Mother May I

motheres and daughters. Covid-19, love, mother loveMother, may I laugh with you, even as you breathe
out your last memory on the Covid floor?
Oh the days we laughed, once I was a child no more.

Mother may I remind you of the time we walked 29
“blocks” on the beach of New Jersey’s Ocean City
to lunch at our favorite snack shop? What a pity
that we burned our feet on that hot hot sand
soaking them with water in the shop’s trash can.mother and daugther love, grandmothers, rollerblading

Mother may I tell of the times you’d visit us in CA
and housesit for neighbors who had two cats?
You’d never petted a cat in your life, yet didn’t bat
an eye when driving them for their check-up with the vet
with no crate in my car, cats went wild, you had such regret!

Mother may I retell the time you told off the cop
as we drove in my car across the Golden Gate Bridge?
His motorcycle stopped us and how I cringed
as you demanded he not give me a speeding ticket
and “by the way please escort us to our airport trip.”

1950s style, Easter in the 1950s, mother and daughter loveMother may I step back in time to our camping trips
to Vermont when I was a child and the family set up a tent
in the woods, the sounds of silence seemed heaven-sent
until in the middle of the night you screamed “Bear!”
and we listened to raccoons eat up all of our fare.

Mother may I applaud you now for your help
when I was soon to get married – no sex talk for sure
But you drove me to a shop with thoughts not pure
as we gazed at flimsy lingerie that made me blush
while you selected items that made my fiancé gush.

grandmothering, babysitting, mothers and daughtersMother may I thank you for all the babysitting
that you volunteered with a smile and a hug
Two little ones two years apart who tugged
your heart as you diapered, read stories, and played
years of Uno and Gin Rummytil your memory did fade.

Mother may I tell you how much I missed
your conversation, your laughter, you’re YOU
as you braved dementia; each day to you was new
My name was a mystery but my love was felt
You kissed my hand as next to you I knelt.

Mother may I say goodbye though from far away
I can’t stroke your forehead or squeeze your hand
A pandemic keeps me from my heart’s demand
So I pray that the spirits of your loved ones long gone
Greet you with warmth and light as you reach a new dawn.

mourning, death of a great-grandmother

My mom’s spirit passed on to her higher realm on May 2, 2020, at dawn.

224 thoughts on “Mother May I

  1. Pam, I am sad to hear about your loss. Made so difficult to bear as you couldn’t hold your mother’s hand or kiss her face. Bless you.

    Your post is so beautiful and filled with love that it must fill your heart with so many beautiful memories. Strong bonds like these never fade, they always live with us, comfort us and at times makes us laugh.
    With time you will find this. Blessings and hug

    Miriam

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your words are so true Miriam. The bond that my mom and I shared will never break. My memories of her are strong and yes many times they make me laugh. Thank you so much for reading my heartfelt poem. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • My mom and I were quite a team of doing silly things together. So many stories. She was the boss and the ‘take charge’ one and I was the one following along just shaking my head. 😚 Thank you for your condolences. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Her soul is resting easy. 🙂
    This is such a beautiful post and she must be smiling down at you, and will forever hold you in the palm of her hands.
    God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela, this is too sad. And very sad too that you couldn’t be with you Mother. All condolences to you and family. May her dear soul rest in peace, and may you and family be comforted that she is safe in the arms of heaven. A lovely tribute to her life and memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing your memories of your remarkable mother (and the photos, too) in this lovely, tribute. I feel like I know your mother just a little bit–what a vital, active woman she was–and quite a character it seems! The not being able to have been there–not any family member–makes it extra difficult, I know. Well, you know I can empathize. And as you said to me, there is some comfort in sharing this grief in words set down on screen or paper. Sending you virtual hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories you and your mom created, Pam. Her life was full of joy and very well-lived. I’m sorry you couldn’t be with her the way you wanted to be but I know the spirits of her loved ones were there. May the protection of the ancestors be yours… ♡ hugs ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • You say this so beautifully, Barbara. In the last couple of months of my mom‘s life every once in a while she saw her sister-who predeceased her by a little over year. I always hoped that meant her loved ones would be there waiting for her when the passing came. I think that was true. 🙏💜

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  6. Condolences on your loss. You’ve written a beautiful tribute to your mother. I hope that on this Mother’s Day you find some comfort in knowing she cared about you then, leaving you with wonderful memories now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dearest Pam, instead of pressing the like button there should be one for hugs … sending you lots of virtual ones from across the ocean. ❤️ I am so saddened to learn about your mother’s passing, tear-eyed as I read your heart-moving tribute to your amazing mom and friend. Her zest for life shines through, her sense of fun and adventure carried on through you. Keep these memories especially close in the coming days, months and years … with much love, Annika xx ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  8. An awesome and heartfelt tribute to a Wonderful Mother who is always there no matter what. Such lovely pictures and she has only passed away in her old body that had to move on but she is always there with you and your family in Spirit. Too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Pam. I’m so sad. I feel like I’ve walked beside you for a tiny part of this journey. You’ve shared your love for your mom is such poignant ways and with such lovely memories that you both captured my heart. I’m sending you loads of love while I share a few tears over here. Hugs, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you Pam for sharing the Mother May I vignettes. As a former Chapter H member I met Nadine years ago when she would come to visit in Wilmington and even after we moved to Florida your Mom and I always roomed together at International Conventions. Oh the good times we had. I am blessed with wonderful memories of Marcia. Lil Rea

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Pam, the tears dropped from my lids as I read this. My heart goes out to you. I understand that with dementia, family members grieve even before they lose the loved one, because in a sense, they’ve lost their loved one before death. Now you must grieve again. My heart just breaks for you. I can imagine how you feel not being able to be there. You are the second person I know who has lost their mom and was unable to be there through this lockdown.
    My mom is in a facility. She doesn’t have dementia, but she has other very serious health issues. We haven’t seen her in 3 months.
    Your mom remembers everything now. She’s once again that woman who yelled at that cop.
    Sending hugs of comfort through the screen. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, Pam! My heart hurts with you. It took a bit to stop my tears so I could let you know you have my heartfelt sympathy for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to someone it sounds like might have been quite the character. Your love shines through and not being with her must be the hardest part of all. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am very sorry for your loss, Pam. I know it’s been said many times but a Mother’s love is forever engraved on our hearts and her love is passed along through her children. That was such a beautiful memorial for your Mom. Take care and be safe. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, Pam, I’m crying, but what a beautiful tribute to your mother. So sorry. I know she had a hard time this last stretch and I know you were far away and helpless to do anything more for her than you did. She sounds like a lovely and feisty woman. I know I would have loved her if I’d met her.

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  15. Oh, Pam, this brought tears to me eyes. What a lovely, lovely tribute to your Mom. I’m so sorry for your loss and that you couldn’t be with her in her final days/hours. I have no doubt she approves with many loving smiles of what you’ve written, and now with her soul/memory returned, loves you all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My dear Pam, I “paged” through dozens of comforting comments on my way to post my heartfelt condolences. You and your mother had a long goodbye due to the nature of her illness, but no closure. That is the saddest thing, not being with her at the very end.

    Your title is sweet and nostalgic. I remember playing “Mother, May I?” in school during recess. In fact, there’s a Wikipedia entry about the game.

    May you feel the comfort of friends and family during this sad time. Virtual hugs to you! ((( )))

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I started writing this on the day that my mom was dying and I couldn’t be there, the first phrase that came to my mind was “Mother May I.” I don’t know why but it helped lead me on to our memories and stories. Thank you so much Marian for all of your heartfelt condolences. 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, Pam, your beautiful words and tribute to your mom brought tears, especially reading that you weren’t able to be with her. The photos are all so precious, loving the one of her rollerblading the best. I hope with time the hurt will dissipate and the wonderful memories and love you hold for her in your heart will rise to the surface forever. Sending virtual comforting hugs, Lauren 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So sorry for the loss of your Mom Pam…and yes, the added sorrow of not being able to say a proper goodbye. I do believe though that it is not what we do at the end but what we did during a lifetime that matters most and what is taken into the next world. May your Mom RIP and may your heart be light…xoxo

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  19. I am so sorry that your mother made her transition and I pray she is filled with joy. My heart breaks for you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us.Such a beautiful tribute to a special woman! Sending my love and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wishing you healing and peace with the loss of your mom, and all the added hardship that comes with that during this time. It’s a tremendous gift to share your memories and reflections with us in the way you have here. With gentle hurt, and grace, too. I’m grateful to you and feel reminded and inspired of how much art soothes us. With much love and compassion ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve helped relieve me about opening up my heart on this post. I’m so grateful for those here who have accepted my “memories and reflections” as an act of love. Many, many thanks. xo

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  21. So much of this sounds familiar, Pamela, though I did get to comfort my mom through her final stages of dementia. I was incredibly grateful that she never lost her pleasant demeanor and sweet disposition. We still laughed when she could hardly keep anything straight in her head. Now we’re going through it again. My mother-in-law is ninety-four and hasn’t recognized any of her children in five years. We can’t visit her in her care home because of the virus. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh, Pete. I FEEL your understanding. It was a grace and blessing that you were able to comfort your mom in her dementia and passing. I extend sympathy to you wife and family as you watch the slow unraveling of your mother-in-law’s spirit. The “saving grace” I share with you is that I know that my mom’s true spirit is revived now, in total peace and joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. You and your mother were blessed to have each other for so many years. This was a beautiful tribute to a woman who must have been quite remarkable. I’m not a bit surprised that you, with your huge heart and strength, were able to pen such a gorgeous remembrance of her to share with your friends and loved ones. Thank you for this tiny glimpse into your mother’s legacy and may God keep you and strengthen you on Mother’s Day. ❤ Lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, Amy, you’ve made my eyes leak with your beautiful words. THANK YOU. Yes, I was so fortunate to have those years with my mom when we laughed and played and oh my, sometimes she would annoy the heck out of me with her socializing (she was the social one, I the quiet one). She was loved by so many because of her lively spirit, and from that, I’ve learned difference can be the binding rope of love.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh Pam. I am so sorry to read this and for the loss of your mother. I know too well how it feels, but so much harder for you during these times. These are wonderful memories. Your mother sounds like she was a terrific mother and friend to you and your children and family. Sending love.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Oh, Pam. I’m so sorry. It’s hard to lose the ones we love . . . even though they live on in our hearts and memories. Glad you have so many wonderful memories of your times together. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your hugs and condolences, Teagan. As the pain of loss weakens, the realization comes that our loved ones are never lost – they’re always still there in memories and smiles and always-felt love. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m so sorry for your loss! Your love for your mother, and her love for you, comes through every line of this touching poem. I wish you could have been there at the end, but I also believe that she felt your love and she was “welcomed home” by other loved ones that has passed on before her. Peace to you…..

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This is a beautiful tribute to your Mum, Pam. I am so sorry for your loss, especially with it occurring at this time when you were unable to be with her to say farewell the way you would have expected. I love your memories of her, but I especially love your wish for her to be met with love by those who have gone before. Take care, my lovely. Sad days. Happy memories. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. What a lovely tribute to your mom, and testament to your relationship. I’m sorry you could not be there in her last moments, but I believe your love for each other transcends all and all things are made clear as we move to a higher realm. The pictures show a life well lived with lots of love for all. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Anna Marie

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mother, May I….say thank you for all of the memories that I hold in my heart, smile though my tears, and cherish beyond measure.

    Pam, May I… say thank you to you. How you share yourself so openly and so honestly not only in this love-piece to your mom but to all of us with your heart and talents.

    To all Mothers, May I…. say BLESSINGS and Happy Mother’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Dear Pam, was that your Mom on Rollerblades!!! I hope that you feel like sharing more of your adventures as time passes. I am finding that not being able to say farewell as we wish makes the process not only longer, but I hope all the sweeter. You have shared both hers and your courage
    with your tender words. May her memory always be a blessing. And may Mother’s Day memories
    sooth us all. Be Well.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Such a beautiful tribute to your mother…I am so sorry for your loss. I know that she is smiling in heaven to have such a wonderful daughter. The best legacy we can leave behind is love… the blessings keep unfolding through the years and are never forgotten. It is as if the love just keeps growing and growing…

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  31. Oh Pam—what a love letter to your dear Mom!
    “They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before..
    They are now…wherever we are. ❤️
    Happy Mother’s Day, dear friend

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  32. I’m not afraid to tell you, I needed Kleenex for this one Pam. I’m so sorry for your loss. This most touching telling gave me a great indication of what a wonderful mother you were gifted. Wishing you peace in this most difficult time of difficult times. Please stay safe. And may I add a touch of humor? I was laughing out loud at the verse about the cats. I have that same fear as cats hate me and I’ve been attacked and held hostage 5 times by cats – so no, you would have never got me in that car! Your mom was a true warrior woman! LOL ❤ xxx

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  33. Pam – what an amazing tribute to your mom. She would be so proud of your creative spirit. My condolences for your loss made especially difficult by social distancing. I enjoyed meeting you at the Chapter NE book club.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading my “mom poem,” Pamela, and visiting my blog. Yes, Marcia was an amazing P.E.O. sister. And, she was my biggest fan, always urging me to write my stories, loving every one (even when they were about her!). 🙂

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  34. Pam, Through blurry eyes I read your lovely poem, a tribute to your Mom.
    The huge reminder how a person’s life is not just the end of their days. It is a life lived full. A legacy.
    The memories we have of our parents, our Mothers, you remind me how it is often not the large events we remember.
    Missed ‘you’re YOU’ tugged at my heart.
    I know your Mom will forever kiss your hand as you squeeze her hand. ❤️ (Pam, I commented again, since my original comment disappeared…it happens, sometimes) Hugs ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beautiful comments, here, Erica. THANK YOU. Yes, it’s not the large events. The ordinary is always the most extraordinary, and my mom and I shared many extraordinary times. 🙂 Many thanks for commenting until it “stuck” here. Your words comfort. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Thinking of you today especially as we cherish a very special friend and sister, your Mom. I will always remember our day in Tiburon, having lunch when you both were visiting….and the great memories that are once again with me. I loved your stories, Pam, and thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute. Much love and comfort to you today and always. Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Oh Pam… I am so so sorry you lost your mom…and that you couldn’t be with her. The time you spent with her was always so joyous. I am so glad that you had the time with her that you did but it doesn’t make it any easier.
    I loved reading your poem and miss you so much. I wish I could be there with you to take a walk and not say anything. And yes, I know, we’d have to be 6 feet apart, but still…
    I am thinking of you, holding your heart and sending you time and space to feel.
    Your mother was so fortunate to have you in her life and she in yours.
    I know there’s nothing that I can do but if I can, let me know how I can help.
    Thank you for your beautiful words…always.
    Shannon

    Liked by 1 person

    • A walk around Walden Pond would be perfect, Shannon, but I’ll close my eyes and pretend. I understand (and you’ve helped me do that) how fortunate I was/am to have had so much time with my mom. Love to you, xo

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  37. Such a poignant poem Pam.. I am so sorry for your loss my friend.. But I know you both continue to share that love bond that will never break.. Not Time, nor Space… For you are united in love throughout all time..
    Such a wonderful tribute Pam….
    Love and well wishes your way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother, Pam. It’s especially hard when you couldn’t be with her. I know how much you wanted to be by her side until she took the last breath. You wanted to hold her hand, stroke her forehead, and kiss her cheek and be there to say goodbye. You know that she could hear you. What a great tribute you shared in this post. The precious memories keep your heart warm. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Miriam. Yes, I experienced so much angst, not being able to be with my mom to comfort her in her last days. I hope she felt my spirit hugging hers on her journey to “the other side.” I’ll tell you this, she has sent me many signs letting me know that she is okay – in fact, she is in PEACE and JOY. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Pam. I think you’re right that your mom sent you many signs to let you know she was okay. She knew you wanted to be there for her. I don’t know if she was aware of the restriction of travel, but she didn’t want you to worry about her. What a comfort to know she’s in peace and joy. ❤

        In several situations, I found that the ones passing actually were concerned more for the ones they left behind. In fact, I told one person to give permission for his mom to go. I happened to find out that the angel came to pick her up two times but she didn't go. The second time, she told me she was going "home" the following Monday. And she did. Probably it was the third time the angel came back to pick her up. ❤

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  39. Oh Pam. I am so sorry to read that your mother’s spirit passed on recently. What a beautiful tribute to her. I am late getting to this post and my heart goes out to you.

    My mother of 84 recently miraculously recovered from COVID. It was such a challenging time for my whole family, especially as my father passed on recently in November. I was not ready to lose my mom. And of course it appears she was not ready to go either…

    I think the hardest part of the pandemic in my humble opinion is that the elderly are alone and that they are dying alone without their close loved ones close by. Thankfully I was there for my father, we all were.. and what a difference that made.

    Thinking of you and sending heartfelt love your way,

    Peta (& Ben)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your condolences and reaction to my “poem to my mom.” I think you’re so right. My mom had been ailing (through dementia) for several years and I think ready to leave her body. But dying from Covid was a horrible way to go, and most horrible was she had to be alone. Certainly difficult for me. Blessings to your mom for making it through the disease, Peta. ❤

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