Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Letter To Mom Because I Can't Write Poems (Writer's Workshop)

Dear Mom,

I miss you so much and so often. You were the best mom I could ever want and if I could have hand picked a mom, it would be you! You were always supportive to me and very giving. I admired your tact and your wisdom. You were so smart yet you never made me feel dumb or stupid. I'll always be grateful to you for advising me to combine the secretarial skill classes with the college bound courses. They served me well.

I had so much admiration for you when you welcomed three foster children into our family and gave them a loving home and took on all that extra responsibility. I thought it was wonderful how you helped Pam with her accounting and John with his math so he didn't need to attend summer school. You put up with so much extra heartache by doing this that you could have easily avoided, but you wanted to make a difference for them, and you did! I never had any children, but like you, I am still teaching Sunday School. I loved being your helper growing up and learned a lot from you about teaching and motivating kids to learn. I did think about being a foster parent or adopting but I married so late, it just would not have been practical and Gerard never expressed any interest in doing it.

I loved our late night talks when I would lean against your soft arms on the couch. You being overweight never bothered me or embarrassed me. You were heavy, but never looked sloppy. I loved how you would stick out your false teeth just to be silly sometimes! You had a wonderful sense of humor and I loved how we shared inside jokes and would crack up at the same things.

I especially miss playing games with you like we used to. You taught me so much and we had so many good times as a family because of you. Thanks for the bowling and piano lessons and for teaching me how to do a box score for baseball and keep stats.

I remember when you explained menstruation to us and how mad I was that I was a girl and had to put up with that yet! I really didn't blame you for it but thought maybe if I wore tight t-shirts, it would prevent those boobs from growing. I was such a tomboy and even prayed that God would change me into a boy. Finally, it was you who made me realize that God created me to be a girl for a reason and I finally accepted that it wasn't going to change. I just thought boys had it made because they had better toys, better clothes, and didn't have to wait around for a girl to ask them out but they could just ask whoever they wanted. (Back in the 60s, it was still proper for boys to do the asking.)

I loved that you were sort of a rebel too. I remember that we were the first girls at church to wear slacks to the church picnic. I loved how you would get dad to chill out and let us do things like having all-nighters with our friends over. I remember how you took my side against my mean 4th grade teacher and explained to her it wasn't our fault that our move was delayed so we didn't get in her class until well into the year.

I remember being so proud of you for being active and going out with your friends, being in the bowling league, being the President of your weight loss club, "Losing Pounds Sensibly," and losing so much weight that you won a regional award! I was honored that you asked me to attend the award banquet with you and meet your club members.

I wish you could have lived longer to see our nice cats. I know you weren't a cat person, but our cats do not sneak up or climb on people so I think you would have liked them. I really wish that I had gotten you a computer when you were still feeling well because I think you would have enjoyed it so much.

Our soap opera, "The Guiding Light," was finally canceled this year. I used to like our TV time and missed watching it with you and was so glad you invited me to join you for meals even after I lived on my own. I remember how you used to make me a nice hamburger before I'd go bowling or to play softball.

I am so glad I have the afghans and the animal tree crewel picture and the big crewel tiger picture you made for me. The animal tree one is in our bedroom and the big tiger is in our living room above the TV. Oh, and remember the fun we had working on that huge swan puzzle between Christmas and New Year's one year? I have that hanging in my dining room. I also have that picture frame you painted and that paint-by-number you did of the boy with his dog walking in the woods. Still trying to find a place for that one though.

Gerard has been a good husband to me for 12 years now. I am so glad you were able to make it to our wedding and feel bad that you didn't have a better time at the reception. I got some bad news in August. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer but they caught it early so could just cut it out and I don't even need to have chemo! Just 33 radiation treatments and a pill for five years. Not too big a deal. Work is really nice about giving me the time off with pay to heal. I start back half days only on Monday.

I loved that you were so feisty in the hospital during your last days and you hung in there tough. I remember how you told dad to take you home but you were too weak to even stand up. I hated that you were so weak and sickly and that I couldn't help you--no one could. We just had to wait around for your heart to give out. I am so sorry that I wasn't by your side when you took your last breath but I wanted to be. Things changed so fast that we just didn't make it in time. I called to check on your condition at 4 a.m. and was told it was the same but just two hours later, I got the call that we should come right away. Dad was already signing papers when we got there and I knew we were too late. I wish he at least could have gotten there in time but he was too slow too. This is one of two regrets, the other one being dad dying alone without me there.

I love it though when I picture what your life must be like now in heaven, no pain, singing, running again and happy. I look forward to the day when I'll see you again!

Love always!

If you liked this post, I am sure you would like the book I wrote about my dad and our loving family: Click here for more about "My Funny Dad, Harry."

This post is part of the Writer's Workshop. The assignment actually was to write a poem about mom, but since I stink at poetry, I wrote a letter instead. Go here for more.

related posts:
The Day Dad Died God Gave Me Special Cat Time
Mom's Six Tips To Winning Scrabble
Remembering Mom
Things My Mother Taught Me and What I Miss

(originally posted 10-15-09 re-posted 5/8/11)


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

What a wonderful letter. Sounds like your mom was a very special woman.

And very cool that you have things that she made around your house. Great way to honor her.


Kim Lehnhoff said...

Sounds like your mom was ahead of her time, and allowed you to be yourself, and only provided enough guidance to get her kids over the rough spots.

Love the letter idea!

The Black Sheep said...

Wow, that was a very touching letter and it brought tears to my eyes. Superb!

Jenners said...

This was so touching and heartfelt and really gave me a glimpse into your mom's life and your relationship with her. Your love and respect for her just come shining through!!! I know she is smiling up there in heaven!

Anonymous said...

Nice letter. I loved your mom too, she was a great friend, I think of her often. We had great times together. She was so kindhearted and loveable. When I moved away I did miss her so. Do you know how we became friends? We meet at Tops. We started the same Day. She said her name was Lenor, and I said my middle name was Lenora and that was the start of a great friendship. We worked well together and talked each other into becoming president and vice president. We had so much fun!!! I could really use a friend like that now. She also helped me see God in a different light, threw her love. greatly missed, Love always Nadine (Lenora)

Daisy said...

How lucky you are to have had such a special mom.


Such a stunning work of love that you wrote for your dear mother.

I watched Guiding Light for years, starting at 14 because of my mom too.

Thanks for sharing these memories.

Sandee said...

Mothers are so wonderful. Looks like you had a terrific mother just like I did. I miss mine to pieces too.

Have a terrific day Karen. :)

Unknown said...

Your mom sounds wonderful - truly a woman ahead of her time. And she was lucky t have a daughter that appreciated her so fully! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and tell your husband hello from his "birthday buddy"!

Lin said...

That was really sweet, Karen. I'll bet you felt good writing that letter to and for your mom. She sounds like she was a great lady. :) You were very lucky to have her as a mom.

Spicybugz said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother.

Lucky Lady said...

You were so lucky to have such a great mom and dad maybe thats what makes you so special

Karen said...

Such a beautiful letter. Your mom sounded like a wonderful person and mom.

Unknown said...

The love shines forth from your letter. It is hard when a parent is gone, but it is good that we can remember them fondly.

Your writing makes me think it would have been an honor to know your mom.

Claudya Martinez said...

Your mother must be so very proud of you!

You are obviously a thoughtful wonderful person.

I am in tears because your letter was just so touching.

Erin said...

What a really touching letter, I can't imagine life without my mom! What wonderful memories you have, and I love your cats!

Mrs4444 said...

Karen, this is just beautiful. I'm so glad I was able to poke around in here today and come across it! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful mom.

The Silver Age Sara said...

Karen, that was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I can only begin to imagine how much you must miss her. Thanks as well for sharing the pictures.

Anonymous said...

She sounds like a wonderful woman. (((Hugs)))

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I'm so glad all of you caught how wonderful my mom was and enjoyed this post. If you liked this, I'm sure you would love the book I wrote in memory of my dad, "My Funny Dad, Harry." It's available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and you should check out my blog about him at

WWW: I love that I have stuff that my mom made and also have lots of things my dad made too: furniture, doors, picture frames and even a bench/table for the backyard.

June: Yes, my mom was ahead of her time. Very wise! Glad you liked the letter idea, much better than any poem I'd come up with.

Chrissy: Thanks!

Jenners: My mom is my all-time favorite person. I know she was proud of me and happy that I found such a loving husband before she died.

Nadine: Thanks so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. Glad you liked my post about my mom! Yes, I knew you met her at TOPS but didn't know you both started the same day.

Daisy: I am very blessed indeed to have had wonderful parents!

Joy: Thanks. I thought of my mom every time I watched that show after she died.

Sandee: It seems we both had marvelous parents, similar backgrounds.

Angie: I always appreciated my mom. The only time I can remember getting mad at her was when she'd make our dog go in the basement or yell at him.

Lin: I did enjoy writing this but it also made me cry remembering how things were and missing her. I was very fortunate and that's why I feel bad for those who didn't have a good childhood and contribute to Covenant House and Boys Town on a regular basis.

Spicybugz: Thanks!

Lucky Lady: They were proud of how I turned out. I was blessed to have such great parents.

Karen: Thanks, she was!

Dan: I do have lots of fond memories. She certainly was a good person.

Unknown Mami: Glad you liked my post and hope you check out my other blog all about my dad.

Erin: I couldn't imagine life without my mom either when she was alive. I even told her once that I didn't want her to die before me! I needed her! Be sure to visit my cats' blog at I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much, they do a great job!

Mrs4444: I'm glad you were able to come by today too and that you liked this post. I'm glad I had such a wonderful mom too!

Mountain Woman: Glad you liked my post and yes, I miss her often. There's so much I wish I could share with her. By the way, my dad made the frames on all those pictures.

Yaya: Oh, she was a wonderful woman all right!

Sandy said...

What a touching letter! You sound very lucky to have such a wonderful mom!

“Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest”

Not Everyones Mama said...

What a beautiful post! It's amazing that a post that like about someone I didn't know can bring tears to my eyes. She sounds like she was such a beautiful woman! Beautiful tribute!

I'm a full-time mummy said...

What a beautiful post dedicated to your mum.

Like you, I wasn't able to reach the hospital in time when she passed away. I do regret that but I took comfort in knowing that she left without anymore suffering and she has accepted Christ before she moved on.

God bless you & family and yes, we will see them all in heaven one day! Praise God!

Ann in the UP said...

You know that verse in Proverbs in the chapter about the good wife saying 'her children shall rise up and call her blessed'. I think that's what you did in this nice post. I'm sure a great many people besides you loved her and miss her. It is great to have the hope of a happy reunion to come.

Sharkbytes said...

Horray for moms! Thanks for sharing yours.

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