May includes a special day to celebrate mothers. It can be a joyous day or one of sadness or anger or a whole range of emotions. Nevertheless, Mother’s Day arrives on May 12th this year, and it gives us a chance to pause and think about Mom. I am a mother, but only in memory, since my son died twelve years ago. Some years since then have been difficult, others full of happy memories of motherhood. I never know how I will feel on Mother’s Day, but there is always something to remember.

When I thought about my mother this year, I recalled a poem I wrote several years ago that expresses one of the transitions that occurred in my thoughts about her:

My Mother’s Face

I see the blurred reflection

of my mother’s face

in the window above my kitchen sink,


the way her hair falls forward

across the left side of her forehead

and curls out from behind her right ear.


A light from my neighbor’s window

glows through her eyes, masking

a color that is not quite hers.


The silhouette of a wind-tossed branch,

back-lit by fading daylight,

softens her mouth and rounds her jaw.


The face I see in my bathroom mirror

under the glare of clear-bulbed light,

is mine, not my mother’s,


but, in the foggy window

above my kitchen sink

I am her.


Write about a time when you realized you might be more like your mother than you thought.

How has your mother influenced how you are living your life? What are some of the rituals and rules you grew up with that you continue today?

What are some things you have changed in your life from what you learned from your mother?