Saturday, May 21, 2011

M is for the Many Things

Today is the one year anniversary of my Mother's passing. She suffered from dementia, one of the worst diseases a person and a family can endure. I recently wrote a short play called "The Glass House" which examines how a mother and daughter struggle to communicate when the mother begins to hallucinate. The daughter tries to validate and comfort while agonizing over the loss of being recognized by her own mom.

Every Mother's Day I would sing a variation of a very funny Madeline Kahn song: "M is for the Many Things You've Done For Me". It went like this: "M is for the many things you've done for me, O is for the other things you've done for me, T is for the thousands of things you've done for me, H is for the hundreds of things you've done for me. E is for everything you've done for me, R is for the rest of the things you've done for me." It always made Mom laugh. Last year I sang it to her while she lay in her hospital bed in the house that she loved. She no longer responded, but I like to think that it still gave her some joy.

I celebrate Suzanne G. Carey on this day. Her amazing sense of humor. How she laughed when we would hang a picture upside-down. How she was always the last person to get a joke. Her incredible garden, her tennis playing, her constant optimism and belief in her children. Her artistic skill. Her love of nature. She was the most self-less person I have ever met. She believed in our abilities like no one else ever will.

When I was a little girl, I wrote a prayer to God. I put it under a rock, and when I checked it the next day, it was gone. I asked Mom if she knew where it went. She told me that an angel probably had taken it. Now I know that was what happened. I love you Mom.


Wendy said...

Oh Jennifer, what a beautifully written tribute to your Mom. And the song you sang to her is awesome! She sounds like an amazing woman, and you obviously take after her!

MJ Ornaments said...

This is a lovely tribute to an amazing lady. Suzy was the most selfless person ever, and she loved you very much. XOXO Martha

Jennifer Kirkeby said...

Yes she was, Martha! And she loved you so much too! XOXO, Jan

Christopher Gabriel said...

Quite simply, an incredibly touching and moving tribute to your mom. I always love your writing but this post - this one is special. One line in particular got me: "She believed in our abilities like no one else ever will." Jennifer, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. What you give to the world, young artists in particular, is all that you described in your mom. I feel as though I now know your mom, having been blessed to know you these many years.

What an angel she must have been. No doubt she's been welcomed into the arms of many other angels and didn't need to go through orientation. :-)

I have no doubt she read your words and said, with pride, "that's my girl."


Jennifer Kirkeby said...

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. They mean so much to me. I am grateful that I was able to paint a picture of my Mom for you. You would have really enjoyed each other!
Best Wishes,


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