Remembering Mom

Today my Mother would have turned 90 years old.  She has been gone 33 years now.  Gone more than half of my lifetime. .57894736842% if you believe the calculator…I was fine, I wished her Happy Birthday and then I just felt the slump of remembering.  Maybe it was that it was 90, a big milestone kind of birthday and that would have been incredible….

All plans for creative activity were suspended and I dove in to journal the chaotic mix of feelings.  Adding the Joker to my page, my metaphor for the breast cancer that took her life at 57.  Exactly the same age I am today…

She has been gone so long that it is beginning to be hard to remember what she really looked like since, like with all long illnesses, you remember the what used to be person, not the vital person she was before the Joker came to stay.

She loved jazz piano, made me take piano lessons just so she could cajole my teacher(Tommy Gallant- a Berklee College of Music teacher) into playing all her favorites every time I was supposed to be getting my lesson.  He gleefully obliged.  I didn’t learn enough piano, but I remember those sessions well.  She loved Picasso, Ray Charles and Lee Trevino(pro golfer).  She played golf 6 days a week when I was in high school.  She was good, darn good. She ate cold spaghetti for breakfast – no one called it pasta in the 1960’s….she loved our cat Penguin, but hated having to approved each mouse she brought home on her daily hunts.  She wore plaid bermuda shorts and solid color shell sweaters- not sure why they were called shell sweaters, they just were.  She looked marvelous in pink with her dark hair and brown eyes and freckled complexion.  She frosted her hair white blond and had dark streaks.  She did her nails and wore stocking with seams perfectly straight.  She COULD NOT cook, seriously, it was not in her creative repetoire, so I learned to cook early and did so often…She drank whiskey sours and Manhattan’s and smoked – bad thing – but everyone smoked in those days.  I only remember a few of her friends who didn’t.  She drove a station wagon and her most important requirement was that it hold 6 sets of golf clubs so she and her pals could go anywhere…She adored Bermuda and went their with my Dad as often as they could.  She worked as a secret decoder on the enigma project during WWII in Washington DC.  She had a mathematical mind and could have gone places, but she wanted to be a Mom and after three miscarriages(God only knows how they kept trying), and in the process of adopting, they got pregnant with me and I made it…I miss her, I miss that she never got to meet and love her Grandson, and he did not get to meet her.

It wasn’t all roses and dew.  We fought, we were different from each other in so many ways, and I am way more stubborn than she ever was, but in the last few years, after her diagnosis, and her surgery and all that crap she went through, we were as tight as could be.

It is a hard day, and a good day too because I got to think about all these things that were part of my childhood and growing into womanhood.  In her absence I have learned to make my own family.  Make my own sisters to sustain me.  I love all the families that are part of my life, including you all. You support and encourage the creative side of me every day.  I thank you for letting me spill…

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33 Responses to “Remembering Mom”

  1. Lynn September 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Beautiful, meaningful pages.
    Keeping you close in my heart today. xox.

  2. Heidi Pauer September 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Thinking of you…what a beautiful tribute to your mom. How proud she would be of you. Hugs to you.

  3. Jessica Sporn September 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Oh Corrine – what a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. You described your mom so vividly – I feel like I know exactly what she was like. You brought her to life for me. Thank you for this heartfelt tribute.

  4. Judy Shea September 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    You got me, Corrine. Happy Birthday to your mom today. So hard to believe how the time goes past us so fast. I loved hearing about her and all your memories. What a great “spill” in her honor. You are a love and you are loved by all your “sisters”. Never forget. Great to keep her strong in your heart. Now you have something you’ve written to go back to. p.s. my dad would have been 100 this year. Bless them both.

  5. cat kerr September 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Thank you for sharing Mom with us. A beautiful lady. Sending love and hugs,Cat

  6. Janet September 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    This post really made me stop and think about my own mom who has been gone since 1978. She passed away on Sept 13th that year…only about a week before my own birthday. She would have been 98 this year. There are so many things about our mothers that were similar but my mom was a good cook. Unfortunately she didn’t pass that skill on to me! Thanks for sharing your memories of your mom. She sounds like she was a beautiful woman.

  7. David September 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    and you moved your husband too I love you

  8. Pamela September 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Oh Corrine! Beautiful artwork but even more beautiful writing about your lovely mom. She brought a smile to my face. She certainly produced a wonderful daughter – so lucky for us she kept trying. Xxooo big hug to you.

  9. Karen September 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    this is a lovely tribute, Corrine. I love all the details you shared about her – you paint a vivid picture with your words.

  10. Lisa Graham September 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Oh Corrine, I can’t even imagine how healing it must have been to write this beautiful tribute and birthday post for your mom. It touched me and I am sending love your way. Your journal page is perfect and I think it’s a gift you remember all these things about her. xoxo

  11. Nancy Lee September 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Yes, you do remember what she looked like. I feel like I knew her. My heart aches for you. What beautiful pages you made for her.

  12. Anna Ely September 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    What a beautiful tribute! Happy Heavenly Birthday to her today!

  13. Kimbucha September 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    What an absolutely wonderful tribute, Corrine. I love the details you included and it helped me to picture that gal, your mom. Hugs to you.

  14. LeslieM September 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    It is so nice that you spent the day remembering your mom and sharing her here. A lovely tribute in your journal. Happy birthday to your mom!

  15. jan September 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I hear you and can relate only too well. Beautiful loving tribute, thanks for sharing your love and heartbreak. My turn next month.

  16. Marilyn J. Rock September 18, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    What a beautiful post Corrine and so heartfelt. My heart is with you and this is a wonderful tribute to your Mom and also your relationship. Love your artistic way of spilling your feelings – beautiful pages.

    My mom is 93 and in a nursing home. We’ve always had a rocky relationship but upon her entering the nursing home, we are making peace with one another – just so many differences. But; it’s all okay now.

    Know you’re in my thoughts and heart always.

    xxoo Marilyn (one of your sisters) 🙂
    PS Congrats on the collage e-book! Awesome my friend!

  17. Suzy September 18, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Dear Corrine, I’m a day late to your Mom’s Birthday party but wanted to say what a beautiful tribute to your mother. Your words described her in a way that she became real to me. I know the heartbreak of losing my mom too. Good way to remember her is to celebrate the way you have done! Wonderful pages.

  18. Snap September 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    beautiful beautiful beautiful tribute to your Mother.

  19. Dawn September 18, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Awe Corrine what a beautiful spread in tribute to your mum, such a heartfelt thing to do sweetie, bravo. Lol tears in my eyes tbh so will leave you with my huge hugs flying across the pond for you.
    x x x x

  20. lyle baxter September 18, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    your mom would be impressed! you gave her a delightful write up! I feel like I met her somewhere!

  21. Kim Mailhot September 18, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    This is exactly what “She will live forever in our hearts” means, isn’t it ?
    Thanks for sharing your mom with us so beautifully today, in all her real-ness.
    Hugs on your tender heart !

  22. Dorthe September 18, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Such a beautiful tribute to your mother, dear Corrine,-
    You lost her far too early,- for both her,-and you!!
    But I can tell she is still in your heart, -and dusting off
    your memories now and then, will make her stay live, for ever,
    in your heart and mind!!
    Your pages are wonderfully beautiful!!

  23. Bleubeard and Elizabeth September 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    There was so much love you poured out of this post today. Both in art and words, you showed what your mother truly meant to you: the good, bad, and the joker. Bless you, dear friend. I agree about finding our own families in this world.

  24. Kat September 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Oh Corrine this is a touching post, your emotions must be strong, a mother is so special, your journal pages are a lovely tribute, it’s so good to think back and remember all the happy times you enjoyed!
    A tight hug,
    Kat xx

  25. Chris September 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    This is wonderful and touching and sweet.
    My mom would have been 96 on August 6. She’s been gone 28 years. I think she was the best mother in the world. But it’s so good that we think that of our mothers. They were perfect for us.

  26. Katie Goldberg September 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    What a lovely tribute, well written and beautifully illustrated.

  27. Marjie Kemper September 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    (((Hugs))) to you today especially. What a lovely tribute. Your mom sounds like someone I would like to know. I really enjoyed learning about her and seeing your special pages.

  28. Kay Wallace September 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Oh, my, Corrine! What a heartfelt and meaningful post today–a very special day, in fact! I was on the verge of tears throughout your post, thinking not only of your mother, but of mine. But, I held it together–until I read David’s comment. I love your two artful pages created today for and about your mother. Very thoughtfully choreographed! Very well done!

  29. smartcat September 19, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    What a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to you mother. We never stop missing those we we love.

  30. Terrie -Creative Explorer September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    If anyone ever wonders about the strength or value of blogging, you just proved the value. Here I am sitting at work on break and tearing up, hunting for kleenex. The memories you shared show how much you loved your mom and clearly this post was written mostly for you – so you could spill all those memories and feelings. The point wasn’t to solicit anything. Yet look how many people you touched with your sharing. Your virtual family is all around you and isn’t that just the most amazing thing about blogging?! You can share as much or as little as you want of your personal life or feelings and we’re here….here to support, encourage and share.

    It seems to me the arting community is the most positive, caring, supportive group around. I never read hurtful, judgmental, critical, irritating comments (as opposed to political or other social type groups). Art blogging seems to attract the best of us – and you certainly qualify. For all of us who’ve lost our moms, thanks for the little poke to remember the best about them…..sometimes the memories get lost in the day to day. Sharing is good for the soul!

  31. Nina Lise@Mrs Moen September 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    How beautiful, Corrine! May we all be remembered by our good sides instead of our flaws.

  32. NatashaMay September 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Such a wonderful way to remember your mom. Beautiful!

  33. lulu moonwood murakami September 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    There is a lot of mom love going around right now. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I’m sure she goes with you wherever you go, always in your heart.

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