Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’


May 13, 2012

Mother, what can I do for you on Mother’s Day? When Mom was in the body, I couldn’t be there to pamper her on this day usually, but – after a person passes over is there something we can do specifically for them? Do we have better access? It has long been known that the dead need the assistance of the living, I want to learn more about what we can do for them. Certainly love and prayers flow from me to my Mother’s sweet spirit.

A segment on the news last night spontaneously triggered vivid memories of the stories that each of my daughter’s told at my Mother’s wake last June. Arlene recounted that she had been telling Mama about rugby, the sport Arlene played all through college. Mama, 89 at the time, weak lungs and heart, said, “I would like to learn to play rugby!” She said it with an innocence, not a delusional or confused forgetting of her actual age and state of health, but more just speaking from the heart, from the place that is not confined by physical circumstances at all. Sometime in her 70’s she had been with me in Los Angeles helping a friend of mine find a new apartment. Mama similarly said, “I think I’d like to do this!” Similarly spontaneous and innocent. There really wasn’t any way she was going to be able to start a whole new life like that, but she wasn’t speaking from the place of impossibles.

Josi spoke of my Mother’s fierce love, like a lioness protecting her cubs. Mom had demonstrated to her powerfully that love is not only soft and tender, but is a huge force to be reckoned with when coming from a Mother. I was in awe of Josi’s heart as she expressed this profound recognition.

I’m going to brag a minute as a Mother since it is Mother’s Day. Arlene is in Guatemala competing in weightlifting on behalf of our country at the Pan American’s. Tuesday she lifts. May she be in the ZONE. And Josi leaves on Tuesday to do a month of research, funded by a grant she applied for and was awarded. How could I be more proud of my girls? I move into my apartment in Asheville on Tuesday. The three of us are connected in such a mysterious way, big movement in our lives all on the very same day. Surely this tells a story of the unfathomable connection in mother/child bonds.

May each of you feel a surge of strength and beauty flowing through that bond. God bless Mothers everywhere, always.

Billy Collins on Mother

May 8, 2010

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I want to post this poem by Billy Collins. I love this guy and his poetry so much. And nothing could express my feelings about Mother and Mother’s Day better.

The Lanyard – Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.