Thursday, May 7, 2015

Have You Written About Your Mother?

 Mother's Day 2015 is drawing near. We've watched TV commercials reminding us to get that special gift for our mom and noted newspaper ads hyping the same thing. Mother's Day greeting cards sell by the gazillions and the phone lines zing with all the calls to Mom.

How many writers have written stories, essays and poems about their mother? Might be that same gazillion number as the greeting cards. Or maybe not. Is it something you've thought about doing but just haven't gotten around to it yet? Or is it a task you aren't sure how to approach? Are you unsure of her reaction if you do write about her? Is it hard to bare your emotions in print? For some, it would be easier than speaking the same words to Mom. 

Whatever the reasaon that you have not written about your mother, maybe this is the year to begin. There are so many approaches. Write about her as a young woman who nurtured you through your childhood. Or write about her as Mother of the Bride (or Groom). Write about her becoming a grandmother for the first time. Write about her as she ages. Write about her as her health fails. Write about her after she is gone. Do it for yourself, your extended family, your children and for your mother. 

I lost my mother over ten years ago, but she is still with me in so many ways. I've written about finding her in my own home everyday. That story, with audio by me, is at Our Echo. I've written many stories about my mother with several of them being published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She was a unique person and led an interesting life. No, she didn't travel the world or work in a major industry. She had little education, having to quit high school after one year. Despite that, she was a person who had a natural instinct for understanding others. She raised four children in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment and she gave all four of us a strong base for our own lives. She had a fiery Irish temper which we witnessed on many an occasion. 

Write about your mother as a person. Write about her as the one who guided you through those growing-up years. Write about her as your anchor in life. But what if you had a mother who was a difficult person to live with? One that was not the stuff fairy tales are made of? All mothers are not worthy of five gold stars. You can still write about her. Write about the troubled times but look for a silver lining if possible, too. Few people are all good or all bad. We are complex individuals so the stories about our moms and ourselves as moms should reflect this. 

To conclude today's post, here is a poem I wrote when my mom was in a nursing home far away from where I lived. That Mother's Day, I could not visit her in person so wrote the poem instead. 

Mother’s Day Visit

By Nancy Julien Kopp

Her step has slowed;
her hands shake.
Age has left its mark.

The sparkle’s gone;
her eyes no longer shine.
Years have taken a toll

Yet, deep inside 
the thin, frail body
lives my mother,

she who nurtured and
created a haven where 
I rested, safe and loved,

a mom who taught me
all about devotion
and how to make a home.

She shared my joys
and wept at the sorrows
sprinkled in my life,

rejoiced at each new birth,
listened to my tales,
counseled and cared.

I hold her trembling hand,
and whisper thanks and love.
Please God, let her know,

before our time is gone,
that her love lives on
within me now and evermore.

© May 2004


  1. Nancy, that's a touching and heartfelt tribute. Thank you for sharing your poem.

    1. Thanks for your comment. There are many who have mothers in nursing homes or living fragile aged lives somewhere. Those moms need special love sent their way.