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Remembering Mom in the New Year

September 8th, 2010 by Melinda Blau

L’shana tova–Happy New Year.  Even if you’re not Jewish, fall is a reminder of the cycles of life and of milestones. Each new school year is, in fact, a “new” year. You look at your children or grandchildren with fresh eyes as they trot off to school. There’s no denying the passage of time.

For those of us whose mothers are no longer with us, the fall can bring sadness as well.   In the last 37 years, I can’t count the times have I said to myself, I wish my mother were here to see…Jen walk down the aisle,  Jen becoming a mother, my eldest grandson reading, his little brother going off to kindergarten, and the littlest one lurching across the floor like Frankenstein as he takes his first tentative steps and falls into my arms.   I want to believe that she still “sees” us, but my heart aches nonetheless.   Earlier today, as I sprinkled salt, garlic, onion power, pepper, and paprika on a five-pound slab of raw meat–brisket, vot den?–my mother was with me.

That’s the theme of our newest offering on The Buzz, a sweet piece by Esther Mizrachi Moritz, Keeping My Mother’s Spirit Alive that begins…

Directly after my mother’s funeral in February of 2009, a crowd of people filled my parents’ tiny Brooklyn living room.  I made a beeline for the freezer.  Heart pounding, I opened it, hoping to find some sambusak. I was obsessed with the idea of bringing home my mother’s Middle-Eastern delicacies to my children, Alexis and Jesse, then 13 and 16.

Moritz shares how she’s learned to sustain memories of her colorful mother, a woman of Latin American and Egyptian descent.  We hear often enough that death is part of life, but most of us feel as cheated and alone nonetheless.  I was only 29 when my mother died. Jen was four; Jeremy, only six months at the time, never knew her.   Moritz was 48 and her children considerably older.  But it’s always “too soon” to lose your mother.

When I hear a woman complain about her mother, I often say “At least you still have one!”  So, ladies, whether you’re annoyed about the fact that Mom meddles in your business or that she insists you do things her way or perhaps that you now have to take care of her, take a deep breath.   Try to find some moments to cherish and freeze them in your mind.  I guarantee, you’ll want them one day.

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4 Responses to “Remembering Mom in the New Year”

  1. Jolie Marcus says:

    Thank you for the post Melinda. I don’t know what i would do without my mother in my life and in my kid’s lives. She has a bond with them and with me, that no one else will ever have. So, as you said, I often think about how fortunate I am that at almost 84 years old, she is still vibrant, active and healthy and shares everything in our lives with us! Happy New Year!

  2. Melinda Blau says:

    Right you are, Jolie. Cherish every moment.

  3. Julie Ridl says:

    I so commiserate. I have deep jealousy of my mom-present friends. Monday is the fifth anniversary of my mom’s death, and I flunked Grief 101, apparently, because I haven’t moved on. She drove me mad at times, but no one could snap me out of an emotional or tactical crossroads the way she could. Thanks for your lovely blog!!!

  4. Melinda Blau says:

    Julie, my mother died in 1973, and for literally decades after a movie, a song, a memorable moment in my life could bring me crashing back to the grief I felt when she died. We keep our mothers with us in our hearts, no matter what our conflicts were when they were alive. As for the hard times, as a wise women once told me, “Of course your mother knows what buttons to push. She installed them!”

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