Anyone who knew my Mom knows that she was no Mother Teresa. She was ill for a good part of my life before she died in 1997, at age 63, when I was five months pregnant with my daughter, Gloria who is named for her.
I was never a big fan of Mother's Day which put me outside looking in at all things Hallmark. Growing up, it seemed to me that everyone else had Florence Henderson for a Mom. I was relieved to find out the truth.
Mental illness, particularily untreated mental illness, is a terrible thing. I am glad to know that we are making - slow - progress surrounding the shame and stigma.
My Mother; as I remember her...
My First Communion (you thought I was kidding about the sunglasses?) and my brother, Eddie. 1965.
I miss my Mom. She was beautiful, funny and had a great sense of style. I am sorry that her life was defined by an illness that robbed her of a true sense of self. I wish that she could see her grandchildren and all they have accomplished - she would have been very proud. Her beloved brother, Eddie died earlier this week and I imagine that she is reunited with her family - and I hope that they are all behaving.
I have nothing but gratitude for all of the gifts that I received from my Mother. I am also thankful for all of the mothering that I received from some extraordinary women.
I am most grateful that I can have a joyful Mother's Day with my own children and of course, my wonderful, husband, SF.
Happy Mother's Day!
Gloria and me
Photograph of Mother Teresa - 1978, Eddie Adams - Courtesy AP
Photograph of Florence Henderson from The Brady Bunch - Bing.com Images