Read my latest post on Dogster!

Lily (on the bottom) and her daughter Lola loved to play together every day.

Lily (on the bottom) and her daughter Lola loved to play together every day.

I didn’t even know they had posted this, so I am late sharing it with you. Sorry about that.

My Dog and I Bonded Deeply After Losing Our Mothers the Same Month

This story is about me and Lola losing our moms just eight days apart. It was a hard time for both of us. The funny thing is that earlier today, I said to her, “Maybe my mom had to go away so she could take care of your mom when she got there.” That reminded me that I had written this last month and it had never run, so I looked for it again.

Please go check it out and share this post with your animal-loving friends!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, wherever you may be

mother

Do you ever wish a holiday would just drop off the map?

I do, because it’s that time of year again when I’m getting emails in my inbox reminding me to buy flowers or candy or some other type of present for my mom for Mother’s Day.

Is it just me or is Mother’s Day on steroids this year? It’s everywhere I turn – in the stores, in the newspaper, on the radio, on the Internet. Maybe it’s that way every year. Maybe it just seems so in my face because I miss her so much.

I recently moved near where my dad lives, and my mom didn’t live too far from him. For many years, when I came “home” to visit, I spent time with each of them. And now, she should be here. But she isn’t.

People ask other people, and people have asked me, “What are you doing for Mother’s Day?” Well, my mom died two and a half years ago. What are you supposed to do with Mother’s Day when you’re not a mother and your mother is no more? What do you do when you’re one of the Motherless Daughters?

Unbelievably, a distant family member swooped in and stole my mother’s ashes from the place that handled her arrangements after she “graduated” from medical school. (I had to fight distant family members to even make sure her body was donated to a medical school like she wanted, but that’s another story.) I still remember my shock when the guy said, “I’m sorry, we sent her to so and so.” Of course, they never contacted me to see if that was what I wanted, but instead just assumed that person was telling the truth when he requested it behind my back.

I felt horrible about that for about a week, until a good friend came to my house for a visit. When I tearfully told him what happened, he said one of the greatest things anyone has ever said to me: “Well, think about it this way. You got all of those years with her, and all of her love and all of those memories, and all he got was a box of ash.”

An overwhelming feeling of peace immediately came over me and I haven’t been upset about the theft since, because he was right: I got all the best of my mom during all of the years we had together. He also pointed out something else to me: She isn’t gone from me.

Throughout the week after that conversation, I really thought about what he said about her not being gone and then I realized he was right. She is with me every day.

I can hear her in my voice when I get excited or silly, or when I talk to my animals. I do the same higher pitch then.

I can see her in my hand whenever I sign my name. I worked hard when I was a teen to mimic her elegant cursive, and if you looked at our signatures, you would immediately see the resemblance.

I can feel her in my smile whenever I pose for a “good” photo. (My mom was a teenage beauty queen who taught me how to smile for “good” photos.)

I can hear her in the advice I give to friends – be kind, to yourself and others; do the right thing; love everyone, always.

I guess for Mother’s Day, I will remember my mom and wish she was still here. I’ll ache about feeling like an orphan. And I’ll hug my dad a little tighter, because he’s the only parent I have left.

Do you still have your mom? If not, what do you do for Mother’s Day? If this post spoke to you, please share it.

When doves and fans cry…

prince

I will just go ahead and confess that I have been depressed for several days, and that’s why I haven’t posted something new here.

It may not make sense to some people that the death of a musician could make someone so upset.

But the death of Prince has hit me hard.

Maybe his death is hard for me because it follows some other musicians that meant a lot to me, like David Bowie and Scott Weiland.

Then again, maybe it’s because of where Prince’s music fits into my life. I was a teen when I first heard his music, and it had a huge impact on me. The film “Purple Rain” was one of which I and my like-minded friends could not get enough.

I remember my first love happened at about that time, and I clearly recall riding on the back of his motorcycle, thinking about a scene in the movie where Prince and his love were doing the same.

I swear I can smell the air and feel the wind in my hair to this day.

Every time I was on that bike that summer, the song “Take Me With You” ran through my head.

“I don’t care where we go, I don’t care what we do. I don’t care, pretty baby, just take me with you.”

First love combined with young love combined with summer love. Was there anything better?

My life now is much different from those idyllic days. Things haven’t turned out the way I hoped or thought or even imagined. But even when your life goes great, like mine has, I think no one can help sometimes being wistful for a time that was simpler and more innocent.

I don’t know that I can put into words why Prince mattered so much to me, but he did. He mattered a lot.

Because I met so many stars during my newspaper career, my dad assumes I have met everyone. I was at his house this weekend when something came on the news about Prince.

“Did you know him?” my dad asked innocently.

“No. Yes,” I said as tears fell down my face. “It’s hard to explain. I never met him, but he meant a lot to me.”

My dad looked thoughtful for a moment, and then didn’t press the issue.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “It seems like he meant a lot to a lot of people.”

Indeed.

Do you have a special Prince memory? Share it with me. And if this post speaks to you, please share it.