Keeping my Mother alive

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Mother subscribed to “Living with Christ” that I took over when she died. I changed the mailing address and kept her name. It’s a booklet of daily mass readings.

As years go by, I noticed I started receiving other mails addressed to her.  Now, there are more mails for her than for me.  These envelopes are coming from various charitable and health organizations asking for donations.  Some mails even have greetings cards, address labels, calendars, pens, bags and other goodies.  I consider these as bribes.

motherWho on earth is keeping my Mother alive?

I know that there is an industry that collects and sells data of name and address of other people.  At the same token some organizations buy the list for solicitation purposes.  I wonder if they have any idea that some people on the list are dead.

I find it rather amusing that these organizations are totally clueless.  One envelope is from Heart and Stroke.  Do I dare tell them that Mother actually died of a massive heart attack on March 31, 2000?

Seeing all these mails for Mother is one way of keeping the memory of her alive.  I do not have the heart to return them to sender for I love receiving her mails.

Mother left us a lasting legacy of love, faith and hope.

Love is her guiding principle, faith is her foundation and hope kept her forging ahead to raise her thirteen children as a single mother.  Like most parents, she wanted the very best for her children.

Mother had a tremendous responsibility to maintain love and care for one another in our family unit. She provided a modest rented apartment as our home that is welcoming.  Even though our home is small, our friends and classmates are part of the family. There was a sense of belonging and ease.  They even call her Mother, too.

When it comes to education, Mother wanted us to focus our energy on studying since she only finished Grade 4.  Once we graduated from University, only then can we try extracurricular activities such as having a boyfriend.

Family is all about relationship of unconditional love, giving and nurturing.  She loved, gave and nurtured.  Her children came first and sacrificed her own personal wants; a very altruistic person. She set a good example and standard for me, my siblings, family, friends and community.  The community presented her an award as Mother of the Year.

When I was younger, I cannot see through what Mother is.  Only then, as I grow older and have more time to contemplate and reflect about her, I can truly say how blessed I am that she chose me to live and saved my life when I became gravely ill.  Not just me but so many others before me.  We are all lucky to have Mother.

Even though she’s no longer here on earth, we keep her legacy of love, faith and hope.  And for as long as we are alive, we will continue to speak and tell stories to the younger generations.

13 thoughts on “Keeping my Mother alive

  1. This is a really beautiful tribute to your mother. I think you are very brave to allow the mail to keep coming in her name – I think it would make me sadder. But on another level, I understand… When my Mum passed away, the hardest thing for me was the silence – the loss of a reply (at least one that I can hear) when I talk to her. I wrote this poem about trying to say goodbye: https://www.anne-casey.com/untimely-departure.html. But your tribute is so much more beautiful and fitting. You seem to have found your peace with it. Take care and thank you so much for making contact. Life has been very busy and I have it had a lot of time for the blogosphere lately. : ))

  2. This is a beautiful post! Funny, insightful, heartfelt, emotionally honest…I love it! Personally, I subscribe to the concept that a person is not fully dead until every human being who knew them as a person and can attest to their character and personality is also dead. My mother, your mother, they’re much alive because you are alive as I am alive, as are their memories.

  3. Thinking of you today and sending you hugs on the anniversary of your mother’s passing. I spoke to my mother yesterday, and even though we sadly “looped” the same conversation more times than I have fingers in those 30 minutes, she at least knew who I was and was so excited to be talking with me and for that, I am truly, truly grateful. x

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