After Mom Died, What’s Left?

After Mom Died, What’s Left?

I spent this morning and early afternoon downtown running 3-weeks worth of errands that I hadn’t been able to do since mom died.
I remember when I was pregnant, how I would notice all the other pregnant women walking down the street. And I experienced something similar today during my errands, but the people I noticed were the middle-aged women walking down the street with their turtle-paced elderly mothers. Seeing those mother-daughter duos filled me with longing so intense that I felt an actual twinge in my gut. I felt a similar gut twinge the other day when I heard some news and automatically thought: I must tell mom about this next time we speak! But then I realized (gut twinge) that there won’t be a next time.
In between my errands, I had a checkup at the dentist. And when I was finished, with a clean bill of dental health, I remembered how mom would always say: “When I go to the doctor, all I hope for is to be a boring patient!”
Later on, after a minor scuffle with one of my older daughters, I remembered how mom would always say: “Jenny, don’t forget, every child you have complicates things exponentially! Having 8 kids isn’t 8 times more difficult than one, it’s 8 to the 8th power more difficult!”
And after that, I was thinking about a small project I could take on in Mom’s memory, for the elevation of her soul. But somewhere deep inside me balked: I’m already so busy! How can I possibly fit in something else to do?
And then I remembered Mom during her final weeks, after 40 years with MS, sleeping on the sofa when the doorbell to her office would ring. And how, without a moment’s hesitation, she would push herself up with difficulty, and walk, bent over at nearly a right angle, to help another patient. Not having mom here anymore hurts (gut twinge), but at the same time it’s been remarkable for me to see how the words she spoke, the person she was, and the life she lived remain with me, giving me strength.


  1. Mina Esther Gordon

    Amazing! No matter how dark and stormy your posts begin they always conclude with the clouds parting and a ray of sunshine beaming through

  2. I know those gut twinges. They are actual physical sensations.

  3. And just think that your loving presence will one day accompany your daughters.

  4. This is very moving. Thank you for sharing so personally with us. We are with you.

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