Missing mom

18 11 2011

Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. She survived Stage II ovarian cancer for 11 years. She never gave up and never turned away anything her doctors offered to get her into yet another remission, relieve her pain, and keep her with us year after year. She is the strongest woman I will ever know. I shared many stories about my remarkable mother last November in my blog post here.

I wear one of her gold rings on my right hand every day. It has five tiny diamonds set into a gold band that crosses another band. I like to think she bought it because each diamond represents the five members of our little family. I have been surprised at just how comforting it is to wear it and then in the same moment, I am made painfully aware that it is no longer gracing her hands. It is just one of many rings she wore faithfully, earning my father’s lifelong nickname for her—Diamond Lil.

Every night, I sleep on her satin pillowcase—the one she used when she had her hair styled at the beauty shop when we were younger. I talk to her late at night when I can’t sleep, which is often. I miss her fried chicken and shopping with her at outlet malls. I miss hearing her dish on the latest legal case, missing child, political happening or celebrity scoop. I miss sharing the Star tabloid from the San Antonio Sunday newspaper. I miss hearing the comforting “I worry about you, doll” as she hung up after each phone call.

When I look in the mirror, I see her smile and very fine hair. I believe I inherited her compassion. My father says I inherited her very forgiving nature. More than anything, I hope I inherited her strength.

Janie Alta McLean Dyer, 12.26.1931–11.18.2010



9 responses

18 11 2011
Barbara Sullivan

Oh, you made me cry! Thank you for sharing your mom with those of us who had a very different experience; I think we feel a little light of love reflected in even the description of those diamonds she wore, and passed on. And yes, I’m sure the mantle of her strength now rests with you.

19 11 2011
Molly C. Corum

Thanks for sharing. Oh yes you do resemble her and have her sparkle. I miss my parents too. (Mom, age 56, 1977 and then 26 yrs later Dad age 88) They are finally together. Tresure the HAPPY memories.

19 11 2011
Deborah Marcus

Beautiful–your mom, your sentiments, your photography.

19 11 2011

Cindy, I’ve carried you, your dad and your sisters in my heart this past year and hold you all close today. Thank you for letting us see even more of your mother’s life and light in your writings.

19 11 2011

Hi Cindy – Barbara passed along this beautiful post to me, and it sounds like your mother was quite a wonderful lady! And a beautiful lady, too, judging from the photo. I am lucky in that my mother is still alive and healthy, but my sweet mother-in-law has been gone 8 years now. She left me her wedding band, with five diamonds in it, because she had 5 children and my husband and I have 5 children. I always wear it when we have a special family event so she can be with us just a little bit. My father-in-law notices and appreciates that too.

On another note, I was at Barbara’s last night to pick up my son and I saw the crate of beautiful decorations you loaned her for her Thanksgiving “tablescape” – I made her promise to let me run down and peek when she gets everything all set up!

19 11 2011
Betty Londergan

Cindy — I lost my own mom 25 years ago, but I can still remember the first year after she died. I was wild with grief and in that rage made a lot of really stupid decisions — the kind only a 33 year-old can make. Eventually, the raw pain of it subsided and left me just missing her and wishing she could have been there to share so much of my life since: the birth of my daughter, my two books, and my happy marriage. You are so lucky to have had her for so long in your life — she sounds like an incredible person!! Thinking of you …

19 11 2011

Here’s hoping you never have to find out the depths of your strength in the same way your mother found out about hers.

20 11 2011
Mary Ellen Ryall

Your words made me cry. A whole year, it doesn’t seem possible. I believe your mother was a remarkable woman full of courage, love, perseverance and compassion. And you my dear heart inherited a lot of wisdom from her. Bless you Cindy today and always.

24 11 2011

I was very touched by your words and by the lovely photo of your mother. I know how you feel, and how sad and difficult it is to accept never to be able to talk to or look at a beloved person again. I recognize every one of your words from the loss of my own mother. Thank you for telling.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Cindy.

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