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She Would’ve Loved London – Remembering Mama

Happy Mother’s Day!


This week, Catherine Sweeney, my blog friend, asked a few of us to write a travel tribute to our mothers.

Mama, 1950s
Mama, 1950s

Since then, I’ve been thinking not only of the trips my mother and I took but of the places I’ve been that she would have enjoyed.

Walt Disney World: Well, I didn’t really go on vacation to Disney. I was there to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon on behalf of the American Stroke Association. However, I did get a taste of what Disney offers the child in all of us and I know my mom would have lapped it all up. I can see her eyes now twinkling like a school girl’s.

London: When Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981, Mama was up at 4:00 a.m. to watch the wedding on television. She would have been tickled to see Buckingham Palace, even if only from the street, and would have loved to see a changing of the guard.

We were so different, Mama and I. Once, when we were visiting family in Boston, someone mentioned a sale at Filene’s Basement and asked if we wanted to go. Thinking I was speaking for us, I said no, only to find out that she wanted to go. She returned with several shopping bags full and her face flush with excitement. I discovered that day that my normally calm and quite proper mother had been energized by the frenzy of finding what she wanted before someone else did. Just hearing about it made me feel exhausted.

Looking back to the day I lost her, I so happy now that remembering her brings smiles rather than tears. And as The Intruders sang, I’ll Always Love My Mama.

I’ll always love my mama

She’s my favourite girl

I’ll always love my mama

She brought me in this world


Hmm, A mother’s love’s so special

It’s something that you can’t describe

It’s the kind of love that stays with you

Until the day you die

(Lyrics by Kenneth Gamble / Leon Huff / Gene McFadden / John Whitehead / Victor Carstarphen)

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

I’m not a mother and ever since I lost my own mother ten years ago, Mother’s Day has been emotionally complicated for

Mama, a few years before she had me


Funny thing is, I was never big on Mother’s Day. It was too commercial, too contrived.

And maybe because I lived far away from my mother, I never waited for that one day to let her know how much she meant to me. I made sure that I did something special for Mama each time we saw each other, and told her how important she was to me every time we talked.

You see, my mother was my best friend, my confidante, my role model and teacher. I wanted to be just like her – to be as creative, as intelligent, as caring and as supportive as she was.

Mama wrote poetry, created music and baked elaborate cakes from scratch. She made our clothes so expertly, so neatly they could have been worn inside out – I rarely wore store bought clothes.

Watching her, I learned how to sew but she also taught me how to crochet, embroider and play the flute.

I got my love of crossword puzzles and mysteries from her.

And though she tried to teach me math, I was never as good as she was. As the unofficial bookkeeper for my grandfather’s business, I watched her do the payroll every Friday with just receipts, a notebook and a pencil.

Because of everything I learned from Mama, I wanted to be a mother just so I could pass her gifts on to my daughter — yes, I knew I’d have a daughter.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

So on Mother’s Day, especially, I feel her loss acutely and I think about what might have been.

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