Mother's Day is the only holiday I care about

Mother's day is special not only because I get to spend time with my daughter, but I feel okay asking her for things I would hesitate asking on the other days for fear of being narcissistic. [I heard somewhere if you wonder if you are narcissistic, you are not: a narcisssist would never ask the question]

What did my mother think of mother’s day? Was it a special day? Did she dread it? I will never know, she died over 30 years ago.


Dear Mary Jo,

Thanks for loving literature and always reading.

Thanks for giving birth to me (the first of four + if you could  have had your life of dreams, you probably would have had zero).

Thanks for loving color. You loved quirky + bold combinations when no one else did.

Thanks for being so smart – (I would love to know how you got to be a member of the  Phi Beta Kappa Society).

Thanks for loving good food + Adele Davis + wheat germ + having the dairy man delivery bottles of raw milk + baking bread.

Thanks for being cute in a fresh-pixie -50’s-kind-of–way.

Thanks for searching for spiritual solutions (as weird as your being a Christian Scientist was).

Thanks for leaving this world when you did, but yikes, 49 is young! But I get it.

Thanks for loving gardening (though our house was a disaster zone). I get why you would not want to be inside.

The rest of it, as in your never wanting to be a wife + mother, well, what were your options? It must have been hell for you to have four children, a husband who was a playboy.

Rest in peace.

You missed out meeting your granddaughter, Anna Louise. You might have met her father, once. I would not get married & have her for almost ten years. I know you would have had a special relationship with her—I imagine you would have been able to show her love and you would have meant it. Anna is 26. I was 26 when you died. Okay, you did the best you could.

I love mother’s day because it reminds me how different my life has been than yours. I am sorry you did not have the chance to learn how to be a good mother­–god, there are so many places to get help now.


(still your daughter)


Tomorrow I am going to ask my daughter if we can write down a list of our shared stories. 



Me, wanting to be the best daughter to a mother who did not want to be one.

Mary Jo Hart watercolor

Mary Jo Hart watercolor