Lois Hjelmstad

Lois Hjelmstad.com

Compassion and courage for the times you need it.

Do you like Mother's Day? Is it a commercial holiday? Is everyone bound to be disappointed? How do you deal if your mother is dead?

My mother died on Mother's Day 1995.

I Never Much Liked Mother’s Day
I never much liked Mother’s Day—
expectations high,
reality never quite measuring up.

One year I brought a red rose, but it wasn’t right—
her mother was already dead
so it was supposed to be white.

Another year Mother only wanted
“all my children and grandchildren
sitting around me in church.”

I barely delivered—
my thirteen-year-old protested
every step of the way,
all the rest of the day,
on into a new century.

Several times I wondered
where I fit into the picture—
I bore four children myself.

Was homage something she required
or something I felt compelled to provide?

I’ll never know,
but on the day she died
Mother’s Day was ruined forever—
I can no longer bear to touch a rose. . .

(Excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret, copyright 2002 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

6 Responses

  1. Lois, this is a poignant, beautiful poem. I love the way you express your grief, so raw and open and honest. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your powerful words with the world.

  2. Lois this was beautiful. I enjoy your poetry very much. To lose your mother on Mother’s day — that is a heavy load to bear. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

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