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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Not Just Any Day in May

I was born on Mother's Day--May the 8th and all.  Apparently, many of us arrived that day crowding the rooms of Strong Memorial in Rochester, NY.  Post delivery, my mother was put in what she called "a glorified broom closet" because of the shortage of beds.  On the wall was a poster showing her step-by-step how to perform a vasectomy.  In keeping with the era, my dad was relegated to the waiting room for my big entrance.  Apparently, he was so worked up in there someone asked if I was his first baby.  "Third!" he barked.  Also, the last.  That probably had nothing to do with the poster though.

Another fun fact about my birth is that I was a birthday present for my sister.  Diana was 2-years-old and laid up with Chicken Pox when Mom went into labor.  Mom had asked Diana what she wanted for her birthday which happens to be tomorrow, May 9th.  Diana unequivocally answered "A baby sister".  Mom said she'd do what she could.   It is very nice when a plan comes together.  I was adored from the get-go and Mom even let Diana push me around the driveway in her doll carriage.

More than any other month, May will always be a month of love and loss for me and for Diana.  It is my most conflicted month by far.  The double birthdays have always been fun and I married in May but I also lost my mother in May, my aunt passed away on my birthday 3 years ago and my brother was buried on my birthday 14 years ago.   Diana and I once wondered if we could cut the month out of the year altogether. I even pretended my birthday was August 5 (8/5 instead of 5/8) for a short while--okay well I talked about it.  But in the end, it was all sort of silly.  All months have good and bad dates and memories.  I think May is the sore thumb because losing Mom was probably the hardest loss of my life.

There is nothing like a mother and there was certainly none like mine.  I will love her and hold her in my heart forever.  I see her in the dimples of my own daughter and those of my nieces.  I see her in Diana and I see her in me.  I hear her words come out of my mouth and I laugh.  I'm lucky for the mother I had and for the women in my life who loved her, love me and helped bridge my loss as I married and became a mother without Mom by my side.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms and the people who "have their backs".

Much love to my mother, my mother figures and my grandmothers known and those yet to be discovered:

Sandie; Liz; Mary; Sue; Carla; Patty; Rosemary; Catherine; Mabel; Maryann; Alice; Hattie; Nora, Honora, Sarah; Diantha; Dolly; Lydia; Sarah; Heather; Ursula...


  1. Thanks for sharing. That was beautifully written. Happy birthday. :)

  2. OMG so gorgeous. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing. AND Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day! xoxo

  3. I just wanted to say I love your Blog! I look forward to reading the diary entries daily and like your interesting comments in regards to the entries. I grew up in Falconer NY but now live in St Petersburg, Fl. I enjoy history and geneology and it is great to see what life was like over 100 years ago in the area I call "home".

  4. Happy Birthday, Jen
    Your mother would have been SO proud of you. I am so sorry I was never able to meet her but I reckon through knowing you, that she must have been a very remarkable person. All Love, Granny T x

  5. Thanks for having my back and my backyard.