On Aging and Mothers

by Kassandra Lamb

Happy Mother's Day(We’re posting early this week, in honor of Mother’s Day)

Mother’s Day is a bittersweet occasion for me now. I only have one card to pick out — for the awesome mother of my grandsons, my daughter-in-law. My mother-in-law passed away a little over a year ago, and last month marked the eleventh anniversary of my mother’s death.

There are many pros and cons to aging. One of the pros, of course, is that it beats the alternative. 🙂

There are others: wisdom, self-confidence, no longer giving a crap what others think, retirement and the freedoms it brings. And, believe it or not, less fear of death. That’s right, older adults, in general, fear death less than younger ones do. (I’m not making this up, folks; studies have been done.)

Somewhere in your forties, the reality that you are indeed going to die someday reaches out and smacks you in the face. By your sixties — sometimes sooner — you’ve come to terms with that reality. I no longer particularly mind the idea that I’m going to die, although I do hope it won’t occur for many years yet. But my getting closer to death means that many of the generation that came before me have already died. That I do mind.

My mother lives on, however, in me. That’s one aspect of aging that I can’t quite decide if it’s a pro or a con. I’ve noticed as I age that I am more and more like my mother. I look in the mirror and my mother is looking back at me.

My mother loved to figure out what made people tick; I became a psychologist. My mother loved to write; I became a writer. As the old saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

My mom laughingMost of all, my mother loved life. She loved to laugh and was quick to put a positive spin on things. I like to think I follow in her footsteps there as well.

She also loved to work jigsaw puzzles, as do I. I stumbled on this today, on Jigzone.com, a poem about mothers from Edgar Allen Poe.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

In what ways do you feel that you’re like your parents?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

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4 thoughts on “On Aging and Mothers

  1. Shan Jeniah Burton

    I look like my mother – a blue-eyed, lighter haired version. Since I’m estranged from her, that might bother me, except for one thing – my daughter looks like us both.

    I wish I could go back in time and mother my mother. She didn’t have that. If she had, I might have had the mother I needed. It is vitally important to me, therefore, that I mother my daughter in the way she needs.

    Somehow, in doing that, I am symbolically mothering myself, and my mother, even if she never knows that, or understands that it’s a gesture of love for us all…

    And bittersweet…as an estranged daughter, and the mother whose second child died in infancy, Mother’s Day isn’t an easy fit in my soul. I tend, more or less, to retreat from the hubbub, and just enjoy my children. I married a chef, so he’s almost always working that day. I just enjoy low-key time and try to be gentle with us all, and accepting that the shadow of grief is closer, that day.

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      I know Mother’s Day is always rough for you, Shan, as I’m sure it is for any woman who has lost a child. There is no greater loss. So glad you take extra good care of yourself that day.

      Very astute of you about the mothering your own mother, and yourself, through the mothering of your children. I think that’s a big part of people’s motivation for having children, usually without them even knowing it. And it certainly is healing when we can look at our kids and say, “They’re in a much better place than I was at that age.”

      Reply

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