Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, April 21, 2008

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom*


Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

To my mother we were always "the girls"... when she was frustrated with us we were "You girls!". We always laughed when she grouped us together; we are after all 64, 60, 56 and 53 year old girls! We have spent the last few days looking at family photos and realizing how beautiful our mother was as a young woman...really beautiful, with laughter all around her. She was a complicated person; a mystery to me.... She grew up in an age when people didn't share their feelings or their issues; goodness gracious, I must have been a puzzle to her, too! She probably didn't get my career choice (therapist) at all!

Isn't that all irrelevant now; my wanting to be understood by my mother! The last days before she passed away, I got it! I got the final lesson she had to teach me...she didn't need to understand me, she just loved me, deeply loved me and with that knowledge I feel peace.

Gail

*Marcel Proust

46 comments:

  1. what a beautiful and heartwarming read. it is sometimes so hard to understand our own mothers and they probably all know that just to love us is enough. thanks for this post--i love reading your blog and hope we get to meet in person again. i wish i had spent more time talking with you in austin!

    ReplyDelete
  2. laura,

    Me, too! I plan on being in Chicago, but isn't that too long to wait for all of us to fling?!

    Thank you for your kind words, they do mean a great deal to me.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very touching post Gail and it must have been very hard and taken a lot of love from you to do it. I am very sorry. It is a very hard thing to go thru but most of us have to and it is better, I think, than the mother losing a child.

    And bty my fourth daughter will be 40 in 3 days and she is my youngest
    and I still call them my girls and always will!

    I missed you and am glad you are back and you have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. jean,

    You are a sweetheart! Happy birthday to your girl!

    Missed being here!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gail .. I'm so sorry.
    This must have been such a stressful time for you.
    I'm sure you have been as much an amazing daughter, as your mom has been an amazing mom for you .
    It is such a heart warming post you have put on the line here .. I'm at a loss of words. I'm not at ease with condolances. I can never find the right words some how .. You are such a thoughtful, giving woman .. I'm sure your family was able to come through this sad time in a better way than most because you were there for them.
    Take care of yourself .. don't rush back into things too quickly.
    This is an intensely impacting event in your life. Rest as much as possible.
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
  6. joy,

    Thank you...and your words are very comforting. It was wonderful to be with her and with my sisters...we really were there for each other and her.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  7. When you left so suddenly it looked as if you'd have a sad homecoming, Gail. I'm glad you had your sisters around you, and am amazed at your beautiful post.
    Thank you for the Toni Morrison quote, "Grown don't mean nothing to a mother" ...we mothers of adult children don't need it framed as needlepoint ...it's engraved on our hearts.

    Sending virtual hugs and genuine thoughts,

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gail, thank you for a moving post. It reminds me not to take my mother for granted and to show my own children how much I love them. I'm very sorry for your loss. You're in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is indeed a beautiful post. My mother called me and somewhat chided me for missing the sad fact about your mother. I don't know how I did, but I did. My deepest sympathy. Anything I can do, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gail,you have my deepest condolences. My husband and I both lost our mothers last year, so I can readily sympathize with your loss. You are fortunate to have found peace in the knowledge that you were loved.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. You have given me something important to ponder: the relevance of being understood versus being loved. My mother seems to have been similar to yours in that she was very private about her feelings and problems, and was thus difficult for me to understand. But I did love her, as she did me. And I think you are right that that is really all that matters.

    Blessings and prayers,
    Carol at Lost Valley Gardens

    ReplyDelete
  11. Annie,

    It's a great quote isn't it?! Engraved in our hearts...fabulously true...Thank you for your kindness, hugs and thoughts, they mean so very much to me.

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pam,
    Thank you...You are a thoughtful person, I imagine your mother doesn't feel at all taken for granted and I am guessing your children feel deeply loved, too!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tina,

    No problem and thank you for the phone call! It meant a great deal to me....
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  14. Carol, you have given me a lovely gift...knowing that I wrote something that you pondered over, thank you.

    I am sorry that you lost both your mother and your mother in law within the same period of time...that is hard.

    Peace,
    gail

    ReplyDelete
  15. I bet everyone turned to you for understanding. I've always been the mother of the family even to my own mom and brothers. I lost my mom in 2000. I took care of her for a very long time. I really don't know what it's like to have a normal mother daughter relationship. I was always her care giver. But I loved her dearly. So I do know that kind of loss and I do know that grief.

    I'm so sorry to you. It took me years to get over it. Hugs to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks Anna, I could use a hug...mother and daughter relationships are not simple are they? But then there isn't anything like that kind of bond.
    gail

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gail- ((((HUGS)))) What a wonderful, heartfelt post. I could feel my throat tightening as I read it. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, I know what a difficult and stressful time it can be. I'm still not over the loss of my father or father-in-law yet. I don't know if I ever truly will be. One lesson I have learned was that even if parents don't express how much they love you it doesn't diminsh that love at all.

    ReplyDelete
  18. cinj,

    You are so right...we think we need to hear all kinds of declarations and forget to look at what our families do. Thanks alot for the hugs, Gail

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tina, Sorry as I did not mean for you take the message as chiding you. I was just a little shocked that, being as smart as you are that you did not figure out what was going on....again, sorry.

    cinj, nope, you will never get over it. I lost my mother over 20 years ago and my Dad over 10 years ago and I still can shed a tear every now and then but it does get easier and oh how the good memories give such happiness and warm my body and I am so lucky as most of my memories are great. It is a rare day when I do not think of them but it now is nearly always with a smile and great pride. As time goes by and it gets easier you will be the same so just hang in there with the pain now and it WILL get better.

    Gail, I forgot to mention before but I not only call my 4 girls "my girls" but at times also say "oh you girls". Just a mother thing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gail: Like everyone here I too am sorry about the loss of your mom. There is nothing quite like the relationship between mothers and daughters. They can be complicated. It reminds me to spend more time with my mom and not to take for granted she is still with me.

    I'm happy you found peace in knowing ... even if you never understand. Thank you for sharing your heart. I'm so glad you have your sisters to stick together at this time. Warm hugs and please know you will be in my prayers.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gail, My heart felt remorse for your lose. I lost my Mother in '94 Dec. We didn't seem to have a real close relationship as some mother & daughters do, but I knew she loved me in her own way & I loved her. Like some said the mothers not sharing their feelings or thoughts was a time period thing. A lot of things were not spoken. Sadness on both parts as some things seem to never be solved.
    Do know that you will be in my thoughts & prayers. Time will help dull the pain.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Toni Morrison hit it on the head, didn't she. So relevant to our conversation while you were here in Austin about children.

    And the thing is, to your mother it probably wasn't important to understand your career choice, she probably just cared about your happiness.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mom, It was tongue in cheek on the chiding. I should've caught it. You are so right! It is ok perfectly ok.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gail, I will join the others in expressing my heartfelt sympathy. Somehow our parents are supposed to always "be there." You will miss her. I'm sure you're thankful for your sisters. Blessings.

    And your photos are wonderful. (You're a bit ahead of us!) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. shady,

    Just a bit! I know you have an affinity for native wildflowers, too. Thank you I am grateful for my sisters...the girls!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  26. meems,

    I am so very glad I had those last days with her...it became clear to me that love was enough (and more) to share with my mom!
    Thank you for keeping me in your prayers.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  27. How luck you have sisters! I have four! We are still 'the girls'! LOL I know of what you speak! I have one daughter and I know she feels somewhat as you stated. She is often a puzzle to me but a delightful one! She does nothing wrong but is perfect in her own way. Being a mother helps to understand a mother. You never love your mother like you love your child. Once you understand that, you get the whole picture! (In my opinion)!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Jean,

    There are some universal mother truths...we are always their babies!
    Thanks for being here for me and always reading my posts! You rock!

    lola,

    Thank you....I think more of us aren't as close to our mothers as we wish we could be...10 years ago I couldn't have imagined calling my mom everyday, but I did these last years! It made us both feel good.

    Tina,

    Hey girl, listen to your momma;) Thanks for your kindness and thoughtfulness!

    You are all fabulous women!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bonnie,

    You're welcome!

    As your babies get to be older they will still be your babies!

    She didn't get what I did but I found out she respected me.

    Thanks for the information about the poppies...they are gorgeous.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  30. layanee,

    That is the truth...I have one child, a grown son, and it is a deep love!
    Isn't it amazing this capacity to love?

    How wonderful that you find your daughter delightful...that is a wonderful love and a gift she will pass on to her children.

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gail,

    I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. That final lesson is an important one and one we should all aspire to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dave,

    I was speaking with one of my sisters and we were discussing that very lesson...thanks, Dave, for being here.

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  33. Gail, I'm sorry for your loss. My mother died almost three years ago, and I was fortunate that we were good friends by then. She still didn't pass up a chance to ask what was going on with my hair, but I think it's a southern thing!

    I am glad you knew and felt that your mother loved you. When you are left with only your memories, it's good to have some positive ones.

    I would guess that your garden will be an even greater source of solace now.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Verti,

    Thank you...I suspect I will always miss her as I am sure you miss your mom.

    yes the garden is a great solace.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm very sorry about your Mom, Gail. I have a very close relationship with my mother. I 'get her', but I'm not sure that even after 53 years, she gets me. :) In fact, I'm sure she doesn't. But as you pointed out so beautifully...I know she loves me unconditionally, and vice versa, and that's all that matters. (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  36. nancy,

    It seems to me that you get it, too...it is a wonderful feeling to be loved and to love unconditionally. Thank you for the hugs...I love them.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  37. Gail - I'm so sorry about you losing your mom. Lovely tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I'm glad that you came to an understanding in her final days that brought you some peace in this difficult time. The quote by Toni Morrison is so true--thanks for sharing it.

    Thinking of you...

    ReplyDelete
  39. mmd,

    Thank you..She is truly missed.

    mss,

    I really did get closure and I believe she did, too...
    thank you....it is a very good quote.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  40. My dear Gail, you have written a most thoughtful and emotionally full tribute and announcement of your mother's passing. How wonderful that you 'got it'. I love the vision of you and your sisters looking through the photographs of her as a young woman, and appreciating her youthful beauty. Somehow we don't think of our mother's as young and childless, as though they were always a mother. Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss.
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  41. Frances,

    goodness we don't do we, so when we found the photos of her with her friends and read the notes she wrote on the backs, it was like looking into her soul and learning that much more about her. Thank you for your kindness.
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  42. Kathy,

    Thank you...it's still hard to believe.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  43. Holy smokes! A record today I think! Good morning! Where is today's post? :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Gail,
    My sympathy on the loss of your mother. Thank you for the heartfelt, beautiful, thought-provoking post.

    ReplyDelete
  45. garden girl,

    You are so very welcome....gail

    ReplyDelete

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails