Happy Mother’s Day to all! We have always prided ourselves on having the best mothers at this blog. While we have respect for those other mothers, our mothers are demonstrably a cut above your average run-of-the-mill mother.

I am off to prepare breakfast in bed for Leslie, but I wanted to wish everyone a great holiday. To our bloggers who are mothers: enjoy this well-deserved day regardless of what Glenn Beck has to say.

19 thoughts on “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY”

  1. Slarti–

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I had a difficult Mother’s Day this year. My ninety-two year old mother was recently hospitalized. We had to have her transferred to a long term care facility–which broke my heart. One good thing: I was able to place my mother in a nursing home less than a five-minute drive from my house. I see her often–sometimes three times a day. Most of the family lives in the area–so Mom has been having lots of visitors.

    My mother has been most fortunate. Until she was hospitalized, she was able to live on her own–with help from family members.

  2. Slarti, Thank you for this very moving account. I have learned a lot from it.


  3. Slarti,Our losses occured under different circunstances,but I really feel what you have written and can truley relate to that feeling in the final moment.


  4. Slartibartfast:

    Many, MANY thanks for sharing your story – your mother sounds like a beautiful woman who raised a beautiful son.

  5. Slats,
    That was an amazing story about your sainted Mother. May this day and its memories bring you some peace!

  6. Happy mother’s Day! Not good news. ttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36967616/ns/politics-supreme_court/

  7. Great story and most appropriate for the day, Slarti. Thanks for sharing it. Your mom would be proud of you.

  8. As my mother passed several years back, I thought that I would write this:

    After some months of symptoms which had been misdiagnosed as gastrointestinal problems, it was determined that my mother had stage III ovarian cancer. On the evening that she was undergoing the first of many surgeries related to this, I was waiting in line (or waiting ON line for all you New Yorkers out there) for a Duke basketball game. As I’m sure you can understand, I was anxious and frustrated with my inability to do anything or find out any news until the surgery was over. As she would be undergoing chemotherapy following the surgery, a friend of mine suggested that I get my head shaved in solidarity. Since it was something to occupy my mind before the game and feeling that she shouldn’t be the only bald person in the family, I went to the on-campus barber shop and asked for the ultimate haircut. The barber was an elderly african-american gentleman in a jaunty little hat. As he was shaving my head, I told him about my mothers surgery and why I was going bald. When I had finished my tale he lifted his hat revealing very short graying hair and remarked that he himself had just finished chemo a couple of months earlier. Buoyed by this experience, I returned to Cameron Indoor Arena to cheer Duke on to victory after which I received the news that my mother’s surgery had gone well.

    After two more years battling her cancer my sister and I returned to Michigan in February as my mother was to undergo yet another round of surgery and the situation was dire. (That my sister was in Michigan in the winter at all was a sign of the gravity of the situation – since leaving the state for college at Florida State she has vowed to remain in warm climates and would never voluntarily subject herself to the depths of Michigan winter without good reason.) Once again the surgery went as well as could be expected and spending time with my mother afterwards I found myself awed by the grace she exhibited – even after a terrible battle that had gone on for years, she was not bitter nor angry nor self-pitying but remained polite and always had a kind word and a thank you for any of the nurses and orderlies who came into her room. I remember the surgeon who had operated on my mother discussing her prognosis with my sister and I in the hall outside her room. He told us that while the surgery had gone as well as could be expected that it was unlikely that my mother would live much more than a couple of weeks. My father, my sister and I discussed it (my father and mother having discussed her wishes previously) and decided that subjecting her to more surgeries and chemotherapy wasn’t what she wanted nor was it in her best interests (I cannot stress enough the importance of having your own family ‘death panel’ long before there is a need for it).

    My mother was admitted to a hospice where she could get the care that she required and be made as comfortable as possible. Before she had gotten sick she had been a volunteer at that hospice for several years, so it was a familiar place and she was well known to the staff. No longer faced with major surgeries or grueling chemotherapy she seem to regain her will to live and two weeks turned into months in the familiar confines of the hospice. At this time, I was nearing completion of my PhD at Duke, working on compiling the research that I had done into my thesis. The staff of the hospice, knowing that my mother would be unable to travel to Durham for my graduation, arranged for my dissertation defense to be webcast so that my mother could see it from the hospice. As it turned out, she was sent home from the hospice a couple of weeks before my defense (she required a minor surgery that could not be performed on someone in hospice care) so the hospice staff arranged for her to return for a small party on the day of my defense. They had a luncheon for my parents and my aunt and uncle after which they watched my presentation on my thesis (‘Analysis of Feedback-Mediated Dynamics in Two Coupled Nephrons’ – I’ve sure they were all riveted ;-)). That summer she was able to spend several weeks at our cottage on Higgins Lake in northern Michigan (it’s right about here*). The cottage was always very important to her as she spent the latter part of her childhood living there as well as many weekends every summer thereafter. The house there has always been the very definition of the term ‘cottage’ to me – lacking only the white picket fence (and more than making up for it by being on the shore of a lake once rated by National Geographic magazine as the 5th most beautiful lake in the world).

    * You’ll have to imagine me holding up my right hand, palm outward and pointing around the top joint in my middle finger – it’s a Michigan thing.

    After the summer she returned to our family home in East Lansing (where my father, in his usual stoic fashion, proved his love by the tireless care he provided her). In early January, after my sister, her family and I had come home for Christmas, my mother finally passed away. We had a memorial service in January (the blizzard we had that day is likely the last my sister will ever experience ;-)) and the following summer we spread some of her ashes in the lake and buried the rest in a small cemetery nearby. I had spent some months before the funeral re-growing my hair (I had always felt that my mother appreciated the gesture of me shaving my head much more than she liked how I looked bald) and when I shaved my head after the service and every time I’ve shaved it since I think about my mother and remember this story. Thank you for letting me share it with you.

    To all of the mothers reading this I wish the grace to bear all that life can throw at you and the fortune not to need it.

    In loving memory of Nancy Jean Kesseler or as I knew her, Mom.

  9. And for those of us who can relate to Mr. Howards pain and pride on this day:

    “My mother was a part of every aspect of my life, and she was the person I most revered in this world. I miss her every day, but know she is with me in everything that I do. This mother’s day, I hope we all take a moment to pause and reflect on how much our mothers mean to us and show them our appreciation in the best way we know how. As for me, Mother’s Day is now bittersweet as I reflect on life when my mother was here and think of the man I’ve become because of her. Thank you mom–I miss you”


  10. eniobob,

    That is a wonderful thing to say and the part that I read is that you said a mother is a friend. Selfless in all that she would do for her children and you too.

  11. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mothers on the blog.

    ” A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
    Tenneva Jordan”

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