THOUGHTS ON MOTHERS

As it was just Mother’s Day, I feel compelled to write something about them.

I have nothing against mothers, but I could more easily write about a fork.  Really. I could write you a nice little blog about the fork in the road, or the fork that I stuck in your hand, or the way I sometimes just don’t give a fork.

But mothers? The subject encompasses too much and I wouldn’t know where to begin.

So what I’ll do, rather than burn my few remaining cranky old menopausal brain cells, is share a few random thoughts with you about mothers or mothering.

***AM I STILL A MOTHER even though my only child has passed away? I don’t usually leave the house on mother’s day because it hurts when well-intentioned people say things like, “Happy Mother’s Day!” or worse yet, “Are you a mother?”

***THE LOSS OF MY INFANT SON changed my life forever,” I said to my therapist, tearfully. “I not only lost him, but I was robbed of an entire lifetime and a completely different lifestyle.”

“You need to let it go.” She replied.

Then she suddenly switched gears and quickly grabbed her briefcase off the floor.

“Oh, I’m so excited, I’ve finally got my daughter’s wedding pictures and I can’t wait to show them to you! Do you  want  to  see?” She asked brightly.

The thought crossed my mind to snatch them from her hand and set fire to them. Then gone would be her precious paper memories. Poof! And then SHE could just get over it.

“Sure.” I replied.

Later in the car, I cried the entire way home.

***I HAVE GIRLFRIENDS who are mothers. And in my eyes, THEY ARE SUPER HEROS! They astonish me with all they can accomplish in any given day. And they do it ALL. With grace. And humor. And love. I am in awe of every single one of them. I must remember to remind them of that.

***MANY OF MY FRIENDS have had to mother their own parents. We are of that generation. I admire and am humbled by them.

***MOM IS THE ONE who will be there no matter what. So what happens when she’s gone? I have friends who have lost one or both parents . . . and it breaks my heart.

***NO MATTER HOW MEEK OR SHY some of us may feel at times, most of us turn into a MOMMA BEAR if someone threatens harm to a child. We don’t even have to know that child and we would protect them without hesitation. We need to protect and love our own child within with the same voracity and ferociousness. We must learn to mother, nurture, and protect ourselves.

***I HAVE THE MOST REMARKABLE GIRLFRIENDS who have mothered me at times. I am grateful for their comfort, love, and precious time. They touch and inspire me.

***MY MOM created some special memories for us children. Here are two of my favorites:

1) All six of us kids would sit at the dining room table and mom would provide us with all the makings for homemade pizza:flour, dough, sauce, and a variety of toppings, and we all made our own individual mini pizzas for dinner.

2) All four of us sisters would sit in a row in front of the television set, and with a gentle touch, mom would brush and curl our hair; one by one. Sometimes I would get “spit” curls or banana curls, and sometimes the Marlo Thomas, “That Girl”, flip.

Please tell me, what are your favorite memories of you and your mom?

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Categories: Family, Friends, Grief/Healing, Holidays/Birthdays | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “THOUGHTS ON MOTHERS

  1. Lynn Gardner

    How beautiful Julia! You write the words most of us don’t even know how to speak. I have no way to know how deep your pain is, but thank you for thinking of all of us…..xoxo

    • Thank you so much, Lynn. You all were with me on Mother’s Day . . . in my thoughts and in my heart. I have no way of knowing how deep your pain is either. I just know that it is. Thank you for leaving your thoughtful words. They always mean so much to me. xoxo Julia

      • Dear friend! Leave it to sisters to come up with ideas for Mom: My sister suggested we make a list of 90 items we remembered our Mom cooking for us. Amazingly I had no problem doing this and sent her my list. She put hers & mine into a portfolio for her 90th B-Day & we had 40 of the same items & 50 different ones! She had a tough time with her tears dripping on the gift! The simple things are always the best! I miss commenting with ya and promise to pay attention to your weekly Blogs! 🙂 Luv Ya!!!

      • Thanks, Steven. I haven’t been on fb much lately. Going through a bit of a rough time physically and emotionally, but will be fine. Looking forward to chatting with you soon. Take good care and thank you so much for reading and for sharing your great idea with the rest of us! Love ya back, my friend! xoxo Julia

  2. i totally totally totally wanted to have the marlo look!

    you make me realize how tough mother’s day can be for some of us. but you are still a mother even if your son is not here. much love, arlynn

    • Thank you, Arlynn. It was important for me to share with others the impact that their words can have on some of us. Many people don’t realize the power of simple everyday words that sometimes flow freely and without bad intent, but still can hurt others. It’s really not tiptoe-ing, it’s just being considerate and compassionate, and thinking about others. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. You, also, were on my mind as I wrote this piece. I know of the pain you’ve experienced . . . and I can’t imagine. My heart to yours, girlfriend. xoxo Julia

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your son. That would make Mother’s Day really awful. I don’t have any totally fabulous memories of my mom from when I was a kid, but I will mention that that therapist of yours sucked. And not just a little. We’re talking a LOT! Wow, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Yeah, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it, Kathryn? I cried on the way home that day, not because she hurt my feelings, but because when she delivered those words so carelessly to me, she also took away all the faith and hope that I had in her as my therapist. I grieved that loss of respect and that sense of care that I thought she felt for me as a person. Someday soon, I will have the courage to share that story with her. Maybe it will make her more careful in the future with others. It’s all a lesson . . . and none of us is perfect. Thank you so much for jabbing at her a little for me! lol And thank you with all my heart for reading and taking the time to leave your loving and supportive words. xoxo Julia

  4. Lynn Marchant

    Julia Kovach, I think this was one of THE most emotionally honest pieces of writing … EVER. Your tribute to your Friends bears your own stamp of generosity … we may almost have lived in parallel universes, because you gifted me, with my own mother’s ‘gentle touch’ with that whole hair ‘thing’! But for me EVERY single word of this piece spoke of your loss. Your Heart cried out to me. Your therapist may be there for you – a body. Let’s be kind and say she was trying to ‘include’ or somehow, clumsily, inadequately, to console you. But it’s your OWN mind, that sums up your feelings. And to perfection.

    Here, you quite UNCONSCIOUSLY share the pain of your loss, in your empathy and your giving toward others. BUT … the daily mental and emotional turmoil of being DEPRIVED of that ‘completely different lifestyle’ … is yours alone. Every single, sometimes drawn-out, repetitive day …

    ‘AM I STILL A MOTHER?’ you ask. You are NOT ONLY a Mother. Your experiences sculpted you exquisitely, into the MARVEL we all look up to!

    Some hurt is just TOO deep, to ever ‘let go’. It has to be tamed as and WHEN possible, or channelled in whatever direction. (Sometimes to help others ‘grow’ … as with your writing and your vast repertoire of genuine, unsurpassed emotion).

    Analytically, a ‘Mother’ may be anyone, who is pregnant with, or gives birth to a child. So, I think of you. Some births are the ultimate, in what we clinically describe as ‘difficult’. I am thinking of you. A Mother is someone, who loves unconditionally and places the needs of others, above her own. Again, I most definitely think of YOU!

    But there is NO need to analyse for answers. That Simple Truth, within our Hearts, is often what tortures and pains us most. You know you ARE a Mother. A Mother deprived of her Child in the flesh. And the pain of years is indescribable.

    Thank-you From The Heart, for courageously sharing the Joys Of Motherhood. For some and not JUST on Mother’s Day … a lifelong, or deep-reaching hurt is for SHARING. That therapist tossed back at you eons of heartache, spanning mere decades. Sometimes, our pain really MUST be shared! If we pride ourselves on being Mothers, or fellow Human Beings (worthy of either title) then we must try to be ready, to receive the pain of others, so we may offer comfort.

    Julia Kovach has her own, always gentle way … of teaching us and helping us grow.

    • My dearest Lynn, your words are more eloquent than my story. Tears are streaming down my face, but not from sadness. They respond to the touching of my heart. Thank you so much for your wise wise words and for always uplifting me as you do. You say things about me that I don’t even see and it helps me to grow even more. And your very elegant and loving thoughts are a soft warm light in the middle of a long and lonely chilly winter night. I carry your light with me everywhere I go . . . it often helps to illuminate my way. You have reached down into my heart and soul and brought out even more than my own words could express – thank you for that also, my dear friend. I love and adore you. You are truly a blessing in my life. xoxo Julia

  5. Joanie Woody Foote

    Sniff, sniff….love you, Julia! Much love & many hugs, girl friend! This was so very touching, raw & loving! Stay well, little mama!

    • Thank you, Joanie. I love seeing your comments! Because I look for them . . . and there you always are! And I LOVE that about you! And I am so grateful for your friendship. Thanks for reading! xoxo Julia

  6. Sally Phelps

    My mom was so sweet. NEVER said anything rude. Never gossiped. Always faithful, generous, & stayed around in case we 6 kids might need something. She made sure we could do it ourselves. I miss her.

    • I’ll bet you miss her a lot, Sally. She sounds like an amazing woman and mother. How blessed you were and how blessed you are to have those memories. It must be difficult without her now. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us. xoxo Julia

  7. Marie Konczalski

    Amazing piece Julia. Yes, you most definitely are and will always be a mother. You have known a mother’s pain that most mother’s, gratefully, never have to know. That is a very large burden to bear. Hugs to you, and prayers for peace on those most difficult days.

    • Thank you so much, Marie. I feel the hug that accompanies those words . . . and it means a lot to me. Thank you. xoxo Julia

  8. Mothers Day is an emotional day for many women, a day of Hallmark sentiments that fit so few, and remind some of us of what we have lost or cannot have. For me it is a reminder of my failure. My mother began locking me out of the house when I was three, and I spent the rest of her lifetime trying to find a place in her heart. I failed. My own two children no longer speak to me. I guess I failed them too. For me, mother’s day is a day of grief and sorrow.

    I also love children and am happy for my friends who share their experiences of love with their mothers and children. It’s just not easy to hear about at this time of the year. My heart goes to you Julia. FInding a therapist who is truly helpful is more difficult than it should be. I am grateful for your gift of sharing.

    • My goodness, Carol, I am so very sorry for your hardships and heartbreak. I have had a most difficult relationship with my own mother over the years, although we strive to stay close now, in her and my father’s later years. I have been so hard on my mom and have expected so very much from her over the years. It has been difficult for me to forgive her for not always being what I needed her to be. She’s only human and that’s probably the hardest thing for us to come to grips with when looking toward our parents. They are only human. And they can only provide and share those things that were “gifted” to them by their parents and in their lives. You suffer . . . in all your wisdom; and that is heartbreaking. But I also know that you are a genuinely warm and wonderful woman who brings people together in friendship and art. These are the times when we look to our friends for love and look to ourselves for the mothering we so desperately need. I walked away, after meeting you for the first time, feeling like I’d just reunited with a very dear friend . . . and that is the gift you share with others. I felt like I had just been blessed by God with an introduction to a really special person. That opinion hasn’t changed. Please, please try not to be so hard on yourself . . . I know those words sound lame and empty, but we beat ourselves up and see failure, when all we can ever do is our best at the time – whatever that is. I look forward to seeing you again soon; I hope to, and to giving you a really long hug! Take good care, my friend. Thank you for sharing your personal and touching story, and for taking the time to read. xoxo Julia

      • chiarahatch

        ……Finally your weekly blog is out !!!Yay!! I was checking for the whole day yesterday …:). I do think that just the fact of being a woman makes us a “mother” ….Motherhood is in our nature , our instinct , our “life” . God added this special gift to all of us . Many times I hear my hubby telling me “you act like you are my mother “:O) ….Here we go!!! :O)
        Julia you absolutely are a wonderful mother for your precious son and all of us.Happy “prolonged” Mother’s day !!!xoxo

      • Oh thank you so much, Chiara! I got a slow start yesterday and didn’t post early like I usually do. I believe you are so correct…that by virtue of being women, we are mothers. We mother and nurture each other everyday on these fb pages! You have been a wonderful supportive friends and you have mothered me on occasion, so I thank you for that. I also thank you for reading my stuff and leaving your sweet thoughts. xoxo ❤

  9. Lynn Marchant

    ‘ONLY HUMAN … share those things that were gifted to them … ‘ Had I read those words of yours two decades ago, Julia, I might well have had a deeper understanding of my own, dear mother!

    I have many precious moments I shared with her … yet anything less-than-perfection (an oversight … which may become a habit; a failure to understand – ESPECIALLY, TO NOT SHARE the exact, same ‘wavelength’ or full range of emotions … inappropriate parenting skills) will all resonate like a whip and leave life-long scars, with the more sensitive among us!

    ‘Thanks’ to all you honest Fellow Travellers on ‘Journey With Julia’ who help myself and each other, out of some sticky ‘backwaters’ when you share so many honest emotions and experiences. ‘Thanks’ to Julia, our Guard and Tour Guide on this Journey – whose far-reaching writing skills seek out our emotional wounds and provide this friendly forum, to help us to heal!
    Will one of Julia’s future Ports Of Call be as a blogging guest on ‘Oprah’ or ‘Ellen’? This Blog is going places … and all we wait, with baited breath, to see!!!

  10. Thank you again, my dearest friend and sister-by-choice, Lynn! You’re an amazing woman! And you give me waaay too much credit. But your words make every effort I make well worth it. Your encouragement and suport is everything to me….my lifeline. And I thank you once again. Love you with all my heart! xoxo ❤ Julia

  11. LOVE this post for the varieties of motherdom you share and my heart goes out to you for your loss as I empathize with such deep sorrow. It gives us an opportunity to continue share this nurturance with others, and as you said, our Mama Bear comes out even for young strangers who are not our children. In Islam, we say that babies lost are in heaven, asking God for you to join them there, and God grants such wishes as they are pure. Hence, if you believe in an Afterlife, know that you will be reunited one day, insha’Allah. Ameen. 😀

    Pink.

  12. Micki Smorch

    Julia, You are and will always be a mother! Please read the book” Heaven is Real”. It is a short read and so beautiful. The special message will be a comfort
    to you. Go read it today and then we can talk. Now, I fight back the tears for all women with children and without. On a more humerous note,they say insane asylums are filled with patients with mother issues!!! It makes me wonder how much damage I have done! Be happy Julia. You are a good person! That is all I wanted my children to be. They probably get tired of hearing me say it but in the end it’s all that matters. xxoo Micki

    • My therapist probably has a vacation home that was built on the issues I have with my mother! lol But alas, we must grow into who we are on our own….we must take responsibility for the second half of our lives, no matter what’s happened during the first half. I’m sure you’ve done NO damage to your children, Micki. You are so full of warmth and love and concern for your children….and that’s really all it takes. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave me your wonderful words. I’ll try to pick up the book as soon as I can. Thanks again! xoxo Julia

  13. I hope you fired that therapist.

    • Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t. She was the best of the bunch and still is. Someday, when the time is right, I’ll share this story with her. She’s actually a pretty nice woman and a good therapist. She just wasn’t too sensitive that day. I try to educate her about these and other things. ha ha! Although on this day she really hurt me, she has helped me through some rough times. Thanks for reading! xoxo Julia

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