Sunday, May 11, 2014


I really did try to let slip Mother's Day unnoticed; I truly did. Yet, with all of the well-wishers from friends and loved ones who know I have borne no children, it's rather hard for me to do. You see, twelve years ago this weekend, I was making funeral preparations for my own mother. I do believe I can be forgiven if I choose to let this one day of the year go by unnoticed.

Two pilots for parents and I loathe flying, but then, my father used to tell people he played the comb, when asked whose side had the musical talent. The answer: him; his ear was uncanny.

But to do so would be to steal the blessings of those who have chosen to honor me, as their mother, even if it is in just the spiritual sense. So, because I have spent part of this past year fighting for better medical treatment for a loved one, I recognize and honor his gift to me. Because I have spent part of this past year fretting and crying that a loved one would not return from the hospital, I recognize and honor his gift to me. Because I have spent much of this past year caring for and easing the fears of a loved one who does not always understand what is going on, and because I will protect and care for him unto his death, I recognize and honor his gift to me.

I would do so for anyone I loved dearly and there are others among my scope who count so, but this one is the one whose health is worsening day by day, week by week. The one who is scared, but does not show it. The one who in many ways tries my patience, but still, for all of that, is loved all the more.You cannot quantify love, anymore than you can quantify infinity.

There is grace in this world, if we care to stop and quell our lesser natures and allow that balm into our lives. There is redemption in caring for our fellow beings that is not found in any work, avocation or pastime. When we realize that yes, we are all connected, as horrible as that may seem at times, and as much of a cliché it may sound, it is nonetheless, true. When we look into another's eyes, we see ourselves in some measure; we see our own mortality and we must not back away from that, because to do so is a supreme act of cowardice.

My time on this earth will end, as did my mother's; all too soon. I do believe though, that in her spirit and in her grit, determination and passion for life, I have come to fulfill the greatness my father wanted for me. In this, I have succeeded in my life. I've done two things for a living and done them quite well. I do this now, as I have always written. I am the person my mother wanted me to be and then some. I have her grit and her courage; her faith, fidelity and love that never dies. I have people around me who love me unreservedly and I love them in ways I could never have imagined; ways that are redemptive, caring, forthright and yes, at times, tough. But I will be forever grateful to the mother who taught me how to be one, even if the children I raise are not my own. Happy Mother's Day, Ma. I miss you so very, very much.


Judy Phillips said...

Big hugs, Mary <3

Andrea said...

Wishing you peace, and peace of mind...xoxox

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Viola Fury said...


Big hugs back. <3 This is a part of life as much as anything else and as I mentioned to let the day pass with no acknowledgement from JC and Alex would be denying them their blessings (and just plain rude!) Love to you! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


Thank you for your kind words. You would think that after 12 years it wouldn't still be so painful, and some years it's fine; other years, not. This was a 'not' year, but both JC and Alex deserve no less than my attentions and applause on Mother's Day from me, when they go out of their way to try so hard. Families made of 'whole cloth' are just as real as the 'related by blood' kind, and as none of us were wanted by our spouses, or, in Alex's case his mom, we made our own family.

Wishing you the very best my dear musical friend. Keep the hits coming! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


Thank your for visiting and your kind words. I will be sure and check out your site. Thanks again. Mary

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

I grieve with you, Mary. Our grief is different, and yet the same, I think.

Mother's Day is low-key here. I am estranged by choice from my own mother, and I'm certain that the fact that I didn't contact her this weekend will go into the mental ledger where she keeps tally of my crimes against her. I wish it wasn't so, but it is.

My loving family has a hole in it. It is the size of a newborn, and at the same time, it's the size of a nearly 11 year old boy who died long ago, rather than growing up.

He's always with me, as much a part of me as his thriving, growing, joyously alive siblings, whose births bracket his.

Most of the time, I can hold my balance with this - but there are times when it's much harder...

Times like Mother's Day.

I'm glad it's over.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Dear Mary - not an easy time for you ... but you've written heart-warming words and so many have no-one to love or care for them .. the ones who have you are very fortunate.

We learn from our mothers and we grow later in life as we realise more .. you are doing a wonderful job caring and being friends with extra special people for you ..

With many thoughts during these days ... Hilary

Viola Fury said...


My heart aches for you doubly; to be estranged from your mother is an estrangement I too, had with mine at one time. It was only when I realized that she would never let go of those slights, or quit keeping her "cosmic score card" that I relented and mended fences. In truth, I'm not sure now that she remembered, as she was pretty ill by the time we mended our fences, but we still had ten good years, after a lifetime of bitterness. It is a hard, corrosive and toxic thing to bear and I feel for you; sometimes there is nothing you can do to say, or make it right, and only time makes it better, maybe. I hope, for your sake, that your mother realizes the hurt she is causing her most precious thing; you, and lets resentments and old hurts go.

Your other hurt, the loss of your child must be crushing at a time like this and I have tears in my eyes just even trying to tell you this. I never had children, by choice, because my childhood was so dismal, but that does not let me understand any the less what the loss of a child must be like, as it is so very much against the natural order of things, and you have told me before about the loss of your baby boy. I weep for you, Shan.

I am so thankful that anyone as kind and caring as you has a loving family to be with and also, I am so glad that you acknowledge the child lost, as does another wonderful friend of mine, along with the siblings and other relatives, who keep Thomas alive in their hearts. Theirs is also a joyous and wondrous family to behold. I am glad Mother's Day is over, as are you. As you said, the balance is difficult. But, I am so glad I have gotten to know you and that you have shared so much, Shan. Love, Mary

Viola Fury said...

@Dearest Hillary!

It is because of people like you and others around me, that I have been able to grow and share stories about myself and my family. It wasn't always easy with my mother, but she tried and when it counted, she was a champion. She was a strict advocate of tough love and I came to realize that I was being held to a higher standard, because I was capable of achieving more.

But, she was so loving and giving and in the end, that is the best lesson I could have learned. Maybe my ex-husband didn't want me because I got sick; so what? I lost a house, then another house; so what? I ended up in the hospital for two months; so what? I ended up in a homeless shelter and found a whole bunch of people who were kind of in the same situation I was in.

Some of us left. Some of us died. Some of us moved across the street and formed a pretty tightly-knit group of friends who've been through some tough times, but we are here for each other. I've been helped when I really needed it and have always, always, been prepared to give back. We give back in ways we're not even aware of, when we help someone write a letter, help someone take in their groceries, or help someone sign up for a class.

I didn't mean to blather on so much, but I'm in a place in my life I never expected to be and like anything else in life, and again, as my mother would do, I'm making the most of it. I feel too, as though I'm part of a community, and not just living in a subdivision.

It is always so nice to hear from you, Hillary. I took a wander over your blog and just fell in love with "The Moo Man" and shared it with a friend up in Pennsylvania, who works on a farm and adores animals. I always learn something from you and it's a treat to look at all your pictures. All my love, Mary xoxo

Arlee Bird said...

You've expressed these thoughts beautifully. Life is not in vain and what we do for others is not only for them, but for us and everyone else. Keep the spirit.

A couple months ago I was sure that my own mother was not much longer for this world as she was 2000 miles from me in the hospital. Then she rebounded to see her 85th birthday and now she's home and seems to be hanging in there. I'll be going to spend July with her. All of my brothers and sisters live near her so she's got them, but I feel so helpless sometimes being so constrained by distance and finances. I talk to her every day on the phone and she told me yesterday that my encouragement was a big part of her incentive to get well.

I don't want to ever have to say good-bye to my mother, but I know the day will come and one day the day will come when my kids will see me off. Life is good and sad all at the same time. But I want to focus on the good.

Thanks for your thoughtful piece of writing.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Viola Fury said...


I am so very, very glad that your mother is doing well and that you will be able to spend July with her; I know you will savor and enjoy every moment of that visit!

One of the greatest gifts that we are given is the gift of memory. Although my mom isn't here, I can conjure up favorite sayings, expressions and idioms, as well as see them expressed in the mirror now and it is true what they say on some level: we become our own parents.

I have also been given the greatest of gifts; friends and colleagues such as yourself, and the whole mob of wonderful folks I have met upon my journey to "here" wherever and whenever "here" is. I thank you so very much for visiting and for you wonderful words. Enjoy your trip in July and I look forward to hearing about your visit! Mary xoxo

D Biswas said...

Hey, Mary. Hugs, and I definitely think your parents have every reason to be proud of you.

Viola Fury said...


I just saw your comment and it brought tears to my eyes; a good thing. I believe they would be proud of me as well. I did it my way, but it was in truth, a combination of both their styles. My father was a bit more laid back and forgiving, and my mother learned the forgiveness part later on. One thing she did that my father did not (to my everlasting sorrow), that I've inherited from her is to wring life out of every day. My mom did so. My father expected excellence and performed everything he did with an excellence that was scary, but I'm not always sure he took pleasure in those things, but for flying airplanes. My mother took joy in every day. I, happily, got both of those traits! Thank you so much for visiting! <3