Mother-less on Mother’s Day

Virginia is Mother-less on Mother’s Day for the second time (which doesn’t make it any easier.)  Sharing with you a post from last year…

After a spate of rainy days it was great to be outside today absorbing sorely missed sunshine. Couldn’t help but remember the many hours spent with Mama last year on the deck lounge chairs, enjoying the trees, the breeze, and the birds tweeting about us. Tweeting around us (not sure if they noticed us enough for bird discussions) but maybe we caught their attention. Papa always called us his two Virginias: the elegantly angelic Virginia, “Ginny,” his wife (with lovely white hair), and Virginia, his daughter (with flaming red hair.)

I hope I didn’t cause too many of Mama’s white hairs, but for sure, with five children we all probably caused a few (equally distributed, of course, since my siblings read this blog!)

Contemplating these memories, suddenly TWO BLUEBIRDS flew near our birdbath. A pair – a bright blue male and an almost disguised female, but yes, as she flew away the blue peaked out from under her wings.

Mama loved bluebirds, a sighting was always cause for celebration.

It’s so hard, missing her.  I miss Papa… but we had Mama all last year to hug on when our hearts hurt. We tried to pamper her (after 30+ years of their 58-year marriage looking after our wheelchair-to-bedfast-bound Papa, she surely needed it. Add the preceding 28 years of raising 5 children, there could never be enough pampering in the world for our precious Mama!)

I keep finding notes she wrote to me over the years. When I worked overseas she sent many small cards with encouraging words, written in her precious script. I put them in books & all sorts of places, but what joy to uncover them now. It’s like hearing her voice across the divide.

And then I remember the embrace of her love.  A few weeks before she died, Mama and I sat on the loveseat in the living room and huddled a hug of comfort that lasted awhile. I know she missed Papa all day, every day – they were like glue, stuck together (but oh what joy & fun they made together.)  In his absence she let us love on her, but she loved on us, too.

Every night tucking her in, I’d say, “Mama, we love, love, love you!” Repeating it loudly so my brother Dwight would hear his cue to come in. He’d kiss her on her left cheek while I’d get the right. Then she would say, “you know, I love you!”  We have her love notes, often slipped stealthily under our doors.  It was painfully hard for her to write the last few years, but how precious now her words, like gold.

When she couldn’t even speak that last bedridden week of Hospice, at one point she reached her spindly skinny arms up around my neck into a hug – a final embrace of her love that I will never forget.

It’s hard to be mother-less on Mother’s Day.  But I am grateful for the gift of my precious Mama’s love, and the legacy of her love – the love of God in and through her – shared in so many ways over so many days and years of faithful mothering.

Mama sharing love with Brighton Eve (#4 of her precious great-grandchildren, for whom she prayed every day…and for all of us, too….after them!)

Mama, we miss you! 

We love, love, love, love, love you!!!

grace, peace & love


p.s. I wrote an ode to Motherhood many years ago that my siblings asked me to share @ Mama’s Memorial service. You can access it it by clicking here: Magnificent Motherhood.

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15 Responses to Mother-less on Mother’s Day

  1. Clarke Morledge says:

    Nice post, Virginia. This is my third Mother’s Day without my mom. Still kind of weird. I personally understand now why Mother’s Days can be difficult for a lot of people.

    • Virginia says:

      Clark, it IS hard without our mothers. It felt even more weird for me because for many years I was in the kitchen cooking the big celebratory dinner for the fam. This year Shere was away & Dwight & I ended up at Sals (where we had celebrated Mama’s 80th.) Brought back memories, happy ones… we miss her, as I know you miss your mom. Blessings & hugs to you & Lisa! – Virginia

  2. jillenenarraway says:

    What a beautiful sharing of your mother’s story to remember and honor her on Mother’s Dday!

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Jillene. We miss her so much! Life is a gift! I liked your post on Mother’s Day – that we should ask questions & listen & learn from our mothers. I was blessed to have quality time with my Mama before she passed, but her notes continue to instruct my heart & strengthen my faith. Blessings!!

  3. Cindy Kranich says:

    Great tribute, Ginny! The pictures bring her back to us. Missing her right along with you. ♥️

    • Virginia says:

      We miss her, but what a blessing to have so many memories… and the legacy of her love, the love of Jesus in & thru her, to us. She sacrificed so much for us – for Papa – yet with joy (although I do remember her hiding Mr. Madison’s fudge!) Love, love, love you! Hugs! Gin 🙂

  4. Missing my mother too ! Diane

  5. TMH says:

    Love the photos! Nice work.

  6. indilydia says:

    Thank you for this post Virginia. With continuing healing and transformation happening in my own life, and you know of somethings happening in my parents’ lives, it helps enormously to read things from a perspective not our own that speaks into blind (or calloused) spots, and brings back feeling and lifts us above the immediacy of our own situations.

    it’s unfortunately too often that Billy Joel’s excellent song rings true
    ‘They say that these are not the best of times, but they’re the only times I’ve ever known,
    And I believe that there’s a time for meditation in cathedrals of our own;
    I have seen that sad surrender in my mother’s eyes,
    I can only stand apart and sympathize,
    For we are always what our situations hand us,
    It’s either sadness or euphoria.’

    My desire to rise above my own character, and the frustration of being bound by external situational or behavioural loops, that no matter what I do, seem to repeat with a frightening and eventually deeply demotivating regularity, often drive me to desperation, and as peeks out so much in your posts, it’s God’s grace and quiet working that come through and take me through. it really help to read others’ stories; I’m inspired often, encouraged and continue working at change because of seeing others in the race along with me.

    All that to say, I deeply appreciate what you’ve written about your mom, with a twinge of envy, but a lot of hope that God will keep working in my own situations and relationships. Thank you for the follow. I don’t know how you discovered my blog, but I’m glad you did, and I got to visit yours, and would like to read more of what God is putting on your heart to write.

    Many regards to you and your family,

    • Virginia says:

      Indi, thank you for your heart-felt comment. I was blessed to find your blog & read about your challenges that I understand all too well. There were many tough almost-all-nighters and all-nighters with my Papa (who was a bedfast quadriplegic) when I knew prayer & God’s grace & love completely motored my ability to keep going with the caregiving gig. I prayed every day, “Lord please fill me with Your love anew that I may be Your love anew.” Because the ‘how’ really matters – in love, for love, by love, with God’s love. If what I did for my parents (moping the floor, cleaning messes – you know the kind – & helping in the middle of the nite) wasn’t done in love, it didn’t mean a hill of beans in God’s sight. So, I prayed (& prayed) … and guess what? God changed ME. (Lots of rough stuff off around the edges.) Altho the caregiving gig just got harder & harder with more complications as Papa’s condition became more challenging (& Mama her last few months) God’s grace abounded. God does have a sense of humor – I thought Papa had 6 months when I returned from Africa, but God granted EIGHT YEARS. (Docs said he wouldn’t make 65, then 70, then 80: he was 83 when he passed & still doing God’s work with a voice activated computer & Mini Bible ministry that has been translated into 41 languages!)

      Oswald Chambers once said, “God does not give us overcoming life but life as we overcome.” For me, that’s taking life one day, one hour, one prayer at a time. Blessings as you continue carrying on – and remember it’s not about you, there are diseases that rob our loved ones of abilities (& their minds.) It’s not them – it’s the disease lashing out.

      A practical tip? Make sure to take care of YOU, ie, a few hours out each week? Do something fun, something that brings you joy. May sound selfish, but when you’re helping others all the time, it’s important to re-charge your batteries. Vital. I can tell you every chocolate treat in Williamsburg I located during my few hours out each week that helped keep me going (in addition to prayer.) 🙂

      Hugs across these oceans & lots of grace, peace & prayer – Virginia

  7. indilydia says:

    Thank you so much for reaching out. We had an incident today that could have been disastrous in its possible consequences, but God protected us through it, and stopped it just short of going out of control. Dealing with it caused enormous stress and frustration at the needless way it happened.

    Your reply, for me, has taken the sting out of the situation, and I’ve just been talking to my wife about it. I will bring your posts and replies into our reflections. There’s much that God is speaking through them.

    Many, many blessings and warm wishes to your family,

  8. Pingback: A Letter to Mama (on Mother’s Day) | Roses in the Rubble

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