The Ponder Effect | What memory of my mother do I cherish?
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What memory of my mother do I cherish?

Mother’s Day has the capacity to be a beautiful, bittersweet occasion. For many of us, our mothers are here, living and breathing among us. We may have enjoyed lunch with them today or exchanged a hug or talked on the phone. For others of us, our mothers have passed on. We may have visited their grave today or lit a candle in their memory or felt their absence lodged in our chest.

Either way, our mothers are abundantly alive in us, on a cellular level. Our bodies were their bodies. Our memories are interwoven with their stories. Not all of those memories will be happy. Some may be “brain favorites” for what seems like no good reason. These are memories that pop up often and yet are seemingly inconsequential. I think of the sound of my mother’s slippers on the hardwood floor. A tiny thing, and yet she was coming to wake me. She was the person to welcome me into each new day nearly every day of my life for 18 years. That is hardly inconsequential.

There are so many memories—and it’s prudent to recognize that our memories can be tricky, unreliable beasts. We may have to dig past the first layer of recollections to find a fresh one. What a gift that would be! When you actively engage in remembering your mother through the years, what arises? Where was she? What does she look like? What is she doing? What is the feeling? What story might bring you joy to share this week?


Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

6 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    May 12, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    My mother is a giver. The definition of motherhood. She gives today through my children. I seek her counsel daily. She loves unconditionally but demands respect. I love her fiercely. I think often about time stealing her from me. What will I do without her?

  • Anonymous

    May 13, 2019 at 10:08 am

    So many!!!

    Running together (behind) in small, local running races.
    Picking bluebell flowers on the river bank
    Comforting conversations about love lost
    Direct conversations about change needed
    The dunking booth!
    Making and diving into a huge pile of leaves with her grand kids
    That smile though! Always that smile.

  • Anonymous

    May 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    My mother was a saint…I remember her as the most unselfish person because she never complained. She lost two of her precious children to CF and even though I never knew the first sibling because she passed at only 9 months and was the second child born, I am the 4th. Our second sibling died at the age of 7, I was 12 when he was born and 19 when he passed. My mother took care of him 24/7. She often didn’t sleep because she slept in his room so he wouldn’t choke in the night when he coughed. Such a beautiful person was my mother.

  • Anonymous

    May 15, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Growing up she was always happiest next to her own mother. Her mother most happiest with her.

    My mother in bed reading a book, my mother on the beach walking next to the lake — holding her hand. Sleeping next to her until I was way too old, my legs tangled with hers. Looking up during my wedding and making eye contact with her. Watching her hold her first grandchild.

  • Anonymous

    May 16, 2019 at 11:46 am

    This memory is going to sound ridiculous but it is the first one that jumped in my mind when I read this question. It is also going to let you know that I am very old. But first some background. My mother was smart, Phi Bets Kappa, smart. She was also fun, loved me with all her heart, was my strongest advocate, my gentlest critic and taught me so many things about people and situations that have made my life be smooth. So here is the memory. She is picking me and some friends up from Parmer School. At that time the coolest thing in kids’ minds was “scratching off.” That meant stepping on the brake and the gas together. Then releasing the brake and the car shoots forward spraying gravel. So yes, you guessed it. She scratched off right in front of the school and my friends. I was so proud to have her as my Mom!

  • Anonymous

    May 18, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Our family was going to spend Christmas at my grandparents house and my little sister and I were very concerned that Santa wouldn’t be able to find us. My mom helped us write Santa a letter explaining that we wouldn’t be home for the holiday. On Christmas Eve we all got in the car to go see the Christmas lights; my mom had to run back into the house to “get something”. When we returned home after our outing all our gifts from Santa were under the tree waiting for us! Mom had managed to buy, wrap, and then place all the gifts under the tree so that Santa could arrive early for us!