Mothers and Daughters


Today would have been my mother, Rose’s 91st birthday. She passed away two days after her 90th birthday, February 13, 2013.

She went peacefully, without fanfare, slipping from us like a vapor.

There was no, “I’m leaving now!”

No, “I’ll be back later.”

No, “I’ve had enough, I’m outta here!”

She simply drifted into an eternal slumber, where she joined her son, husband, and loved ones.

As a daughter, I felt I should have been with her at such a monumental event. Maybe coax her back, because I wasn’t ready to let her go.

We had so much more to talk about, questions unanswered; things unsaid, and love unexpressed.

A mother/daughter relationship is a fragile thing.

It’s the first and closest bond I ever had.

The distancing that has to happen between the two is what makes it such a fascinating relationship. It’s a tugging and pulling, embracing and letting go, that makes it exasperating at times.

I’ve been the angriest with my mother, and felt great love for her. I have felt her sadness and wished I could make it better.

She could put me in my place and build me up with her words and actions, but she always loved me despite our differences. She forgave my hurtful barbs and knowitallness.

I learned to tolerant those things about her I didn’t understand. 

My Mother was intuitive, sensitive, and wise in her simple approach to life. Her love was huge and all consuming. I blamed it on her Italian temperament—everything was a big deal to her. She could be volcanic and gentle all in a matter of minutes.

Mom’s expression of anger, joy, and her grief was exhibited in bold, demonstrative ways. A stranger listening in would certainly think we’d lost our marbles, and I was certain that if the wind was just right the whole neighborhood would hear us.

Mothers, in my opinion, consider their daughters as a reflection of their goodness, morality, and shortcomings.The connection between the two far extends the umbilical cord.

Mother’s feel they must pass on to their daughters those ancestral traditions and pitfalls of womanhood. I pretend to listen, but mentally I was covered my ears, repeating, “La… la… la… la… la… la…” while she rambled on about the curse, or the shortcomings of the male specie.

I, the wiser daughter… knew it all, anyway.

My mother, when trying to make a point about the character of someone would point to the veins in her up-turned wrist and say, “It’s what’s in here the makes you who you are.

In my, youthful, expert opinion…she didn’t know what she was talking about!  After all, mom lacked the knowledge of a college education and the psychological interpretations that explained why I turned out the way I did.There was no nurture or nature talk where my mother was concerned.

How many times had she said to me, “You’ll never understand until you have children of your own?”  And my thought was, “Well, I’ll do a better job than you!”

Funny, the things I’ve learned raising a daughter of my own.

There’s a faint whisper, a quiet presence at times, reminding me of the eternal connection and comfort of my mother’s guidance and love.


 Con’ tutu mia cuore’ Mama!


3 thoughts on “Mothers and Daughters

  1. I wake up in the mornings and think of you Karen. I feel like I have a book or books writing in my head, and I have always admired the fact that you put it to pen or type. Having four girls, failed marriages, caught in the sandwich generation, and currently married to someone with health problems, I continue to stream and stream in my head. We Have to have coffee some day. I go to Mojo’s some, and every day I take care of mom for awhile now. Much love, and what a beautiful tribute you gave here. -Meribeth


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