My Dearest Daughter

In 1958 my mother got married and moved across the country. These are the letters written to her, mainly by her mother, between 1958 and 1960, as well as other artifacts from my family's past. Others in the series are in my del.icio.us file.

Although we are getting ready for Christmas, and the arrival of the Christ Child, an ongoing theme of the church is preparation for our own deaths. That message has been a lot more loud and clear to me since my mother's death 18 months ago. Along with the constant empty spot where Mom use to be in my daily life, is the underlying sense that my death is out there too. It's coming. And if I take Mom's life as indicator, on the outside I'm looking at a mere 30 years. That seems like so little time.

And as I pondered these things my mind suddenly hit on the idea that there will be certain points where I can look at my life and see where I am as compared to where mom was at the same point.

Today, is one of those days. My mother was 51 years, 6 months and 8 years old the day I got married. That is my exact age today. A sobering thought.

The next year my sister got married and then six years after that Mom got her first grandchildren. I don't see a wedding in the near future for either my sister or me. Mom was very well established and successful in her career as is my sister. There are quite a few career and educational goals that she had attained by then that either elude or don't interest me. And of course I still have a lot of younger children including a five year old. I think that's the biggest difference between my mother's life and mine. But we did share a passion for music and I've tried to carry on with that, always keeping my Mom's praise for my playing, even on her deathbed, in the forefront of my thoughts.

These pictures are kind of interesting. Mr. Pete is in both of them. I remember thinking my mom looked so matronly, but that was right for her. I don't feel matronly, but I guess I am. At least Mr. Pete looks adorable in both pictures!

Mama at age 51, 6 months 8 days




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