Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day


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

17 comments:

LPC said...

I am sorry for your loss. Happy Mother's Day to you. Lovely commemoration of your mom. And I agree completely about the good changes in society around issues of mental illness.

Beth said...

Happy mother's day. What an amzingly honest tribute.

Suburban Princess said...

Happy Mother's Day!

I am still a bit jealous of people who have normal, sane moms.

Frau said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Marghi1919 said...

Love that pic of u and Gee. Say hello to Lars for me, without him u wouldn't have Gloria.

Maggie said...

Just discovered your blog and your thoughtful posts. Happy Mother's Day to you!

Chris H said...

Happy Mother's Day.. you look a lot like you Mum... and you and your daughter are BEAUTIFUL.

Sweet Southern Prep said...

Love this post. I am sorry to hear of your mother's illness, and her brother's death, as well. Prayers tonight for you and your family. Both Glorias are just beautiful!

Just love that first pic of Mother Theresa so much. :)

North of 25A said...

Thank you all for the kind comments. I was a little afraid...I was trying to strike the right tone with honest, respect and most of all love.
XOXO

Sjn said...

thank you for sharing your heart with all of us, it's touching to read a heart felt post like this one. I treasure being a mom to my three girls... enjoy your beautiful daughter Gloria, everyday!

The Zhush said...

This was a very touching post. Hope you had a very Happy Mother's Day.

Lori said...

very touching. I hope you had a nice day yesterday.

JDB said...

What a touching recall of your mom. I hope you had a Happy Mother's Day.

Maggie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

The Shiny Pebble said...

A touching post. Your mom was a beautiful woman... very stylish indeed. I am so sorry that you have had to live with the stygma of this desease. You little Gloria is the cutest.

Gwen said...

I lost my Mom almost 6 years ago and I have to quickly pick out cards for my Grandma & MIL for Mother's Day. Although since I am a mom now celebrating Mother's Day isn't as hard as it could be. Sending warm thoughts your way.XOXO

Joyce said...

Colleen what a beautiful post. I hope your day was wonderful. Mental illness is a very sad disease, it breaks my heart that so many are understood and the ones that get in trouble with the law, are under the hands of those that don't understand. Mother Teresa, Doris Day and Katharine Hepburn were women I always wanted to meet. What a combo huh? Smile... xo