A letter to my Darling Mom


“My darling mom,

Today is Mothers’ Day, and I remember how exciting it was as a child to celebrate my special mom. You were always my heroine, so pretty, chic, and very clever. You taught me so much from a very young age. My love of music was nurtured because of your encouragement, and even though you had never learned to play an instrument, you were determined to give me the chance, even though the cost of piano lessons was quite a sacrifice on your tight budget. You worked so hard at many menial jobs in order to supplement the family income, and yet still found the time to make my sister and I the most gorgeous clothes, often sitting at your sewing machine late into the night. I’ll never forget the Sunday School Anniversary dresses you sewed, especially the blue flocked one with the enormous navy bow at the back, which made it very difficult to sit down. Your daughters always had to be the smartest on the block, and I guess that’s why you insisted on the hats as the finishing touch. How we loathed wearing those feather hats, and also the ones that looked like a couple of beige blancmanges, but I’ve long since forgiven you. You were very brave in the hat stakes yourself, and I remember that you were mortified, when at church one Sunday, our oldest member called out very loudly, “Vera, I like your new hat, but that feather makes you look just like Robin Hood.”

There always seemed to be just enough money to take us on a seaside holiday once a year, but only because of your thriftiness. Nothing was wasted in our house, and you somehow found the time to make all your own jams and pickles with fruit and vegetables harvested from dad’s garden. Coming home from school on cold winter days in England, I knew that there would always be a good fire going in the hearth, and toast or muffins with homemade strawberry jam to warm me up. You cajoled me into eating my vegetables, with the promise that they were supposedly going to make my hair curl.Β  I also forgive you for that little white lie, but only because you made the best apple pies in the world.

I know I’m rambling a bit now, but I have so many wonderful memories of you, and that’s why it was so heartbreaking to see you today, looking pale and fragile. To see that you can no longer manage to stand on your own, and need assistance for every little thing, makes me want to cry. When I took you for a walk in the garden in your wheelchair, I thought of how you used to push me in my stroller all those years ago. Our roles have somehow been reversed. You were always so dignified and independent, so strong and upright. I long for you to be like that once again, but as you said to me today, “I just have to be content with the way things are now.” I know you wanted to tell me all sorts of things, and yet your mind just couldn’t process your thoughts and turn them into words. How frustrating this must be for you. As we sat there trying to hold a conversation, I was really moved when Mrs G, the lady in the chair next to you, roused a little from her slumbers and reached her hand over the arm of the chair until it found yours. She didn’t even open her eyes, but grasped your hand so tight, and as you stroked her fingers, I saw a glimmer of a smile on her face, probably remembering a time in the past when she had someone’s hand to hold, maybe a husband or even a child. She gets no visitors, but I’m sure that your cool touch today brought comfort to her heart, just as it used to for me when I was a child.


Mom thank you for just being you. I will always love you so much.”


100 comments on “A letter to my Darling Mom

  1. It’s a difficult thing to see your parents give way to the years and remembering all they were before.
    Wishing you strength to face what you need to AD. My thoughts go with you.

  2. A wonderful tribute to your mother and the values she shared with you as you grew up … so much love between you all …I feel for you now that she is suffering, and there is not much you can do except be there now and then and remember and love her ❀

  3. My dear friend! A wonderful tribute. The way we bring meaning to our lives are by creating memories for our children to embrace when we are no longer with them. It is the little things that give joy, hope and courage. May we continue in the footsteps of our mothers. We have big shoes to fill – I hope that we have big feet!!

  4. Your letter to your Mom brought tears to my eyes; beautifully written. The touch of a love one, a friend or for that matter a total stranger is a delight to some of these elderly folks and probably means more than we will ever know. So glad your Mom and her friend give each other a little comfort.

    Glad you had a nice visit with your Mom; she might not be the same physically, but she is the same spiritually – your Mom! Wishing mine was still with me.

  5. Oh Sylvia, this is such a beautiful Mother’s Day letter to your dear Mum. All the memories, the tenderness, so deeply moving and touching. It is so hard to have to watch our parents grow older and more frail, when they were such a strong presence in our young lives… The part about your mum stroking her friend’s hand like that really brought a tear to my eye, and I have to say, your mum has the most beautiful hands, I can’t get over it. Hugs to you my friend… πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, dear Sherri. When I saw Mrs G’s had creeping over towards my mom, I grabbed my iPhone. I just knew it was going to be a really special few moments that I would always want to remember. Yes, mom does have beautiful hands, and it’s not because she’s ever pampered them. They’ve done so much hard work over many decades, and she never wore rubber gloves like I do. They are also always cool to the touch, and I love to hold her hand.:)

      • You captured a truly precious moment Sylvia a beautiful photograph to treasure forever. Holding hands is a very powerful thing. I’m amazed and also encouraged that your mum never wore rubber gloves…I can’t stand them and never wear them either, so maybe there’s hope! Your mum’s hands sound divine… πŸ™‚

  6. Your words put a lump in my throat AD, it’s so sad that your dear Mom is now so frail, what a lovely tribute to a great lady. Have you read this letter to her? I am sure she knows how much you love her but this is such a moving tribute, it would nice to know that she has heard it.

    • Thanks for reading, Optie. I wrote this when I got home on Sunday, so haven’t had a chance to read it to her. We did talk about the old days, and she does remember some of the good times. When I see her, I keep reminding her of all the things she used to do for us kids, and I tell her how much I love her.

  7. Such a tender and compassionate tribute to your Mother Sylvia. You painted a picture in words of a lovely lady. For you to share those thoughts and feelings with us is what makes blogging such a special community.

    • Thank you, Pommepal. Yes, I love our blogging community. It’s so full of caring and loving people, and I’ve made some great friends here. It’s lovely to be able to share my feelings occasionally. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, it is heartbreaking to see my mom like this, but she seems content, except when she gets cross with herself for not being able to do the things she used to do with such ease. Thanks for your kind words, Jo.

  8. Beautiful sentiments. I also had parents who sent me off to piano lessons and many other extracurricular activities. As I look back now as an adult, I don’t know how they ever could have afforded to do it on the meagre income they earned from their little farm.
    I also understand haw you are feeling about your mother today. I went through the same thing all those years ago. Just be sure to ask all the questions you need to, and tell her how you feel about her if you are able to have such conversations.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, GOF. I don’t think we appreciate the sacrifices our parents made for us, until we grow up. I really marvel now at how my parents managed to provide for us.

  9. This brought tears to my eyes, Sylvia. My mother is in the same state and it’s so difficult to see someone who was once so strong now so frail. Sending you big hugs today xxxx

  10. Oh Sylvia, this brought tears to my eyes, having gone through much the same thoughts and emotions about five years ago as my mom faded and eventually left me. She had so much trouble speaking in those last years. I think perhaps that was one of the saddest things of all to bear. What a tender tribute to your mother. But wishing YOU a Happy Mother’s day. Hope you had a lovely Skype visit with your kiddies, too.

    • Thanks so much for the compassionate words and the Mothers’ Day wishes, dear Gunta. Yes, I did have a lovely Skype call from both of my lovely children and my two American granddaughters. They are such fun on the video. πŸ™‚

  11. Happy Mothers Day, both of you. You write so well, and I can feel that…wish for your mother to again be as strong as she once was. A great woman, and she also tries and wants to accept things as they are now. Something that sometimes is very hard to do. Your words are so beautiful, Sylvia, there is much love in them.

  12. Sylvia…what an image. The sight of those hands alone was enough to bring me to tears. Goodness your Mum has such a youthful hand. I remember when Dad was frail and dying of cancer how hard that was to watch, so I can imagine how difficult it must be to see your strong capable mother reliant on others. As I age I take it less and less for granted how precious life is, in all its shapes and forms. But I do remember one thing each day that helps me. When I open my eyes I remember that this morning is another gift to me, a day where I may be older, slower, less able to do things, but it is a day I can bask in the sun, hear my children’s voices, curl my fingers in one of the fur babies coats. So…from what I gather…you Mum seems like the type of lady who still sees that good in her days. I love the vision of your Mum and Mrs G. That she could provide that small comfort to her. What a woman your mother is…and look at you…she must be proud.

    • Thanks, Jo for your words. My dad also died of cancer a few years ago. That was so hard to bear, to see him in such pain and distress. At least my mom, although very frail, is healthy in body, and for that I am grateful. How right you are about being grateful for every new day. A precious gift indeed. xx

  13. It is very difficult watching our parents grow old and frail, when they were the rock in our world. A lovely tender tribute Sylvia, one which brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye, remembering my own special Mum.

  14. Your mother has beautiful hands to adorn her giving and loving personality. You have brought her to life for us, and shown us the wonderful benefits of having a loving mother. Mine is no longer with me, but I identify with your words of praise.

      • They look younger than mine, and mine are only 62! When my grandmother and mother used to travel with me, people often asked which was my mother because my Grandmother had much less sun damage than my mother. Mom looked 90 when she was not much older than I am. Grandma looked at 60 at age 80. Go figure.

  15. Now you brought tears to my eyes as I remember my mother being so frail. We will always be thankful for the things our mothers taught us and did for us. xxxxx

  16. Sylvia, just look after her, give her as much companionship as you can. My mom died at the age of 93 about 10 a 12 years ago. I can’t remember, but it doesn’t matter, she will always live in my heart and mind. Strength!

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