Thoughts for Mother’s Day

My oldest daughter sent me this card. Made me smile to read it, so I thought I’d spread the cheer.

First of course is remembering my mother, Evelyn, born in 1919 and died in 2014. While she was never a perfect mother, she did the best she could, and I’m so thankful that in later years we became very close. Other than knowing I would miss her so much, there were no regrets. Nothing left undone before she went to heaven.


A few years ago a friend on Twitter posted this: “You are your mother’s masterpiece.”

His words made me misty-eyed, as well as brought a smile. The warmth of tears in my eyes was because of no longer having my mother here, and I really miss her. The smile was because my sister always claimed that Mother loved me the best.

Our mother loved us both enough to work hard and struggle to keep our three-pointed family together through difficult times after the divorce from our father. That’s one of the things I came to appreciate about her the most when I started listing all the reasons I loved her.

One of the few pics of the three of us together. This is when I had more hair and my sister didn’t because of her cancer treatment.

If you care to read more of what I wrote in the post from 2022, here’s the link, but please do come back here to read the rest of this year’s post.


Now there’s a new addition to the extended family. My oldest granddaughter, Ally, had a baby in March – on St. Patrick’s Day – and the baby’s name is Evelyn. Partly to honor my mother and partly just because the couple wanted a strong name for their baby girl, who they hope will grow into a strong girl, then a strong woman.

Some months past when my granddaughter called to tell me the baby was on the way and they knew it was a girl, she also told me about the name. I was so pleased, so happy, and so filled with love at that moment. Love for Ally, for the baby to come, and for the connection of generations with that legacy of strength.

My mother was a strong woman, who raised two strong daughters.

I’m a strong woman who gave life to three strong women, who then raised strong women.

One of whom is my granddaughter, Ally, who is just starting the journey. I’m sure that she will share the story of her namesake with baby Evie so she will know the strength that runs in her blood from great-great-grandmother, to great-grandmother, to grandmother, and then to mother.


In the blurb for Evelyn Evolving, the book I wrote about my mother’s life, I say that she was one of the strongest women I knew. That isn’t just hyperbole. It’s true.

Even though I didn’t recognize it during most of my childhood and teen years, my mother did the best she could under the circumstances.

Not in the traditional sense, because she didn’t know how, but in her determination and courage. When her marriage fell apart and she was faced with raising two kids by herself, it was almost like history repeating itself, except she didn’t make the same choice her mother did to put her girls in an orphanage because times were tough.

My mother kept us together as a family the best way she could, teaching us something about loyalty. Something I overlooked for too many years.

During my childhood, our home life was erratic and unpredictable at best, the makings of a best-selling novel at worst, but we survived. And through it all, she was there, trying and failing, and trying again.

Now, looking back, I realize that even in her failings there was success. My sister and I are both reasonably mature, healthy adults, and we didn’t get here by ourselves. Sure we carry around a little excess emotional baggage from our past, but doesn’t everybody? Nobody is ever completely put together emotionally, and considering the odds against her so many years ago, I figure my mother did an outstanding job.

There were good times, too. My mother loved to go to the movies, and we would cash in pop bottles until we had 75 cents to pay for three tickets to the double feature at the theatre three blocks away. If we were lucky to find a few more bottles, we could get popcorn.

Mother was also an avid reader, despite her lack of education. Our house was filled with books, and I know that her love of story on paper and on film is what inspired that same love in me.


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