Thursday, July 7, 2011

Still My Mother

Today is my mother's birthday. 

Dorothy, or Dot, would've been eighty-five. I'm not sure she would've liked being eighty-five but what do I know. I know she was very independent and would've hated being a bother to anyone. She slipped away quickly which worked out since she was brought up not to linger over goodbyes; leftovers from a military father.

I know she would say, 

I had a very beautiful life.

It'll be ten years since she walked through the door. 

Some days it feels like a month. Some days I pretend I can drive to her house in Connecticut; we'll sit and have tea and talk about books we've read. And talk about children and marriage and how there's not a whole lot we have control over. We'll eat corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes with fresh basil from Lyman's Orchard . 

I know this is magical thinking. 
Occasionally, I let myself have at it.

Mom liked to say, 

Bets, don't be afraid to be happy.

A good thing to catch yourself mumbling...don't be afraid to be happy, don't be afraid to be happy, don't be afraid...

This tiny piece from Be Generous by David Marell is a lift.

Proof That Life Goes On
My friend, Gertrude, died.
Gertrude is still my friend.

I think, my mother died. She is still my mother.

~ in memory of Dorothy Southam Jackson

       July 7, 1926 - December 19, 2001


  1. so poignant B
    "10 years since she walked thru the door"
    I have that same pic of mom - love it

  2. What beautiful words about your Mom, Betsy. I love how she said to not be afraid to be happy... makes me cry... but in a good way.

  3. Having just come back home to live with my mom, I love that I can walk through her door. Such a powerful and yet simple act... I hope to remember that line, 'She is still my mother" later in life, because like you, I do indulge in some magical thinking when I get a hankering to see someone who's walking another path. Sending you a big hug and hoping that you find the courage to let happiness in!

  4. just for today, i choose to be happy!
    thanks bets! thanks dorothy!

  5. Thanks for writing and sharing! Means the world. xo b