Another Mother Gone
Updated: Mar 8
As I enter my mid-60’s, I have noticed that like me, most of my friends have lost their parents. That loss overshadows this Mother’s Day with mixed emotions.
Gilda, my mother, whom I am forever grateful, passed away late December, 2017. Back then, many people told me that after their moms passed, they thought of them every day. Honestly, I was a little circumspect. But, I now know it is true. Those deep emotional memories are continually triggered by so many things: her art in my home, the intonation in my sister’s voice, music, lapping of the waves at our lake home, my dreams at night and the list goes on and on. These memories embrace her soft essence, her patience with people and her values. She raised three children with such calm that I cannot imagine how she pulled it off. She almost never raised her voice. I certainly didn’t accomplish that.
In a time when going away to college was not a “given,” my mother insisted that I have that opportunity. She needed to work and help contribute to her family after high school, and always wished she could have had a higher education. She was an emotional anchor to me during my divorce and single years - always understanding, never blaming me, full of compassion as I climbed, slipped and regained my balance during the career growth years, and then later, adored my new, current husband. Later, she participated in her grandchildren’s weddings and held her great-grandchildren in her arms. She was always grateful to be involved in family events and could scarcely believe that she was still alive at the ripe age of 92.
It seems like every month or two, another friend travels this passageway of loss. Yesterday, it happened again - the week of Mother’s Day. Although quite elderly and in very poor health, it stirred up many feelings for me. She had a brave story - fleeing Berlin and eventually coming to the U.S. years after being turned away from its safe shores. Last weekend, I attended a memorial service for a lovely elderly man, my former father-in-law. One by one, they leave us holding tightly to our memories and hoping we can keep their precious legacies alive. Those who remain with us are almost all in their 90s, living day to day.
So, this Mother’s Day, while we celebrate the mothers here, I am also thinking about all of you out there, who like me, are thinking of your mothers gone and the impact they had on shaping us into mature adults. I hope you are able to enjoy and find solace in their stories and pass them to your family so their dreams and accomplishments stay alive.
Jane Rubin is the author of the memoir, Almost a Princess, My Life as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor available in most online bookstores. The royalties are donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.