Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Memory of Helen

Today is the 12th anniversary of my Mama's death. It still seems like yesterday really. I miss her every single day. She was only 61 when she died - it was lung cancer. And, it took her very quick. But this close to Christmas, well by the time we made arrangements, notified family and held the wake and funeral, Christmas was upon us.

What made that most difficult was that Mama so loved Christmas. It was her time of year and I mean she would go all out. For a couple of years after her death I carried such deep, deep grief that I was pretty much numb at Christmastime. I've gotten a bit better these days. Just a bit.

Right after the funeral, the family went to Mama's house and exchanged gifts. Underneath that tree my Mama had made sure that I got what I wanted most of all that year - a KitchenAid mixer. For years every single time that I used it I would have to wipe away the tears.

I don't cry when I use it now - I just smile and say I love ya Mama.


1936 - 1997

If Roses Grow in Heaven

If roses grow in Heaven Lord
Please pick a bunch for me.
Place them in my Mother's arms
and tell her they're from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
Place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for a while.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it everyday,
But there is an ache within my heart
That will never go away.


  1. Very touching. It's amazing how similar, I've learned from readin' your blog, that our lives are. I lost my Mom 20 years ago. She was 64. She died of cancer which took her quickly too. She passed soon after Christmas, in March. She, like your Mother, loved Christmas. Her last Christmas, I think she knew it would be her last. I still miss her. I guess that's the way with Mothers. I remember she talked about her Mother often. Like you said it does get easier. But every once in a while.......
    This is a very beautiful tribute to your Mother.

  2. What a beautiful Tribute to your mom. That made me cry. That is so wonderul that your mom got you the gift you wanted now everytime you use it you can think of her. It is so nice to make christmas special just as she did. make all her favorites and do her proud. That was a beautiful poem. I wish I was a close to my mother as you were. She is estranged from me by her choice and its so sad. Her health is not good. But i do make some of her favorites at christmas that she made for us children. I feel like i am missing out on so much of my mom it breaks my heart.

  3. That's so sweet, and now you have a wonderful gift to remind you each time you use it :)

  4. lovely post and a beautiful poem.

  5. Christmas is that time of year that we seem to think about all the good memories and also miss those who we loved so much who are no longer with us. I like it when my family recalls memories they have about that person/s and usually someone ends up telling a funny story that has us all laughing and celebrating the persons life, rather than dwelling on the fact they are gone. The love always remains.

  6. What wonderful fond memories you have of your Mother. Although my Mom is still with us (87 this year) I lost my sister to cancer in 1994 at the age of 45 and I know her daughter still goes through some very rough times. She was only 17 at the time of her mothers death and you never really get over that. Merry Christmas... enjoy it for your Mother - it was after all her favorite season.

  7. A lovely tribute and a poem that I have to steal. My mom's favorite flower was a rose! I lost her in '03 when she was just barely 60. I don't think you ever get over losing your mom. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish she could hear this or see that. Like your mom, Christmas was her time of year, too. She would take my girls and make cookies for at least three days before Christmas and it's only been in the last couple years that we've been able to make cookies together. It was always too hard!

    May you have a beautiful Christmas with wonderful memories and may your mother's spirit be with you as I'm sure it always is!

  8. I feel the same way about my mom. She died in 2003 after a very long decline. She was a wonderful woman and I feel so blessed to have had her for a mother. I miss her very much. Blessings to you!

  9. Very sweet and touching. I lost my mother in November after a long battle with Alzheimer's. She was 63. At this point, can't imagine it gets any easier.


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