Dear Mother, Mom, Eileen,
Guess what I’m writing about? Your name!
I never understood why my father insisted on being called ‘Daddy’, or why he insisted that I call you ‘Mother’! I wonder what you wanted to be called. I don’t think I ever asked.
I could call you Eileen, your given name. It’s beautiful. It suits you. Maybe I’ll call you Eileen someday. But right now I’m going to call you Mom.
Why? Because it’s personal and familial without sounding childish. No way would I call you Mommie, for example. Another reason is that I always wanted to call you Mom. But it wasn’t allowed. To me, it makes a difference.
‘Mother’ seems formal. It identifies your biological relation to me, not our personal relationship. Sort of like calling me ‘Daughter’ instead of ‘Sweetie’ or something syrupy like that.
So what’s a ‘Mom’ to do? Here’s my quick list:
- Listen patiently (most of the time!)
- Give feedback as appropriate (no need to say everything that passes through her mind)
- Keep things locked in her heart (no spreading the news to others)
- Talk about her own story as appropriate
- Pray for me
- Affirm and love me as I am
- Admit when she’s wrong
- Be accessible without being a doormat
I know you can do this because you did precisely this in the last few years of your life.
So…from now on, you’re Dear Mom!
Love and hugs,
P.S. Enjoy the picture! I’ll send one with each note.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 December 2014
Photo Credit: DAFraser, August 2014