Things I Want To Tell My Mom

The calendar indicates that the 25th anniversary of my mom’s death is approaching. So many changes have taken place in that span of time. Every day I think of things I want to tell my mom:

Four Generations: mom (left), maternal grandma (middle), me (right), my son (middle)

FOUR GENERATIONS: my mom (left), my maternal grandmother (middle), me (right), my son (middle)

  • I miss you. Deeply.
  • Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you.
  • I’ve written a book that’s coming out in November. I think you’d be tickled pink!
  • At 58, it’s hard for me to fathom that I’ve surpassed your lifespan by 5 years. I’m still galled that you died at the age of 53. I hate cancer!
  • I love you more than tongue can tell.
  • I’m a better person because of your example.
  • Thank you for instilling in me the love of reading.
  • And while I can’t possibly begin to know the anguish I put you through when I ran away from home at the age of 15, I want you to know that I’ve leveraged that experience and turned it into positives.
  • You were right, Len is a “keeper.” We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary last month.
  • You’d have a blast with a cell phone—especially the FaceTime feature!
  • Your grandchildren have grown into wonderful adults.
  • Every now and then when I look in the mirror I see a glimpse of you in my features and I smile. I’m extremely proud that you’re my mom.

What would you like to tell your mom?


94 thoughts on “Things I Want To Tell My Mom

  1. A heartfelt and honest post Laurie. I am so grateful to still have my Mum but you remind us how special they are. Congratulations on your book, I wish you every success. I am sure she is with you everyday and very proud of who you have become.

  2. That’s beautiful! I am sure your mum would have loved all those good news and celebrated them with you and she would have been mighty proud of your achievements. You do look a lot like her! 🙂

  3. It’s over 16 years since my mum died.
    Like you, I miss her.
    She was such a stand for me, for me being who and what I chose, in the face of any and all social pressures to the contrary.
    I’m not sure she ever came to terms with my atheism, yet she acknowledge my commitment to universal values and to humanism in the broadest of senses.
    I’d tell her I love her, and I’m sure she knew that.
    I’d thank her for all the times she stood up for me. And I did that.
    She loved life.
    I’m sorry that life extension wasn’t available in time for her to enjoy it, and it may not be here in time for me, and maybe it will.

    My dad and I worked together for a decade, best friends in a very real sense, yet my mind and my training took me places dad couldn’t go, his training and interests didn’t lean in that direction.

    I think both knew they were loved and appreciated by me, I certainly said so explicitly many times, and I the face of the reality of their deaths I could ask no more than that.

  4. What a beautiful post, Laurie. You look so much like your mom in that photo!
    I am fortunate that my mom at 93 is still around, and I can still talk to her.
    I do miss my dad though. I wish he could have seen the wonderful women my daughters have become. Funny to think of him sending texts. 🙂

  5. I have my Mom still but lost my dead just over a year ago. I’ve become more aware of the need to treasure all the time we have. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post, Laurie.

  6. Thank you for sharing. You do look like your Mom. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face, guess I needed a cleansing this morning. I,too, carry my Mom very near my heart and know she is always with me. (As evidenced in a session in CL!)
    Your Mom’s lessons very much live on through you to the rest of us.
    Blessings and a box of tissues to you, my friend!

  7. I read your own enthusiasm for life in your mom’s expression. Good genes – great example!

    Like you, I too feel the the drumbeat in my head now as the second anniversary of my mother’s passing approaches. One of my coping methods is writing blog posts about her, copy-catting you, Laurie.

  8. Oh Laurie ..😪😢 tears are pouring down my face . Gosh you look so like your mum …I love the things that you would say to your mum …wow if only she knew about your book .
    I lost my mum 10 years ago and like you I think of her every day and catch a glimpse of her in the mirror .
    Here goes ….
    You re right mum ….he is ‘all right .’
    Thanks for making me think the way I do .
    I’m almost grown up now 😀
    Thank for reading to me at bed time and all those other times .
    We finely did it …we live by the sea .
    Oh Laurie I could go on and on .

    • Cherry — I can “hear” the love you have for your mother in your voice as you share a few of the many things you would tell her. I like to think that she’s with you when you stroll along the beach by the sea.

      • Oh you bet ya ….annnnnnddd yours is with you on the dy of the publication of your book👏🎈🌟❤️X

  9. I too have tears reading this today. I can’t imagine what it would be like losing a mom at such a young age. What a lovely tribute to her today. She’s surely reading and smiling and hugging you deeply back.

  10. Wow, I was thinking 25 years sounded like a long time, Laurie. 53 is very young and does seem unfair. My Mom died late last year at 78 yrs old. I feel blessed to have had her physical presence in my life that long. And I’ve now joined friends who also lost their Mom. A kind of community one never chooses but finds themselves a part of suddenly.

    I didn’t realize when we had those important and deep discussions right before the end of your life, that you were leaving so soon.

    I do feel you with me and some of the little notes you left for your own self, I am grateful for, because they speak to my own self at just the right time.

    I feel your approval for how I am doing with the responsibilities that you long prepared me for.

    I will always remember your marvelous upbeat sense of humor even in the midst of so much suffering that you were enduring.

    I am happy when I realize how much you were loved because you loved so much.

    Thank you for the example you gave by loving to read so much.

    Thank you for the example of weathering a difficult husband.

    Thank you for never giving up on me, when I was lost and didn’t even know it.

    Thank you for approving of the stability that came into my life when I met this husband.

    The family line that began with you and Dad (because both were orphans who were adopted and we know nothing of our family history before that) is growing and is beautiful.

    I will always love that you loved me enough to keep me when the teenager you were discovered that I had taken up residence in your womb.

    Thanks, Laurie, for giving me a platform to say those things to my Mom.

    • Deb — Okay, now I’m crying happy tears. Our mom’s had a few things in common. The one that stands out the most is: “Thank you for never giving up on me, when I was lost and didn’t even know it.”

  11. So beautiful! You have her smile Laurie:) Avout two years ago I write my mom a letter letting her know my love for her even though we had s tough time of it when I was s teenager. I admire her strenghth as a navy wife and having to step into the role of single mom and leader when my dad was out to sea. I would love for my mom to hear me when I say that she is a wonderful caring person and her worries stop her from living her life.

  12. As an only daughter, it felt like the “connection” to my family disappeared when my mom died almost 32 years ago. Mom stayed “on this side” until she greeted all of her grandchildren here on Earth…then she went HOME a few months shy of her 62nd birthday. A couple of years ago, I made a comment about “the first 30 years are the hardest” when you lose your mom…afterward, I realized that the 30th anniversary of her death was impending. Is this acceptance?

    What would I love to tell her…

    🌀 You would LOVE technology…in the palms of our hands, we hold the access to more information than you could have ever found in a library in 1984.
    🌀 Thank you for helping me to become an “independent thinker.” As much as your references to “herd-mindedness” irritated the living daylights out of me when I was a teenager, my ability to think for myself has served me well and provided me with opportunities that I might not have had the courage to seek otherwise.
    🌀 Thank you also for all of the “road trips” and inspiring me to travel…I have gratefully inherited your wanderlust and curiosity.
    🌀 I love you and miss you…I “feel” your presence in my life.
    (Thanks, Laurie, for giving me the opportunity to express these thoughts!)

  13. Only a glimpse of your mother when you look in the mirror eh!? in this photograph, you definitely have a strong family resemblance Laurie 🙂 I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose ones mother so young. Your words to her remind me of the saying that we live as long as the last person who remembers us.

    My own mother will be 79 this fall and my dad will be 80 years old. They are still farming with new calves born this spring as they wait for the snow to go so the garden can be planted. Almost every Saturday morning I phone and visit with my mom for 30 – 60 minutes. Sometimes dad will chat for a couple of minutes, mostly about the weather or something in the news. Mom and I talk about ordinary things going on in our week but mostly all the words mean “l love you.”

    • Terrill — I love that regardless of how ordinary the words in your weekly conversation, “all the words mean ‘I love you.'” I also love the saying you shared: “We live as long as the last person who remembers us.”

  14. This is a wonderful post, Laurie. There are some things I would like to say to my mother, but more that I would like to ask. Ahh, the knowledge that hindsight and time instills.

  15. Love the picture of the generations of women in your family and your son as a baby. Beautiful all.
    As you know, I just lost my mom in January. I have many reasons to hate cancer as well; her death is one of the reasons. I, as her eldest child, had the gift of having the longest time with her. We, as a family, were fortunate to have the knowledge that mom had only a year to live. So as we visited and cared for her, we all took our final opportunities to say anything we wanted/needed to say or say again. Since her death, my sisters and I have all shared that we will often start to call mom to tell her about something that has happened or just to talk to her, and then we realize she is not there physically anymore. My brothers have not shared if this is true for them as well. What a somber moment; yes, she’s gone. So I take a breath and still choose to share the news with mom knowing somehow she hears me.

    • Audrey, “So I take a breath and still choose to share the news with mom knowing somehow she hears me.” That’s a beautiful heart/mind set.

      Many years after my mom died, I found one of those tiny tapes from a message machine in the “catch all” kitchen drawer. No longer having that type of technology, we went to Radio Shack to see if they could play it for us.

      Low and behold… there was my mother’s voice reminding me to bring our card table and chairs for her bridge club that night.

      Hearing her voice after so many years was such a gift! The poor man at Radio Shack let me listen to it repeatedly as I simultaneously laughed and cried. I’m confident he thought I had gone ’round the bend…

  16. Loss is never easy and especially a Mother’s love. Luckily my mother is with us and still a part of our every day lives involved in every aspect of our farming life, kids sports, schooling, and so on. This was a wonderful post and so heartfelt! Tina

    • Tina — I’m glad you enjoyed this post, thank you for letting me know.

      You and yours are truly blessed to have a hands-on mom involved in the daily comings and goings of your family’s lives.

  17. Well, darn, my eyes are wet and I think it’s your fault, Laurie. : ) You put into heart-warming words many of the things I would tell my mom. But there are a few more…
    -you know those cooking lessons you offered–I’m ready to listen, now
    -please tell me more about you: memories, thoughts, dreams, anything–I’m ready to listen, now
    -you always told me to focus on the positive. I thought you were terribly old-fashioned. But I’ve learned that if you do focus on the positive, the positive fills your live. I’m glad I finally listened to that piece of wisdom.

  18. Laurie, I was saddened to read that you mother died when she was such a young age and when you were a young women wanting to share your womanhood and motherhood with her. I know and understand you sense of loss. My mother passed away when she was 84. She and I were blessed to share many womanhood and motherhood life cycles together. Now that I am 71 and have been married for 49 years, I would like to tell her that I know and understand how much she loved my children because of the love I have for my grandchildren!

    • Sheila — Not only did you write the foreword to the soon-to-be-released book “Note to Self,” but in the latter pages I share a story about your mother that you shared with me. I’ve always had a special appreciation for your mother because of it. Here it is:

      Let Go of Your Problems
      My friend Sheila Glazov, author of What Color Is Your Brain? A Fun and Fascinating Approach to Understanding Yourself and Others, shared this story about letting go of stress:

      “While traveling to Palm Springs, California, many years ago, my mother was seated next to a handsome gentleman in the first-class section of the aircraft. Right after takeoff, her seatmate stretched his left arm out in front of his body and rhythmically began to open and close his fist.

      “My ‘blue brain’ mother became concerned and thought he was not feeling well. She inquired, ‘Excuse me, are you feeling okay?’

      “He responded, ‘I’m fine, thank you. I’m just letting go of my problems and negative thoughts.’

      “‘Splendid,’ my mother said.

      “When her ‘yellow brain’ began to worry, Mother would practice his relaxing technique to reduce her stress and remove troublesome thoughts.”

      What a simple activity and metaphorical solution:

      – Unclench your problems.
      – Fan your fingers apart to free yourself of detrimental thoughts.
      – Release and relax!

      When using this technique, I’ve found that a release statement is effective here as well.

      “I release and let go of [fill in the blank] with love.”

    • Dear Laurie, I am delighted that my mother’s story resonated with you and that you included it in your book.What a grand Orange Brain surprise! I will use you comments and my mother’s story in my April BrainBuzz Newsletter.
      Laurie, If you have not already subscribed to my BrainBuzz, please do so in the right hand side bar so you can enjoy the upcoming April article about your book!!!

      I enjoyed sharing this post on my social media.
      How “love”ly that we both enjoy sharing about our mothers.

      Cheers to our Memorable Mothers!!

      • Sheila — I’m tickled PINK at your ORANGE brain surprise!

        I’m already a subscriber to your BrainBuzz Newsletter and wouldn’t dream of missing an issue! Thank you in advance for sharing “Note to Self” with your readers 🙂

  19. You’ve obviously touched a nerve with this post, Laurie. I’m trying to think of the things I want to ask and tell my mother while I still have her with me. But I know I can’t prevent the pain I’ll eventually share with you. To want to call her and talk with her and not being able to do so.

    • Shirley — And it’s going to be the same exact way with our friends and family when it’s our turn to go, regardless of how young or old we are when it happens. I think that’s what makes love so wonderful — it has the ability to break our hearts wide open.

  20. Lovely post – really resonates with me. I lost my mom at an early age, too – although she was 63 when she died and from a brain aneurysm, I was 22 at the time. It was my Dad who died of cancer – he was 66 and I was 16. Like you I have surpassed my mom’s age when she died and just recently my dad’s. I think of them both a lot and sometimes I have felt their spirits in my home. Certainly Mom when in my garden as we both share a love of gardening.

    • Sharon — You were so young when you lost your parents: only 16 when your dad passed away, and just 22 when you mom died. Bless your heart. I can’t even begin to know how much that hurts…

  21. Laurie, I have always loved that photo of your family! You and your Mom could be sisters, she was a beautiful woman. My mom has been gone nearly 20 years and yes, there are countless words I would love to have said while she was here. While we are younger, the concept of “Forever” and “Never” are foreign to us, we have nothing to gauge or measure them by. Yet, in retrospect, 20 – 25 years barely seems long at all. Sometimes the only true signs of the years passing are the changes we see in others, especially our children. The once tiny person is now an adult, with ideas and characteristics uniquely their own, no longer an extension of ourselves. There are so many things I would love to say to Mom, that I ever caused her pain now gives me great pain. That love can’t be measured in human terms but what I have, I learned from her and Dad. I would love to sit and talk to her as the woman, not the mother, to see who she really was, not merely the “Enforcer of Rules”. One thing I believe we would want to know, is that our moms would find reason to be proud of who we have become because of their guidance, that their sacrifice, hard work, and scant reward have paid off in the long run.

    • Sandi — I absolutely love what you said:

      “One thing I believe we would want to know, is that our moms would find reason to be proud of who we have become because of their guidance, that their sacrifice, hard work, and scant reward have paid off in the long run.”

      Yes, indeed! 🙂

  22. You know for me it’s a wound that’s way to fresh for me to comment now. I just wanted to say that I bet your mom was just an incredible lady! I imagine you get your spunk from her. She would be so proud of you & the life you & Len have created. ❤️

    • Chris — I absolutely understand about not commenting now as it relates to the recent loss of your own mother.

      And yes, you’re absolutely right about my mom being the source of my sneuss and vinegar 🙂

  23. Beautiful post Laurie! Your mom was a beautiful and lovely person; so very sweet! I also am so sorry for your, Julie’s, and your dad’s loss of her at such a young age; hers and all of yours. She would be so proud of your accomplishments. You have always been an awesome person, full of love and a joyful spirit! I’m sure she is looking down on you and smiling!
    Hugs all around you!
    Sally [Lungren] Hayes

    • Sally — It’s so good to see you here. Every time I see your name or your picture in Facebook, it brings back memories of your beautiful singing voice; I remember it to be incredible.

      Thank you for the heartwarming thoughts about my mom. I appreciate YOU! 🙂

  24. This might be the best thing I’ve read from you. My god you are your mom are twins and cancer does indeed suck! I’d probably tell my mom thanks for having my back the last two years when my life was sideways, upside down, and outright backwards!

  25. Love this. It’s been thirty-one years since my mom died suddenly and I’m two years older than she was then. So often I think about how much the world has changed since her passing. I’d love to be able to share a cup of coffee with her at Starbucks and chat with her about her grandchildren–and great-granddaughter!

    • Linda — There are so many things that are “ordinary” today that weren’t even in existence then: laptops, cellphones, Skype/FaceTime, security measures at airports, flat-screen televisions… Even Starbuck’s wasn’t a household word thirty-one years ago. I agree, it would be so much fun to sit down with our moms and enjoy a cup of coffee and tell them about their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

  26. Beautiful post Laurie. My mom died when I was 10 years old, and she was at the age I am now when she passed. I was just looking at pictures of her yesterday on my birthday, which was a time she really enjoyed planning parties for me. I would tell my mom that she is profoundly missed, and thank her for her unconditional love.

      • I lost my Dad at 28, just a little bit younger than you. That was very hard, it is why I know how you feel. Still miss him. My mother passed away at almost 79, but her mind was already gone long ago. I was only happy that she finally found peace.

  27. Misty-eyed. Your mother was beautiful; you take after her. My mom is alive at 92, but she’s not the same woman she was at 50-something. We are very different people, but always always loved and still love each other. My mom doesn’t remember much now, but her grandkids? She’s as close to them as she was when they were babies. A huge gift to her, to me, and to my adult kids.

  28. Very nice post and sharing with your mom – I am certain that she heard you.

    I stopped working, and took care of my mum 24/7 in her last three years. I was determined for us to have all the conversations we could in that time. I tried not to miss anything. She was a very critical person and it was hard sometimes, but then we reached a point of profound silence which was very good. Her only regret was that she would not be able to vote for a good woman for President. She was a good woman. Every once in awhile, I will think “Oh I need to tell my mum that,” but truly we covered almost everything and I was able to guide her in her letting go of this realm. I was a disappointment to her, and she tried to accept who I was before we parted.
    I am rather glad my father died before the political ruptures in his stunning education system were torn apart. I know my mum would be so disappointed in the current politics and the obstructionism – it probably would have killed her if she were still alive.

    You look very much like your mother. Beautiful

    • Patricia — Your mother was Blessed (with a capital B) that you chose to be her eldercare provider for the last three years of her life. My heart aches that you feel you were a disappointment to her.

  29. Laurie, I was so deeply moved by this post. Your love for your mother is staggering, your dialogue to her poignant and inspirational. I didn’t realize you lost her to cancer at age 53. Such an unconscionable tragedy. I had my mother longer – she passed at age 72, also of cancer. Unfortunately she was a smoker until about 7-8 years before she died. My father is still living, and will turn 86 in September. I’d tell my mom about all the technological advancements including the one who note, and would let her know how well some of her grandchildren are doing!

  30. My mother passed three and a half years ago. I am traumatized by it daily. Or it’s not about her death. She was 88 and it was time. But it was a love/hate relationship of how I felt toward her and that makes me so uncomfortable and unhappy about it all. She could be so caring and yet so cruel at times.

  31. I was so fortunate to have both of my parents into my 50s. Sadly now I lost both of them in 15 months. My Mom in December 2014 and my Dad just last month. I miss them both daily. I often with I could call to tell them many things, from the exciting to the mundane. I loved your post. I’m just slow to read it 🙂
    Warm regards and hugs to you Laurie!

    • Lisa — I’m glad you enjoyed this post. How wonderful that you had both your parents into your 50’s; that’s definitely a richness and texture that adds to the quality of life’s tapestry 🙂

  32. I just lost my mom last August and thought this was so beautiful to me. You are right in wanting to share with your mom because as things happen in my day, week and months I always want to pick up the phone and share with her but, remember just then that I am in another season of life without her physical being here with us. I feel her spirit though which is a wonderful thing too. If you don’t mind, I think I am going to use your idea and write her a list periodically of what I’d like her to know about all of the wonderful things happening in my life which many because of all she poured into me are even possible. Thank you so much Laurie.

  33. There is comfort in the memories. Your suggestion about what I would tell my mom has made me think about the subject, thanks for that, Laurie. Might eventually write a post but would start something like, Mom my life turned out like nothing neither of us could have imagined.

  34. Mom I miss you in each and every mloment but still feel your presence near me .whenever I am in destress you appear in my dream quickly and quietly. I know you appear only to give me a feeling that you are there .you are my strength you .

  35. In this beautiful morning hour, I looked through some of your posts, dear Laurie. You have such a beautiful heart. You are a blessing to many of us. Your words are very healing. This post brought my emotions to the peak. Made me ponder. Thank you for being a light.

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