Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Gift of Two Mothers

Emotions have been running high lately. Dealing with crazed hormones should be enough, but this week also marks a year since my mom's passing. It was a year ago today that she started asking about "going home" and then started seeing and talking about family members who had already gone before her. I'm learning that sometimes tears lurk just below the surface and they will leak out when I least expect it.

 It's actually hard to believe Mom has been gone for a year already. It's been a long year of slow letting go, letting go of Mom and letting go of my own shortcomings. So many memories, so many things I wish I'd known, so many deep and heavy sighs...

A poem was shared the other day and I passed it on to my cousin who is just stepping into the role I stepped back out of a year ago. I wish I'd known about the "two mothers" years ago. Though I'm sure it wouldn't have changed the task at hand, it might have given me a little extra insight into what were actually "normal" changes that seemed so abnormal at the time. I barely got a chance to savor the second mom because I didn't know I'd been gifted with two...

Two Mothers Remembered 
by Joann Snow Duncanson

I had two Mothers - two Mothers I claim
Two different people, yet with the same name.
Two separate women, diverse by design,
But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,
Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.
She was the one whose features I bear,
Complete with the facial expressions I wear.

She gave her love, which follows me yet,
Along with the examples in life she set.
As I got older, she somehow younger grew,
And we'd laugh as just Mothers and daughters do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,
And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.
So quickly she changed and turned into the other,
A stranger who dressed in the clothes of my Mother.

Oh, she looked the same, at least at arm's length,
But now she was the child and I was her strength.
We'd come full circle, we women three,
My Mother the first, the second and me.

And if my own children should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes and the old goes away,
I'd ask of them nothing that I didn't do.
Love both of your Mothers as both loved you.


  1. Martha...it really doesn't feel like a year already....
    And, I remember you speaking of her last few days, before you knew they were, indeed, her last few days.
    This poem is unbelievable...so touching...so concise.
    This really brings home the feelings many women must have about their dear Mothers plagued with dementia.
    I was lucky....this did not happen to my Mom...
    But here sudden departure was very painful...nonetheless.
    Thinking of you...
    Linda :o)

    1. I never expected my poor mom to be so confused. It left my head spinning when I got someone other than the one I was expecting.
      Losing moms is always painful
      Thank you for the thoughts.

  2. I can't believe it's been a year already! Love the poem and I'm so glad you have such lovely memories of your mom.

    1. Every year goes faster than the one before.
      I have many memories to treasure and I am grateful.
      Love you, Betsy.

  3. That's so hard to believe it's been a year. The poem is beautiful and so so touching. The circle of life. My mom was alert to the end, but her body gave way, and we had to care for her like a child.
    Friday, it will be one year since I lost my brother, Hal. Where did this year go.?

    1. It was a sad and wonderful year. Wanda, thank you for being my "mom" for a few days in September. It was a priceless gift. The prayers, the conversations, the good night kisses... All treasures and treasured.
      I love you.

  4. The poem is beautiful. My Mum suffered from dementia too and it really is sad.

    Marilyn from Canada

    1. I wonder, Marilyn, why we so often learn the lesson too late. It is a beautiful poem.

    2. Probably because we haven't had to deal with this before and find it confusing for a while. You were the caregiver and that is a hard thing, but so great if you are willing and able to do it.

    3. My husband asked me if I had it to do all over again, would I still have her live with us? I found it a difficult question, but mostly because I feel like I could have done it so much better than I did.