Mother’s Day Blues & Gold


My Mom’s eyes are a unique shade of brown.  There is shimmer of gold light in them that seems to disappear when you try to look for it….

The first part of this story was written for Mother’s Day in 2010.  It concludes in the present.  This is written from my heart and I thank you for reading.


…this morning Captain practiced with her Dad, and then recited to me, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom… you’re the best mom in the world” and my heart melted onto the floor…

May, 2010

Today is my 3rd Mother’s Day, and what a wonderful day to celebrate being a Mama.  I love my daughter with all of my heart and am feeling a bit sentimental as I’ve been transferring video that we took at the cabin in her first year.  Time is going by so fast already!

I think about my own Mom and wonder how she is doing today.  To say we have an “estranged relationship” still feels funny to me, but the reality is, I haven’t seen her since 2002 and have only talked to her on the phone a handful of times since then.  Why we can’t connect is complicated and very sad, and I wish I knew the right thing to do here.  I recently began writing to her again, and sending photos of Captain, but haven’t heard back from her.  According to my sister, she is shy about getting in touch and regrets not having a good relationship with any of her kids for all of these years.  “Well, then TRY DAMMIT!”, I think.

After so many hurt feelings and so many years, is it the right thing to do to just let go in this case?  To try harder to get her back into my life?  To just keep sending cards and photos and leave it at that?

I can’t just let go, she’s my MOM!  I love her and I miss her! But, I won’t torture myself about this situation either because I have done that.  It doesn’t work.

My Mom was a wonderful stay-at-home mom when we 4 kids were growing up in Spokane, Washington.  She was quiet and shy and didn’t feel comfortable in many situations that involved talking to anyone, even the checker at the supermarket.  She did not teach her daughters about asserting themselves, or that a person could do anything they wanted to do as long as they worked really hard at it.  However, she was always there rooting for us, driving us anywhere we needed to go, firing beautiful ceramics in her little kiln, all nestled in the dark basement, hungry mouth propped slightly open with an intense red glow pulsing from within.

She made all of our holidays fantastic.  Christmas’, birthdays, St. Patrick’s, Easter, Valentines Day… they were the best any kids could ask for.  When we were sick, she treated us like Queens and always brought cool magazines and ice cream to our beds on the couch.  She took me to all of my appointments for my back-brace for scoliosis and made sure I felt as good as I could about it at the end of the day.  She endlessly taped my magic wands back together (don’t you just love a good magic wand?).

She made the BEST pies, handmade ornaments, stained glass, and the cutest little chicks painted on Easter pails.  She liked chocolate, barbecue ribs, and Chanel No. 9.

My Mom was a great mom, and that very fact makes it hard to be in this situation.  She was not mean or abusive, or easy to run from.  She was beautiful, had a wonderful laugh, and loved Willie Nelson and pussy willows.

Now I don’t even know what she looks like.

I’ve decided right at this moment that I want to call her and tell her I love her.  I’m a little nervous, but it feels right.  When she asks about Captain, I will open my heart up wide and tell her about her granddaughter; she is my favorite topic of conversation!


I did call my Mom’s number three times and it rang and rang.  I was disappointed, followed by feeling that things were right.  Perhaps we weren’t supposed to talk right then.  I will try again in the next instance that it feels right to me.  In the meantime, I send out big heart-shaped biscuits to my Mom, Carol, and all of the amazing and/or complicated moms out there who love their kids no matter what the circumstances surrounding their relationships.  

For now, I have my husband loving me up (he brought me a latte and a magazine this morning- lovin’ it!) And, then there is my darling little daughter who is two and creating a painting just for me, wants me to play jazz music while we dress up in necklaces and scarves and dance around with magic wands.  Life is good and I am filled with love.



Three years have passed since I wrote that, and I am thrilled to be getting ready to celebrate my 6th (!) Mother’s Day!  The true gold of this story is that not only do I share the love, daily, with my beautiful daughter, who is five and bursting with life and love, but I also have my Mom back in my life.  She lives in Utah, and I am in California, but we talk on the phone and she even wants to come up here to the mountains for a visit- hooray!

We started talking regularly last year and have accepted the past as best we can, and look at the here-and-now together.  I admire her honesty in dealing with tough family issues, and like the fact that, if two people who love each other just TRY, the spark of connection can be fruitful.

This post is written from deep in my heart for all Moms, and their kids, in all circumstances.  May you be wrapped in the golden light of celebration, for the memories of the past, and the possibilities of NOW!

Happy Mother’s Day.

Sweet thoughts, Karen

Categories: Mom's Junk Trunk, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Blues & Gold

  1. Oh, this brings a tear to my eye. Lovely post, Karen.

  2. Gina

    What a heartfelt post, Karen. I vividly remember your mom with sweetness, gentleness, and kindness. I’m happy for all three of you girls that you’re able to be a part of each other’s lives.

    • Gina, thank you so very much for writing in. My mom really was such a gentle, beautiful soul and to be getting to know her again is a true gift. Take good care Gina!!
      Love, Karen

  3. As someone who is estranged from her father, this post gave me comfort. Thank you for being so open about your relationship with your mother. I’m so glad you’re back in contact and having a better relationship now. Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Thank you so much for writing in here and for the mother’s day wishes! As you know too, there are many feelings that come with estrangement, especially from our parents. It just isn’t easy. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you a most beautiful week,

  4. gemini232006

    Good For you, reconnecting is the best thing. Have a great week and a Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Your 2010 post was beautiful. As I read it, I was hoping you and your mom would be reunited in even a small way. So, when I got to the update, I was thrilled– actually had a teary moment knowing that you are back in touch.
    I applaud you for being so optimistic and for not letting the “bad” cloud the good you had growing up. Yours is a good lesson– to not hold grudges or lay blame and to open our hearts to our own family, no matter what.
    Happy Mother’s Day to YOU and your mom!

    • Shari, thank you so much. This story has a good ending indeed. take good care and thank you for the Mother’s Day wishes! Happy Mother’s day!!!!!

  6. Charlotte

    Being a mum is such a complicated thing – I started writing a post about mother’s day (ours is coming up this weekend) and after getting all muddled up trying to define what a mother is – well the post hasn’t been finished. The last thing I posted on FB before logging off for my FBFT (FB free time) was blessings to ALL the women in our lives who nuture and love our kids. Still not sure my post will eventuate but I am very glad you wrote yours. Many blessings for you not just on Mother’s day but every day you nurture little people to grow up strong 🙂

    • Charlotte, you have such a lovely way of putting things and I do hope you finish your Mother’s Day post! Or perhaps just throw it all up to the wind and go lay in the grass with your kiddos 🙂
      Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. So happy for you and your family! Way to keep your heart open!!!

  8. Hello! I’ve nominated your blog for the Liebster Award … because you’re awesome! 🙂

  9. this is an amazing post! thank you for being so willing to share your story. im so glad to hear that things have worked out for all of you. in advance – happy mother’s day to you and your mom! 🙂

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