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In which i need my mom

I was a daddy’s girl.  It’s true.  I completely and totally identified with my father and I just wanted to be with him all the time.  I had two brothers, one older and one younger.  My mother once told me that when I was very young, I had asked said something like, “Brad a little boy.  Bruce a little boy.  Why not Lynn a little boy too mommy?”  I just wanted to be like my dad.
 
In many ways I was.  I was a tomboy.  I was athletic and out of all of us, I was the best in math and science which completely obliterated any stereotypes my father had about the gender roles in academics.  I was my dad’s shadow.   He was an engineer and ran a company during the week, but on the weekends my dad was Mr. Fixit around our house.  He had a shop in the basement and spent time doing woodworking, messing around with other projects, building decks … you get the picture.  I was right by his side.  When he needed a new tool he’d call out, “Pooh (my nickname), let’s go to Sears.” And off we would go to peruse the latest and greatest in tools.  To do this day, I know how to use a radial arm saw, band saw, angle grinder, power drill … the works.  
 
So my dad was EVERYTHING to me.  All the while, my mom was running the house, teaching and dealing with all the fallout from my brother’s accident (a SERIOUS car wreck when he was 10 and I was 7)  She was a pillar of strength and was always there, just doing what needed to be done.  In many ways, I both loved and resented her because I didn’t want to be HER, I wanted to be my dad.  As I got older, I began to appreciate my mom more and more.  Especially by the time I was an adolescent I began to realize that my mom was really the foundation of my family.  Never going for the attention, always there with the safety net should any of her three kids need her, that was my mom.  A fair and just person, she took it upon herself to teach at an all-black womens college during the 70’s when bussing in the South was at it’s height.  My dad was an inspiration but my mom shaped me.
 
By the time I was in college, I had practically driven my mom crazy.  I was moody, temperamental and lashed out in anger about so very many things.  To be honest, I caused her such headaches that the doctor’s thought she might have a brain tumor.  She didn’t, she had a daughter. My mom, always a martyr, didn’t take it in stride but she also didn’t throw it back at me.  I think she must have realized that “this too shall pass” which was one of her favorite expressions.  Turning 22 was a turning point in our relationship.  After college I came home and lived with my parents for a while.  My mom and I became “friends.”  I really got to know her and respect her as an adult.  When I moved up to New York City she was the one who went out and looked at apartments with me.  She helped me get some furniture and offered the emotional support of looking for a job.  My mom literally became my touchstone.  
 
 
Fast forward 5 years and I was engaged and living in New Jersey.  My mother planned my entire wedding for me (I actually found the guy though) and all I had to do was show up.  She took me to a spa in Florida for a week a month before the wedding to whip us into shape and we had a hell of a time.  I got married and eventually, decided to have children.  I KNEW there was no way that I wanted to be away from my family so my husband and I moved down to North Carolina so I could be back home.  Kevin took a job at the family business, we began building a house and our first child was born.  
 
My mom, always opinionated, had plenty to say about child rearing but she was always the voice of reason.  Unfortunately, at this point she began to have many medical problems.  First, she had major disc surgery.  Then she had a heart attack and finally, she had lung cancer which ultimately was the cause of her death.
 
I’m not going into all that right now.  I just wanted to address the issue of how you NEVER stop needing your mom assuming you have a great relationship with her.  I know there are plenty of people out there who don’t have this relationship, and honestly, I feel bad for you.  I was lucky, I know that.  After my mom died, I couldn’t imagine having any more children.  Not because of how she helped me take care of my kids, but because when I’m in pain or hurting, I still, to this day, want my mommy.  During childbirth, she wasn’t in the room with me, but I associate every situation I’m in requiring strength with her.  I remember the first time one of my kids got sick after my mom had died and I was thinking “who do I call that will tell me that things will be ok?”  My mom was that person, my strength, my touchstone.  She didn’t need to “fix” the situation. She just needed to be there so that I could fix the situation.
 
I bring this up because last week Andie, a sophomore at Duke University, texted me in the middle of the night saying “Mom!” “Mommmmmm,” “Mom, are you there?” “Mom, I need you…I know you’re sleeping but please….”
 
I had my phone on vibrate knowing that if it was truly an emergency, the kids could call the house phone.  I did, however, hear the vibrating and woke up and texted her back at around 2:30 AM to see what was the matter.  She was sick with stomach flu.
 
I went into the bathroom and I called her.  She was a mess.  She was in her dorm bathroom, throwing up, stomach cramps…you know, the typical flu. “What should I do?” she asked.  I explained that there wasn’t much to be done and that she should use a heating pad (she didn’t have one. Why didn’t she have one?) and that the next day she would be home for Thanksgiving.
 
She was still very sick the next day and her sister was going to bring her home.  She texted me and asked me to get all my errands done (I had to get all the food for the meal at the store) so that I could “cuddle” with her when she got home.  As we were cuddling she said, “I’m sorry.  I just really wanted my mom.”  I said, “It’s ok Andie.  That has nothing to do with growing up. I still want my mom when things are rough and she’s been gone 14 years. It’s not unusual, not atypical at all.  Your mom signifies that everything is going to be okay, you’re going to make it through whatever adversity you’re dealing with.  She’s a touchstone.  I get it!”
 
And I do.  I miss my mom.  A lot.  Of course, I’m used to her being gone.  After all, it’s been 14 years but she’s still with me.  She’s my solid core of strength, my shining example of grace under pressure. That calm, soothing voice in the back of my head that says, “Shh Lynn, everything’s going to be ok.”  So, do I need my mom?  You bet I do.  And I’ve got her. Right here in my heart and in my head.  She never leaves me.  I miss you mom!

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44 Comments

  1. Abby
    January 7, 2011

    CRYING!! Lady, you and I must have been on the same wavelength this week. I lost my mom last year and I know exactly what you mean. The worst is not being able to call her from the car, stuck in traffic and grumpy from work. She always made me a little less grumpy even if she was telling me to suck it up, lol.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Abby, I’m so sorry. You’re so young for your mom to be gone. I miss my mom but not in an every moment of the day way at this point. I really wish my kids had known her. Sorry to make you cry. :(

  2. Carla E. Knight
    January 7, 2011

    Also crying. My Mom has been gone 32 years and I still miss her desperately, though not every day and not with the intensity of a new wound. There are times when you just need Mom. I remember both your parents with great fondness. Since I didn’t work for or with them, I had a totally different perspective, and I always enjoyed their humor and insights on the few occasions we met.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      thanks Carla…i didn’t actually mean to make people cry but when Andie said that to me, it just struck me. Thanks for the comment…my mom was awesome!

  3. Karla Telega
    January 7, 2011

    I’m sorry about your mom. I’ve become good friends with my mom, but there are a lot of times when I still need her to be my mommy. If I call at an odd hour, she knows that something is wrong, and she listens and loves me.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      That’s awesome…i once called her in the middle of the night and it turns out she was in Hungary which was communist at the time. My dad was soooo pissed because he figured he was getting arrested but i had a broken heart…i needed my mom.

  4. Name *
    January 7, 2011

    That is truly a touching tribute to your mom. I have a wonderful relationship with my mom. Now that I’m an adult with children of my own, she and I are very good friends. Yup. Moms are the best.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Thank you…my mom was awesome. I miss her but I talk to her always…in my head.

  5. Lady Estrogen
    January 7, 2011

    Oi! I wasn’t expecting to get all puffy-eyed today! Thanks a lot.
    Seriously though, lovely post :) My mom is my hero.

    adventuresinestrogen.blogspot.com

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Thanks for saying that and thanks for reading…sorry about the tears! I’m glad your mom is your hero though.

  6. NotJustAnotherJennifer
    January 7, 2011

    Also crying. I still have my mom thankfully, but I was like you, a tomboy, a daddy’s girl. I didn’t appreciate her when I was a kid. We didn’t start bonding til I was in college, and then once I had kids? I think I tell her once a week that I’m amazed at all she did for us. I’m so blessed. I still need my mommy, too, and I know the day will come when she’s not there, and it’s hard to think about. Great post!

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      ahhh…thanks, the response i’ve gotten for this posting has been wonderful. I’m so happy to hear people appreciate their moms.

  7. Cathy Procton
    January 7, 2011

    You have been blessed in so many ways..and your mom was terrific.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Yeah, she was….I’m so happy you still have your mom.

  8. Kristie
    January 7, 2011

    Beautiful post, Lynn. This sums it up completely. Truly, the way to finally, unfailingly appreciate your mom is to become one yourself. Your three bright, personable children are a tribute to your ability to build upon her legacy.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Thank you for that…I hope so…I do have a great relationship with my kids.

  9. Betsy at Zen Mama
    January 7, 2011

    Funny…I was just thinking about this today. When my maternal grandmother died, my father said to my mother, “At least you had her this long.” His mother died when he was 19. But that didn’t help my mother, who was around 50 at the time. She later said to me (I was 18), “There’s no one who will want to hear about my new curtains anymore.” I’ve never forgotten that your mother is always interested in the little things in your life that no one wants to hear about.

    Great post!!

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      That was beautiful…thank you for that. It’s always the little things…

  10. Leigh Ann
    January 7, 2011

    You’re right, you are lucky! Not only that, but you sound like an awesome mom. How rewarding that your college age daughter still wants to cuddle with you.

    I finally started to have a friendly relationship with my mom in the past few years, but I had to let go of the stigma of her being my mom and just think of her as an acquaintance or some other relative. It sucks, because I don’t have that person to call and chat with over little things, but we do have good conversations from time to time. Our relationship is a lot less strained, but the hard part is that I feel like I am the mom and she is the kid. Luckily I have an awesome MIL who I can chat away for hours about little things.

    When I found out my twins were girls, I panicked. The first thought that went through my mind was “They are going to hate me.” But I truly hope that when they come home from college or are sick, they want to cuddle with me too.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      I’m sorry you don’t have great relationship with your mom but I hope you do with your girls….girls can be difficult, I have two but in spite of some tough times, I wouldn’t change them ever.

  11. HopefulLeigh
    January 7, 2011

    This is absolutely beautiful! I think it’s the kind of tribute any mom would wish their daughter would write for them.

    • Lynn
      January 7, 2011

      Ahhh, thanks so much. I didn’t always appreciate my mom and I drove her nuts but she was awesome.

  12. ragemichelle
    January 8, 2011

    Awesome. Just beautiful.

    I’m going on a trip next week with my family. I am so looking forward to some sustained time with my mommy. This reminds me how precious the time I have with her is.

    • Lynn
      January 8, 2011

      ahhh…that sounds so awesome. Yep, enjoy it while you can. I just really wish my mom had known my kids and vice versa…same with my dad. It stinks having them die in their 60’s.

  13. Sharon
    January 8, 2011

    Lynn, I just found your blog here through Vodkamom. I am so glad I did. I lost my mom four years ago. I am the oldest of four siblings and I have to tell you, there are days when I can hear her voice saying, “Sharon, it’s gonna be okay. You are doing a good job.”

    I still miss her desperately, with “skin on”. I wish I could “cuddle” up to her when I don’t feel good. I wish I could call her. And I know, she will never leave me.

    And. . . I sit here in a puddle of tears feeling what you are saying.

    I’m glad to have found this blog!
    Oh, by the way, I love your disclaimer at the top of the page! I think I’m gonna love you!

    • Lynn
      January 8, 2011

      Oh, thank you so, so much. First, I love VodkaMom and it’s been a privilege and a pleasure getting to know her. Second, welcome aboard. Third, sorry about your mom…it doesn’t get easier…I just think you get used to missing your mom. I lost both my parents within two years of each other.

      Anyhow, thanks for joining me here.

  14. Duffylou
    January 9, 2011

    I am also here via VodkaMom. Your post was very touching. My parents were in there forties when I was born. Unheard of in the ’60s. My childhood was perfect. Unfortunately I was a horrible, rebellious teenager that fractured the relationship with my folks. Mainly my mom. Thankfully, I grew out of that phase and was able to rely on my mom when I had my first child at twenty one. She was in the delivery room with me.

    I still call my mom every day to chat. I call her when I need consoling. I call her with good news. My mom will be eighty seven this year. And yes, I think every day about what my life will be without her.

    • Lynn
      January 9, 2011

      Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad you still have your mom. I’m so happy that I had a great relationship with her before she died. Hope to hear from you again.

  15. Marinka
    January 9, 2011

    This was beautiful and heart-wrenching. I’m so sorry that you lost your mom. But I’m happy that she’s in your heart. This was a lovely tribute, very moving.

    • Lynn
      January 9, 2011

      Why thank you…and thanks for reading my blog! I miss her but I feel complete because when she died she knew I loved her and vice versa.

  16. vodkamom
    January 9, 2011

    I am with you all the way. And these days, I am needing her more and more and more.

    • Lynn
      January 9, 2011

      I know what you mean…sometimes I have so many questions to ask her and sometimes I just need a hug. I’m there for you though…I’ll be your mom!

  17. GrandeMocha
    January 9, 2011

    Just lovely.

    I spent a couple days with my mom at Christmas. I just called her & she wasn’t home. It made me sad not to get a chance to talk to her.

    After reading this, I don’t feel so bad!

    • Lynn
      January 9, 2011

      Sometimes I wish I could smack myself for not appreciating her when i had her…but it turned out ok because we both loved each other.

  18. Pixi
    January 11, 2011

    *Crying here too. But it’s not a bad thing I am. You put things into words so well & hit people so powerfully with this. And as raw & emotional as this subject is, it’s something we all go through & simply have to go through. Sometimes it makes those who still have their mothers around realize what’s important & to not take that for granted.

    The more I hear of so many who don’t still have their mothers, the more appreciative I am that she is around, no matter the hell one can sometimes feel they’re going through from their parents.

    I’m also on top of her health & happiness 24/7, and I’ll stop at nothing to keep her alive as long as possible, but she already thinks I’m her doctor so that’s all good. lol.

    You’re an amazing writer, Lynn. You gotta see that more.
    And my deepest sympathies, love & condolences to you, and anyone who’s been through this, just as my day will come.

    • Lynn
      January 11, 2011

      You’re such a cutie. Thanks…I don’t actually think I’m a very good writer…I think I just say what people are thinking. Thanks though and love your mom while you can. I feel good about our relationship and I’ll always treasure that.

  19. Pixi
    January 11, 2011

    P.S. Oh, and I took needing my mommy to a bit of a new level.
    I snuggled up to my ex boyfriend & started calling him “Mama” one night in calling her name when I was scared & in pain.

    Just the nature of the human being.
    But now you’re that pillar of strength & wisdom that is almighty mom. Life is no picnic, but it can be rewarding.

    • Lynn
      January 11, 2011

      If your boyfriend could handle that, maybe he’s a “keeper”

  20. Name *
    February 24, 2011

    my mom will be 80 this and my dad just turned 84. I did not have a good relationship with them until I hit forty and threw my ex out of the house but now we speak all the time and I can’t imagine my life without either of them.

    This was so beautifully written and your relationship with your own daughters is something that I pray i am blessed with one day.

    • Lynn
      February 24, 2011

      Oh, that’s awesome. Wow, i bet there’s quite a story behind that. I’m really lucky that i have a great relationship with my girls. I’m not your typical mom so i suppose it has been trying at times for them. My mom always told me that i’d find the guy i was going to marry when i least expected it. I hated boys the day i met my husband so i suppose she was right. Good luck finding whatever or whomever makes you happy!

  21. JDaniel4's Mom
    July 26, 2011

    What a beautiful post! Love where you talk about carrying your mother in your heart!

    Stopping from Time Travel Tuesday!

    • Lynn
      July 26, 2011

      Thanks…I appreciate the comment

  22. Melissa (@melrut01)
    July 28, 2011

    This is so beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes! I wish I had a better relationship with my mom for these very reasons. You’re an amazing mother, daughter and writer.

    Time Traveling a little late this week.

    • Lynn
      July 28, 2011

      Thanks…I miss my mom

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