Tag Archives: mothers

BLOG – GIFT DAY 316 :: a month of inspiration :: a nod to mothers

12 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share mothers.
I know, it won’t be Mother’s Day for months…. but I have mommies on my brain.

Mostly because I was up all night with Pup.
Instead of barking he was barfing. Oy vey!  But he is thankfully now okay.

I, on the other hand, am exhausted.

That has me thinking about mommies. 
And all the other people who offer a spoon full of sugar exactly when someone needs it.

Whether they have two legs or four, through all hours of the night.

I think mothers are pure inspiration.
Especially those who act as motherly protectors for children other than their “own”.

Take Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis a Sandy Hook Elementary teacher and one of Glamour’s inspiring Women of the Year. She is a life-saving hero to the children in her class that she stuffed inside a bathroom to avoid the worst possible nightmare for all of their mothers.

All this has me thinking about mommies. 
Sometimes it takes more than a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Sometimes we need someone to lean on, protect us, wrap their arms around us, shove us in a bathroom, or even walk us to the back door at 4am to barf.

So, here’s to all the mommies.
In the most delightful way. 

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {playmore!}
Jamie

{is there a mom who inspires you?}

Day 128: mother-less day

8 May

It is Mother-less Day for me, this May 8th, a.k.a. “Mother’s Day”.

I feel deeply for all of us motherless daughters and sons on this day.

This day, a celebration of the physical delivery of flowers, or brunch, or greeting cards. A day dedicated to waking up with a surprise breakfast in bed, or going to sleep with warm mommy hugs and kisses at night.

I couldn’t even call my mom if I wanted to.
She is somewhere so very far away not even Verizon could get her on the line to confirm “can you hear me now?”

But, I know in my heart she can hear me.

Here’s the crazy part, as in, you are going to think me crazy when you read this: I can feel my mother with me.

She may be physically departed, her train left the station long ago, but she shows up in my life in the most amazing ways.

In my car. In my dreams. Through songs on the radio.

The first time it happened was soon after returning from Mama Sling’s funeral.  I woke up in a daze in the middle of the night.

There in my dream she appeared.
A healthy and vibrant version of my mother, not the chemotherapy drained one.  She was beautiful and happy and in the drivers seat of her mini van. I was in the passengers seat.

As we drove down the main street of my hometown she asked how each of my family members were doing post funeral.  I reported back on my sister and my father, and then as we approached the main intersection of the busiest road in town, the light turned yellow.

Instead of hitting the brakes to slow the car down, my dear Mama Sling, the most patient and graceful person I had ever known, hit the gas.

I screamed in horror. “Mom! The light!  The light is turning red!”

She just turned and looked me directly in the eyes with a knowing and gentle smile on her face, “I know Jamie, but we just have to keep going.”

It was just a dream.  But in it she was very real to me.  And her message to me was also very clear.  Don’t stop, not on her account. 

Keep going.
And I did.

A few years later she returned.

The day I was married she showed up in the Santorini sunset overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. As I walked out into the sunlight, all dressed in white and about to take my vows (and unbeknownst to me at the time, an unfortunate plunge into the wrong marriage) I felt the light of sky hit my cheeks. I knew Mama Sling was with me.

Then, the night after I escaped the darkest days of my misfortunate marriage, I had another dream.

I was sitting by a pool with my mother.  All of a sudden (as only a dream could command) a baby in a pink striped bikini was drowning in the water. My mother helped me scoop the baby out of the water and showed me how to swaddle her in a blanket.

Mama Sling put the baby in my arms, cooing at her and instructing me on the proper way to hold her and caress the tiny thing.

When I awoke I realized the baby was wearing a bikini with the same color pink striped shirt I owned.  A light bulb went off in my brain: the baby is me! 

My mother was telling me to take care of myself, to baby myself in this time of great difficulty and despair.

It felt like an otherworldly moment. 
More than a dream, or subconscious thought, or even a movie or a story.  It felt like a primordial hug, the kind I may no longer attain in this physical world, the kind that only occurs when a mother embraces her child.

I could tell you more stories, and share more moments I have experienced in the years since my mother’s death.  The songs that come out of nowhere on the radio, the coincidences that pile up, continually, to point where I don’t question it anymore.

I just look up to the sky and blow Mama Sling a kiss.

I could share all of this with you, at the risk that you think it crazy.

Unless of course, you too have lost your mother, then I suppose, you too might already know.

If you are like me, maybe you can’t buy flowers or a card or gifts wrapped up in pretty paper.  And, maybe you can’t share a hug or a laugh or even a phone call. In the end, what we are left with is a thought, a memory, a feeling, a connection, or a dream. And, that, above all is else is what counts.

So, to all my dear motherless daughters and motherless sons, I wish you a happy Mother-less Day, and even more so, I wish you those magical moments on the most spectacular of days, those days when you know, in your heart, your mother is with you.

Day 125: mary, mary

5 May

Today is my father’s birthday.
And this is his mother, my grandmother:

For a while she was called “Mangra” only because my sister switched the two syllables around in her little toddler brain.

Other than that short-lived mispronunciation, she was known as Grandma Mary.

With Mother’s Day upon us, I am reminded I no longer have a living mother or grandmother. My lineage of direct female ascendants has dwindled to just my sister and myself.

I certainly have fond memories of time spent with my mother, Mama Sling.  But, today, being the day of my father’s birth, I was thinking about Grandma Mary.

There’s Grandma Mary’s infamous baked beans recipe, her perfectly teased hair, her stacks of People magazine, and that finger nail polish!  I remember the day she told me it was about time I should start sucking in my tummy, because every girl wants a flat tummy!

There’s also one specifically special memory I have from spending a summer afternoon with Grandma Mary.

I was probably around the age of eight and given the very responsible task of helping Grandma Mary organize the numerous drawers in her pea green colored kitchen.

As I was stacking pencils, checking to see if pens still had ink by drawing circle after circle on pads of paper, and making piles of papers, I pulled out a black and white photo of a beautiful young woman in a striking dress.

As I held the photo in my hand, it felt precious, like a photo from a glossy magazine spread.

With complete seriousness, I questioned Grandma Mary about the photo. “Who is this pretty woman?”

Grandma Mary howled with laughter and looked at me with surprise. 

I didn’t think it was a funny question.
I just wanted to know who the pretty lady was with the really stylish dress.

Turns out, it was Grandma Mary.
Before she was a Grandma, or Mangra, or even a Mama.

I couldn’t believe my grandma once looked like that gorgeous lady. I guess it was the first time in my life that I really understood what it meant to “age” and grow older, not just taller with each passing year.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Grandma Mary’s kitchen. 

Just us two girls. 
It was a rare moment, me having hoards of cousins, aunts and uncles.

It felt magical and mystical as she told me stories of her youth and explained all the photos in her keepsake drawer.

She even showed me the birth certificate of her babies, the ones that didn’t make it in this world.  The twins, the still birth.  I can still see those little baby feet in black ink that were pressed on the weathered page.

Looking back, I’m sure my grandmother was doing my mother and father a favor, helping watch over me on some summery afternoon while school was out.

In my little heart that day was precious.
Grandma Mary unveiled more than photos and papers, pretty dresses and funny stories. She handed me a thread to hold onto, a connection to a line of women who came before me.

If Grandma Mary were still with us, she would barely recognize the shape of my life, let alone make sense of the pace of it.

I kind of doubt she would get this whole “blog” thing, although she might follow People.com!

But, I do know:
She certainly would appreciate a day at the spa.

Happy Mother’s Day, Dear Grandma Mary.
Thank you for giving me my dad, the gift of gab, and the deep appreciation of a good dress.  

Day 58: remembering cindie

27 Feb

This weekend I attended a Women on Fire Tea Party dedicated to mothers.

At the end of the day, Debbie Phillips asked each of us to remember what our mother gave to us in one word.

As we stood in a circle and described in one word the gift from our mother, just what it is that flows through us, only one word came to my mind:

Light

Thank you, Mama Sling. I am honored to carry your light in my heart. I carry it with me wherever I go and treasure it deeply.

Tonight, however, there is another mother on my mind.
I would like to remember someone, who was an amazing mother, but not my own.

A year ago this week, many people lost an amazing woman:
Cindie Davis Holub.

Cindie was the mother of four boys, an incredible sister, wife, daughter, teammate, equestrian, avid book reader, marathon runner, and triathlete.

Cindie is Justin’s cousin, someone he adored, cherished, looked up to and felt was a kindred spirit. And, it wasn’t just because Cindie was a fervent New England Patriots fan. It was because he always felt her love.

The first time I met Cindie, I knew immediately that I adored her too.

It wasn’t hard to enjoy her company, her spark and wit, but let me share with you something I can hardly believe is true:

I only saw Cindie three times.

We went to a family dinner once, we spent Thanksgiving with her family, and then we saw Cindie one more time, just before we flew out of Boston for Christmas.

It felt like an instant later, she was gone.
It was a horrible accident as she was riding her bicycle in Arizona, training for an upcoming triathlon, when she was hit by a garbage truck.

I can’t describe the loss.
I felt like I just met this amazing source of energy and life, and then she was gone. Even now, it doesn’t seem possible this was a year ago.

Despite the time and distance, I feel Cindie with me everyday.
As it turns out, Cindie loved clothes and shoes and had a beautiful collection of both. Her sister, Kim, lovingly opened Cindie’s closet to her closest friends and relatives.

Because Justin’s family is so warm and welcoming, they treated me as one of their own (even though I had just arrived on the scene) and invited me to share in saving personal clothing and sentimental pieces from Cindie.

Here’s the surprising part for me.
I am almost six feet tall and my guess is Cindie was about 5 or 6 inches shorter. We have completely different body types, sizes, shapes. Who would have guessed her clothes fit me perfectly?

Everyday, I look in my closet and see a little light of Cindie.
Her beautiful silk turquoise top from China reminds me to be adventurous.  Her workout clothes remind me to give my all, even when my legs won’t move another step. Her beautiful gold dress reminds me to plan for big things.

Her clothes live on, this is true.
But, the life of Cindie lives on even more so, it is a great source of love in my heart. It is a gentle whisper in my ear to live and love.

If there is one word to describe what Cindie gave to me, it is:

Presence

Her memory is a gentle reminder each day, to love and to live, to be present with what I have and who I am, right this very second.

Thank you, Cindie.
You are loved.
You are remembered.

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