The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, April 13, 2009


A Stranger's Note of Love and Grief Reminds a Mother Of What She Has

I was on a walk the other day, my every step pounding frustration into the pavement.

“How am I supposed to get this all done,” I whined to myself. It was a typical mother’s complaint towards the end of a typically busy week. How am I supposed to keep the house clean, the refrigerator filled, the children supervised?

I work outside the home. I’m active at my church and volunteer at my children’s school. I help out neighbors and friends who need me. There just isn’t enough time for it all.

Shouldn’t my husband be doing more? Shouldn’t my children be more appreciative? With every step my anger towards the people I loved most grew.

My daily walk led me to a tiny grove of redwoods. I plopped onto a wooden bench built a year ago in memory of an elderly neighbor who had died. I noticed a pot of flowers had been placed next to the bench. A card was tucked within clusters of tiny orange blossoms. I reached for it, a moment’s distraction from the building tension inside my head.

“My Darling,” the note began. The handwriting was jerky, that of an elderly author who had long since lost the smooth stroke of youth. I was reading a love letter, I surmised, left to the woman memorialized by the bench.

“Now, I am but a moth – burnt by the moon. I am lost without you.” I gasped, caught off guard by the plaintive tribute. I was eavesdropping on a stranger’s grief but felt compelled to keep reading. “I will always love what you have loved,” the note continued. The signature read only: “Forever + ever.”

I imagined the author and his love in earlier times. Had they met when they were young like my husband and I? Had they walked these very streets, sometimes hand-in-hand; at other times alone and angry as I had on this day? Had he witnessed her decline? Whispered goodbye in her ear?

I returned the note to its place between the flowers realizing the tribute to lost love was also a tribute to what I had now: A happy marriage to the love of my life, two beautiful children I adore and a cheerful home in a welcoming community.

The note was also a reminder that what I have now won’t always be mine. I will lose my loved ones one day or they will lose me. It’s the way of things, inevitable. So how was I spending this precious morning? Angry that my sons hadn’t emptied the dishwasher? Complaining that my husband took me for granted?

I resumed my walk feeling solemn and softened by my peek into a stranger’s life. I felt grateful, too, appreciative of the lesson he had taught. Live today. Love today. It’s all I have.

I decided to cut short my walk and turned toward home. I had kids to hug and a husband to kiss.

By Laura-Lynne Powell

Labels: , , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites
Gorgeous, LL. Aren't these moments that startle us back to our senses just so powerful sometimes? Thanks for articulating this beautifully.
Very well done - very insightful
Thanks for the link, Laura-Lynne! We've all had these moments--my house is a zoo, and it's just sometimes getting those peaceful moments when you realize that you actually love being a zookeeper :)
Thanks for the reality check and a couple of tears on a very dificult Monday morning sitting at work wishing I were anywhere else. Now I just wish I were with my family!
Awwww, lady. You should write books. ;) Love you
Laura Lynn, Thanks for sharing and for reminding me that I am not the only one having a hard time trying to hold it all together all the time.

Great story and reality check!!

lar, isn't it amazing at how scary our head can become that we forget where our heart belongs.

This was just what I needed after spending three days cleaning the house for Thanksgiving only to have it destroyed yet again.

Thank you for helping me remember that for which I am truly thankful.
Hi LauraLynne: How beautiful -- tears to my eyes. I hope your dear husband has seen this. Thanks for sharing....
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?