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It has been twenty five years since my Mother, Mary Ann, passed on. As I write this, twenty five years seems unbelievable. At the time, I, certainly, didn’t appreciate the enormity of the situation.

Of course, I understood losing my Mother was sad and terrible, and not something I would wish on anyone at the age of 19.

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I prayed for my Mother’s death. This sounds horrible and heartless, but she had suffered a lengthy illness and despite the fact that I did not want to lose her, what I wanted was an end to her suffering.

As the years went by, I marked the anniversary of her passing with grief and sadness but continuing life without her seemed, in some ways, to become easier. This is not to say she was not always missed. All of the things we should have done with a mother, we did without her.

My sister and I met our husbands.
My sister and I chose wedding dresses.
We both were married.
My sister had two babies.
24 Mother’s Days.

On every one of these occasions, I was grateful to have my Dad, sister, and of course, my husband, Tony, but always longed for my Mother. The will always be an empty chair.

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At every celebration, I miss my mother- not necessarily for myself anymore, but for my nephew and niece. They cannot be the recipients of her craziness, her meanness (mean moms are the best) and her wisdom. I’m sure she would be scolding them to not do this or that, but would be, secretly, so proud that Jack is so smart and funny or that The Mouse is such a little imp.

I am so thankful Jack and Mouse have an amazing Grandma in Betty, my sister’s Mother in Law. She is, literally, the sweetest, kindest, most selfless woman, possibly, ever born. Seriously, she makes Mother Teresa look like a thug. Jack and Mouse are so lucky to have her- we all are. But Betty is very opposite of my Mother. For example, I cannot picture Betty making a log of poop out of Gingerbread and leaving it on my pillow. I cannot picture Betty acting out the part of The Wicked Witch of the West with such commitment and zest. I cannot picture Betty chasing me down the hallway to give me a good beatin’. Stuff like that.

I think of my mother all the time, and normally, I am fine. But there are times when tears will come, seemingly, out of nowhere. Not too long ago, I was buying some scallions and started to cry. It makes no sense.

My mother was in no way, yet in all ways, perfect. She was mean. She was strict. She didn’t take any crap. My mother was a parent, not a friend. She was strong in her faith, she made us fight our own battles, but she, silently, helped shoulder the burden when those battles overwhelmed us. Every evening, she greeted my Dad at the door with a kiss. She made us dinner, virtually, every night. She drove us all over creation for this lesson or that. Dance, acting, baton twirling, singing, cheerleading. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was loved. Or that she could kill me at any moment if I stepped out of line. In every way that truly mattered, my mother was the perfect mother.

A few months ago I visited a Medium. Although he was no Long Island Medium, I had heard some good things about him. He was more of a Large, in truth. Seriously, I went hoping for two specific people to “come through,” one being my mother. I still am not entirely sure I believe this stuff, but there were a few interesting things revealed in this reading. I told the medium, only, my mother’s name and date of birth, and I asked if my Mother knew her grandchildren. I was told that my mother had her grandson’s picture. At the time I didn’t recall this, but when Jack was a baby, I taped his picture to my mother’s headstone. Also, Jack has seen her in the park. And most special to me, when I am cooking in my kitchen, my Mother stands by the bathroom door and watches me.

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Let’s face it, it could all be crap, I suppose the medium might have guessed that I have a kitchen and that I sometimes cook in said kitchen, but it made me feel my mother could still be “around,” in some capacity.

Oh, another thing the medium told me is, my Mother “messes with Tony.” That ALONE was worth the price of the reading.

The special things my Mother would do for my sister and me- making Halloween costumes, and special birthday cakes, I try to do for Jack and Mouse. In some small way, I feel this gives them a piece of her.


My Mother was a strong, funny, remarkable woman and she is someone I will always admire. If I dwell on the fact that I’ve been without her for so long it makes me sadder than I could ever have imagined. However, I would not be who I am today had I not lost my mother.

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Who am I? I am flawed. I am sad. I am scared … a lot. I fear being left behind. I, sometimes, feel to be a disappointment and am not good enough. I am broken pieces with sharp edges. I try, with the love of Tony, to hold some of those shards together to form, some semblance of, a whole person.

Sometimes, I fool myself into thinking I’m normal. Sometimes, I cry over scallions.


One Response to “she”

  1. Penney Says:

    Awww Schlegie. This was wonderful! And you are an amazing, caring, loving….sarcastic broad, if I ever met one and your Mom would be so proud! We all love you just the way you are!

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