The motherly instinct

Yesterday I spent much of the day holding my mom's hand. It's the one communication channel left with her.

At some point in the afternoon I started crying. She must have heard because she put her hand on my face and carressed it like all mothers do when their children are in pain.

She was trying to make me feel better. And she was communicating with me that it's all OK. That she's OK. That she isn't in pain, even as her body is laboring to make another breath. That it's time. That there is still a mom left inside her broken body that won't last her very much longer.

Well, I'm back offline to go visit my mom. We're taking her to Livingston (that's where she had her bookstore for the past few years). That'll let more people who care about her come and visit her (it's fun to hear about sides of my mom I didn't know about from the community who knew her).

Another decision I have to make today is whether or not to go to NY on Monday where I am scheduled to keynote the Syndicate conference. That's a tough one. My visceral reaction is not to go. Stay with mom. Attend to family affairs.

But, Mom's best friend, Alberta, is urging me to go. She said my mom bragged about me all the time and she says my mom, if she could speak, would be urging me to go. More motherly instinct. "Get on with your life," I remember her telling me when we had talked about stuff like this in the past. By the way, I hope I have a friend like Alberta when it's my time to go. She's been tireless and has been a great comfort to our family.

OK, it's time to get some joy back in this blog. Mothers' day is in a couple of days. Even a tough situation like being forced to say goodbye too soon has a lot of good sides too. And like one of my commenters' said, at least we're getting a chance to say goodbye. Many people don't have that chance.

What's your best memory of your mom?

PS, Maryam wrote her memories of my mom.

166 thoughts on “The motherly instinct

  1. Robert,

    Praise God you have the courage to share your personal challenges and courage so openly. I watched my mother slowly die of cancer in 1998…and I literally watched her pass from the physical bonds of this world. I am confident she left to be with her Lord and Savior, and is in a far better place today. Spend every waking second you can with her…take it from me, you will remember them and treasure them for the rest of your life. Make sure she knows how much you love her. Apologize for the things that have haunted you growing up. Tell her your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. Love her as much as you can, mate. I pray that your time together in the days ahead are blessed with clarity of thought and full of remembrance of happy times together. I also pray that she knows her Savior and is ready to meet Him. Thanks again for being so open to sharing your life with us…it is a poignant and wonderful reminder that we are all connected.

    God bless.

    Rich D

  2. Robert,

    Praise God you have the courage to share your personal challenges and courage so openly. I watched my mother slowly die of cancer in 1998…and I literally watched her pass from the physical bonds of this world. I am confident she left to be with her Lord and Savior, and is in a far better place today. Spend every waking second you can with her…take it from me, you will remember them and treasure them for the rest of your life. Make sure she knows how much you love her. Apologize for the things that have haunted you growing up. Tell her your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. Love her as much as you can, mate. I pray that your time together in the days ahead are blessed with clarity of thought and full of remembrance of happy times together. I also pray that she knows her Savior and is ready to meet Him. Thanks again for being so open to sharing your life with us…it is a poignant and wonderful reminder that we are all connected.

    God bless.

    Rich D

  3. Dear Robert,

    I’m glad you are staying in Montana with your Mom. She outweighs all the people at every conference you’ll attend or speak at — combined.

    I am 49 years old, and I am really quite fortunate that both my mom and dad are alive. Mom is 74 and my Dad will be 80 in a few weeks. They are active and engaged in their world and in their children and grandchildren.

    Best memories of my Mom:
    – Often, the most recent memory. For example, I have been meditating often lately. Mom sent me some on-target meditation manuals.
    – Recently, I have been trying again to stay on top of my “to-do” list. I have the advantage of all the modern technology (I use Iambic’s Agendus for Palm an d for Windows). But in the 1960s and 1970s, Mom had only yellow legal pads. To keep her family and her business running, she copied her to-do list two or three times a day onto a new sheet of paper. My Dad thought she was nuts (and I sort of agreed), but her to-do list and her regimen had a lot to do with her success. When I remembered those yellow legal pads a few months ago, I realized — oh, maybe 40 years late — what a great role model she was/is and how she maintained an active “to-do” list without any personal technology. They organized her busy life.
    – My Mom and Dad are inseperable. I have to remember the love they show for each other.

    My dearest memory is of my mother’s mother, who died eight years ago last week. My Grandma Bunnee in her last few decades became accepting and tolerant. Most of all, she encouraged me to reach higher. When cell phones first came out, I used to call her almost every night on my drive home. I miss her every day.

    Keep holding your Mom’s hand, Robert. She’s still there for you and will be to the end of her days.

    – dtd

  4. Dear Robert,

    I’m glad you are staying in Montana with your Mom. She outweighs all the people at every conference you’ll attend or speak at — combined.

    I am 49 years old, and I am really quite fortunate that both my mom and dad are alive. Mom is 74 and my Dad will be 80 in a few weeks. They are active and engaged in their world and in their children and grandchildren.

    Best memories of my Mom:
    – Often, the most recent memory. For example, I have been meditating often lately. Mom sent me some on-target meditation manuals.
    – Recently, I have been trying again to stay on top of my “to-do” list. I have the advantage of all the modern technology (I use Iambic’s Agendus for Palm an d for Windows). But in the 1960s and 1970s, Mom had only yellow legal pads. To keep her family and her business running, she copied her to-do list two or three times a day onto a new sheet of paper. My Dad thought she was nuts (and I sort of agreed), but her to-do list and her regimen had a lot to do with her success. When I remembered those yellow legal pads a few months ago, I realized — oh, maybe 40 years late — what a great role model she was/is and how she maintained an active “to-do” list without any personal technology. They organized her busy life.
    – My Mom and Dad are inseperable. I have to remember the love they show for each other.

    My dearest memory is of my mother’s mother, who died eight years ago last week. My Grandma Bunnee in her last few decades became accepting and tolerant. Most of all, she encouraged me to reach higher. When cell phones first came out, I used to call her almost every night on my drive home. I miss her every day.

    Keep holding your Mom’s hand, Robert. She’s still there for you and will be to the end of her days.

    – dtd

  5. you made the right decision. keep following your heart, it’ll help you make the next right decision and the one after that. none of them are easy.
    xxoo
    BL

  6. you made the right decision. keep following your heart, it’ll help you make the next right decision and the one after that. none of them are easy.
    xxoo
    BL

  7. Hi Robert,
    As I read through your posts about this matter, I can absolutely comprehend what you’re going through. See, I lost my Mom this past November after a 3+ year battle with Cancer. Regarding your “should I stay or go” dilemma, you absolutely must stay with her. I say this because, even though she would tell you to go, you will be giving up precious moments with her that you will never regain. The night my Mom passed, I was supposed to work (I’m a musician, had a gig booked). I never cancel a gig. Never. I cancelled that night and am eternally grateful that I did. Being there with her when this happens will both bring you (and your family) a great deal of peace. But it will also be important to your Mom. She knows you’re there, and she’ll continue to know. So do what you know is right man.

  8. Hi Robert,
    As I read through your posts about this matter, I can absolutely comprehend what you’re going through. See, I lost my Mom this past November after a 3+ year battle with Cancer. Regarding your “should I stay or go” dilemma, you absolutely must stay with her. I say this because, even though she would tell you to go, you will be giving up precious moments with her that you will never regain. The night my Mom passed, I was supposed to work (I’m a musician, had a gig booked). I never cancel a gig. Never. I cancelled that night and am eternally grateful that I did. Being there with her when this happens will both bring you (and your family) a great deal of peace. But it will also be important to your Mom. She knows you’re there, and she’ll continue to know. So do what you know is right man.

  9. Robert,

    losing a loved one is always tough. Watching a loved one fade away is probably as tough as it gets. Know that my thoughts and those of thousands of others are with you as you suffer this. The only advice I can give you about Monday is do what your mom would have wanted. She will certainly understand.

    {{Hugs}}
    Ralph Friedman
    a.k.a RainBo

  10. Robert,

    losing a loved one is always tough. Watching a loved one fade away is probably as tough as it gets. Know that my thoughts and those of thousands of others are with you as you suffer this. The only advice I can give you about Monday is do what your mom would have wanted. She will certainly understand.

    {{Hugs}}
    Ralph Friedman
    a.k.a RainBo

  11. I admire your ability to post what you feel, don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. ‘Memories’–none I care to dwell on, about the woman who views both her children as ‘opportunities.’ Every meal had something wrong with it, happy only when we were walking out of the room, didn’t care for any gifts, always handed back to me, zero interest in us; nothing was enough. Last conversation she said I used to be pretty –closest thing to a compliment, my entire life. That was two months ago, I’ve kept the phone plugged into computer ever since. If you grew up with a mother whom you knew loved you: you are Extremely lucky. The other kind: takes work to erase the memories. Unasked for advice: take the exact total time it takes to grieve, not a minute–or anyone else’s
    time-table–less.

  12. I admire your ability to post what you feel, don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. ‘Memories’–none I care to dwell on, about the woman who views both her children as ‘opportunities.’ Every meal had something wrong with it, happy only when we were walking out of the room, didn’t care for any gifts, always handed back to me, zero interest in us; nothing was enough. Last conversation she said I used to be pretty –closest thing to a compliment, my entire life. That was two months ago, I’ve kept the phone plugged into computer ever since. If you grew up with a mother whom you knew loved you: you are Extremely lucky. The other kind: takes work to erase the memories. Unasked for advice: take the exact total time it takes to grieve, not a minute–or anyone else’s
    time-table–less.

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