to keep you going. We all love you around here – you’re a gem.

  53. Holy crap, you guys have been hit with a lot lately. My heart hurts for you. But you know that the only way through it is forward, and you’re a strong family unit. You’ll make it together….

  54. you know how some folks hate Christmas? I’m like that about Mother’s day. My mom’s been gone since I was 17, my maternal Grandmom since I was 7 or so, paternal since I was late 20s (and both Grandmoms lived in Germany, I barely knew them). We never had kids, although I wanted them. I was pretty close to my MIL, but she’s been gone 14 years already. I hate the second Sunday in May.

  55. Love to you and your family. A stroke in a loved one is a huge stress, but I’m glad she has all y’all’s support.

  56. There are no words. Mother’s Day is a painful reminder, in my family, of a relationship without feelings or love. My mother is alive, but was never, and never wanted to be, Mom; I mourn all that might have/should have been but am coming to realize wishing won’t make it so.
    Sending prayers for Mum departed, and Mum fighting her way back to her family, and to you, and Erin, and your daughter, for the love that was and will always be. Cherish every moment.
    Bonnie aka Knitsiam

  57. Best wishes to Carol for a full recovery.

    I founds the cards the hardest thing suddenly to face about my first Mother’s Day withiout Mom. Yes, it is very different but she is always still there.

    The first year is hardest. There will always be sudden moments…but increasingly those warm memories and laughter too. Hang in.

  58. Wow there is such a wealth of different experience of mothering and being mothered here in the comments. Love to Steph and love to you all. I will hug my lovely 81 year old mum later on when she comes to visit this evening, as she often does as she lives round the corner, while I cook supper for my lovely 11 year old son. Thank you all for reminding me to appreciate what I have.

  59. Mother’s Day was especially hard for me this year and Father’s Day will be for my husband as both of our Mothers and Fathers have passed on. Last year was tough as our youngest daughter died of breast cancer three days before Mother’s Day. This year was difficult too. Our other daughter (we only had two children) was here with her family and we did celebrate and said a prayer for our daughter’s family who I know will be struggling. Life is hard, but you put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

  60. For those of us who have been blessed to have mothers who have really touched us with their kindness, a part of them will always be with us. They taught us to be kind, to be loving, and to be grateful for the little things that we are given every day.

    I’ve been thinking of my mom as I’ve launched my business and how proud she would be at me for taking on such an endeavor. She instilled in me the love of color and art in life. I’m carrying on that love in my yarn and fiber.

    I’m glad you and your family are doing well and working together for each other. Hugs!!

  61. I first read your post on Saturday evening (my time), actually about two hours after my mother-in-law passed away. We had been palliating her at home since January. It was an expected end, it was as gentle and peaceful as could be wished for under the circumstances. Caring for her physically had been hard work, and much of it had fallen to me as the female (she has two sons, who, it must be said, stepped up magnificently). It was actually by then a relief to us all, as I’m sure it was to her (the last 7 days in a coma with zero intake, seriously, the woman was made of iron!)

    I’ve never been much for Mothers’ Day anyway, and this one was completely overlooked in the circumstances. We had done the honouring of the mother in word and deed these past 14 weeks or so. Hallmark holidays are stupid.

    We bury her tomorrow, with all honour and love.

    Much much love to you, and yay for your mother-in-law. May she progress in leaps and bounds.

    • PS it must be said that I have not been able to knit at all in the last few weeks of this. Absolutely no bandwidth available in the old noggin. Perhaps that will start to pick up next week.

  62. Hugs to you …. remember that an ordinary day can be special ….. especially when we look back on it.
    This was my first mother’s day without my mom – I was so lucky to have a wonderful mom for almost 60 years!! I love you mom.

    enjoy each and everyday with loved ones.

  63. I lost my Momma in 2001. I still think of her everyday and when there are problems, I still think, I’ll call Momma. She will know what to do. I don’t think that ever goes away. In other news, I got a Mother’s Day card from my 38 year old daughter. Actually from her cats. On Instagram. I didn’t know sending a card via Instagram was a thing. Her response was I could keep it forever. No visit, phone call. She lives 20 minutes from me. Broke my heart. Take care of you. Vicki

  64. I’m so sorry to read about Joe’s mom, and relieved that she sounds like she is getting better rather quickly. Sending warm wishes to you and your family.

    This is the first year I spent Mother’s Day without my mom (she has passed) and without my child (she’s at college). Definitely an unsettling feeling, but I did get some knitting done (thank goodness for knitting).

  65. Our family lost my mother when I was 4 years old, leaving 4 kids under the age of 5 for my Dad to deal with, two in cloth diapers. The family women swept in, divided us up, moved Dad to be near them and a new job for him. So I had little experience with being the child in a Mother’s Day celebration. I grew paper cups of plants at school for no one and it was fine. When I became a mother, what I wanted for that day was a day free from mothering! I wanted to be gone, ride my horse with no time limits to rush back to house, cooking and baby. I continued that plan and am glad I did. It took the MD push off my men; they stayed home and cooked dinner or did something nice for me that I wanted done. My thoughtful guys went out for pool and beer for dinner and I got to read. All alone. With my choice of music on. The next week, in walked a tall, slim, mature, happy young woman – a new girlfriend for our son. Hopefully, in the future, I can be replaced or be a Grandmother. Expectations. Sometimes, letting go of them is liberating. Surprises are lovely. All the flowers, dinners and fancy cards are good too. So are sweaty little boy hugs, cards with wet glue and strange drawings, fast trips to the store for forgotten flowers before Mom gets up ( yet, I know the errand is being run- how can I stay in bed THAT long) and them knowing this mother well enough to let her have a day off. I didn’t have a mother figure to measure up to and that certainly gave me a different perspective on the whole day. Perhaps it was easier than losing a mother later in life. I’ll never know. I do know my family enjoys the relief of not having to over do for Mother’s Day. I’m not nearly so casual about my birthday.

  66. So glad that Carol is doing well. I am one of those people who observes the love other mothers and daughters have for each other and wonder how it could have gone so spectacularly wrong for me. Thankfully my children have taught me what love is. I am unbelievably blessed.

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