At Christmas Allison Sumpter wrote “All I Want For Christmas Is…My Mother”. In it she speaks from the heart of how after more than 23 years she still longs for her mother and of her journey learning to live with her absence.
This beautifully written post struck a chord with me. I lost my Mother over 40 years ago and I am still on that journey as well. More recently a writer I admire, Sean Platt sent me a post by his wife Cindy titled “That’s My Mom”. Cindy also lost her Mother over 40 years ago, when she was just three. She shares with us her journey of growing up “a motherless daughter”, along with some vivid memories of her Mother that paint such a clear picture of her that I feel I knew her… surely we met before she passed.
Both these women wrote beautiful, inspiring stories of their mothers. Both these women made me weep. I weep for the memories I don’t have. I was 12 when my Mother passed, yet I could not give you the detailed description of her that 3 year old Cindy Platt held on to of her Mother. It isn’t that I have no memories of my Mother. I do. However, I don’t know how many of them are real anymore. I seldom speak of my Mother anymore. Especially, with my sisters.
My Mom had four daughters, two older than me and one younger. My three sisters were all born in the fall. I was born in the spring. In fact I was the only one of us who celebrated a birthday in 1969, before my Mother passed. She died just days after my birthday. My memories of my Mother all come from the heart of a 12 year old girl who last saw her Mother alive in the stairwell of the hospital – I was not old enough to visit her in her room. A kind nurse helped Mom from her sickbed and into the stairwel l so she could give me my birthday present.
My older sisters were not yet 20 and 18, while my youngest sister would not turn 9 until that September. Each of us have many memories, none of them the same. Over the years, as I would recall something, one of my sisters would invariably say that it was wrong and then set the record straight with their version of the incident. Arguments would ensue and eventually, I just stopped sharing the memories. I honestly don’t think any one of us was right or wrong. I believe that to each of us our version was indeed the way it was, but I know inside the truth was somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, the less I spoke of my Mother, the more faded the memories became. There was a time I could describe to you how she felt, what scent she smelled of and the colour of her hair when the sun shone on it.
I find myself now digging for those memories. Now when one surfaces I will fight to keep it. Memory is a fickle thing at the best of times, however as we get older it can be quite elusive. My strongest memory, the one that will never fade is that I was loved, cherished and valued. I don’t really care if my version is right or wrong now. I will cherish every glimpse I get of the woman who gave birth to me and loved me unconditionally. Thank you, Allison & Cindy, for reminding me of that.