The Letter Writing Revolution

Revitalizing a Lost Art One Letter at a Time

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Letter to My Mother

Today is my mom's 65th birthday. I am one of the lucky ones in that I was born to an amazing woman who I lovingly refer to as "Mom." I have never taken this for granted. I am well aware that in this lifetime I have been blessed with incredible parents. Some people believe that it is chance or luck or choice as to what parents you end up with. I like to think that we are all on a mystical journey in life and our souls have lessons to be learned and therefore choose the path accordingly. If you believe that God (insert your higher power here) has something to do with it then you are probably right.

My mom is one of those mothers that all of your friends love. Whether we were children or teenagers, our friends flocked to our house because they were always welcomed. Even my boyfriend from 1987 who might have scared most parents, was lovingly embraced by my mother. There's isn't a whole lot that scares her and she is very tolerant and accepting of others especially if you need dry clothes, good footwear or a warm meal. My memories of childhood include the sound of the Singer sewing machine as she created works of art in the form of our clothing. Whatever was in fashion, we got it but always handmade. I love the memory of coming off the school bus in the winter when it was already getting dark. The windows in the kitchen would be fogged up and the porch light would be on along with the street lights. Walking in the door, we were greeted by the smells of supper cooking in the oven and a warm hug and kiss. She always asked about our day and listened to what we told her. Mom was very attentive to things like cozy pajamas, clean bed clothes and full tummies. Things that, as a child, I may have taken for granted but as an adult I can appreciate as I know that so many children go without and who even experience neglect.

Me and friends in the kitchen. Circa 1987
 When it came to boys and dating mom had two statements that she repeated often: "Don't be an arse rag" and "You can never go back to holding hands." The first statement was her way of saying that we deserved to be and should expect to be treated well by not only boys/men but by everyone. She wanted us to know that there was nothing we could do that would deserve the degrading status of being someone's "arse rag." The second piece of advice was more of a warning, I think. It was her way of saying, once you go past hand holding then you move into that dangerous place of "heavy petting" (another phrase that made us chuckle!) which can then lead to THAT place of no return. Once there, it's really, really difficult to return to hand holding and innocence. It was her way of telling us to proceed with caution and to make our decisions wisely. For the record, I was never anyone's arse rag and she was right, you can't go back to holding hands, unfortunately. She also wanted to instill in us the importance of really getting to know someone first before rushing into the physical aspects of the relationship. I was a rebellious teenager and didn't listen well. When I met the man who was to become my husband and I knew that it was something really special, I remembered my mom's advice and I actually followed it. She was right again.

My mom met my dad when she was 12 years old but they didn't start dating until a few years later. Mom had plans to travel to Africa or California to nurse. She had dreams and plans for her life when she unexpectedly became pregnant with my sister, Lana. My parents were married in February 1968 in a snowstorm and my sister, Lana, arrived in June of the same year. My dad always joked that Lana was very premature weighing in at 8lbs. So, mom's focus in life changed and she went on to have me in 1971, another daughter in 1974 and her only son in 1978. She never seems regretful for the change in her path and embraced her life as a mother and wife and a Registered Nurse for 43 years with love and passion.

My siblings and I. Circa 2000

In celebration of her birthday, we asked what she would like and she replied that she would like all of us to write her a letter. And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Happiest of Birthdays, MOM. I love you and celebrate you and cherish you.
Mom and I with my daughter, Meredith. Circa 2003


  1. Beautiful tribute, Jule...loved the pictures! I'm going to link to this from my blog, today, okay? And then we're going to sit down and draw some pictures and write some letters to mom/nanny.

  2. beautiful Julie! just beautiful! happy happy birthday to your Mom! lots of love - Auramarina

  3. What a wonderful birthday tribute! Happy Birthday to your mom! I feel lucky I get to be related to such a terrific, talented family!

  4. Nice one, Julie. Your memories are so much like mine! We are so blessed with our Mom.
    S and J wrote letters to her last weekend and they were mailed on Monday so I hope she has them today.

  5. This post reminds me of a saying I just found: "There is no love, there are only proofs of love." And I think by her gestures, attention and every day tasks, your Mom gave you many proofs of love every day. I will definitely keep "don't be anyone arse rag" in my bank of mother's tools. I'm sure I'll need it sooner than later! Congratulations Donna and Happy Birthday!

  6. LOVE the hair in the first picture Julie (I'm serious, that's gotta be the coolest hairdo around). This post made me both weepy and happy. Your mother sounds absolutely amazing!
    Misty (

  7. A beautiful post, Julie. It's obvious your mom instilled all good things in you. Altho' you answered my sibling question before, it's nice to see a picture of you all together. Your mom will have wonderful keepsake letters as a memory of this birthday. Oh, and she was born in a very good year!!!!

  8. Happy Birthday Donna!
    What a beautiful tribute!
    xo maureen

  9. Shelley Francoeur SheedyThursday, 16 September, 2010

    Happy Bday Donna, you are an amazing Mentor! All the best and hope to see you someday soon! Shelley


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