Dear Mom,

You may have left your tired and withered body today, but I feel you all around me.Doris Adah

You live on in the stained-glass mirror that reflects the morning light streaming in through the bathroom window. Your ability to take on and quickly master new art forms was remarkable.

You live on in my love for nuances of the English language, clean lines in architecture and furniture, and well-written books.

You live on in my disdain for illogical rules, inefficient procedures, and pointless societal expectations.

You live on in brother #1's guitar playing, brother #2's keen intelligence, and brother #3's love of music. The influences you've had, both genetic and otherwise, on each of us—and on each of your four grandchildren—are numerous and profound.

Chris CarmichaelYou were a child prodigy, a musical genius, and a crossword puzzle virtuoso. I will never forget how we wouldn't let you declare a win in Trivial Pursuit until you'd answered all six questions on your card correctly.

You live on in my belief that I can do anything.

I'm happy you don't live on in my kitchen, or at least I'd like to believe that. God love you, Mom, but your cooking was truly awful.

Mom you were, and are, one of a kind.

Love always,

Your daughter


11 Replies to “To Mom”

  1. Mali, thanks for sharing this. I lost my mother when I was 7, got adopted and my mom is a great woman…..she inspired me to be the person I am today, she was full of encouragement and though we share no DNA, I followed into her footsteps to working in the medical field and when I got my degree, you should’ve seen the look on her face. She’s still an inspiration to me…I’m now 40, and she’s 84 and still working 40+ hours a week, going to doctors conventions (though more vacation than work :)), covers other doctors, is on-call 24/7 for any and all of her current and former patients (she’s a psychiatrist). My youngest wants to be just like grandma.

  2. To My Dearest Chris…Just want to say what an amazing person you were in my life…You made my younger and more awkward years such fun…You always allowed me to visit no matter the time or day and teased me in your way and I loved it! You made me feel welcome. How you laughed at me and my laugh. How you would call me Nickel. You made a point to talk to me and you would listen to anything I had to say. I loved the way you played your piano and sang…I will never forget the time you took Paul and I to Bill Irle resturant and played the piano and you sang…everyone in the place was clapping and loved your talent. Also the first time I saw Chicago in concert…you were so cool to take Paul and I and such fun that you came with us…such beautiful moments and I will never forget any of these. You were so creative with your projects especially your stain glass…I loved the way you spoke to Jason(Puppy) it always made me smile…You touched my life and I have always loved you….Nicole

  3. Love those images of your grandmother! And that’s exactly the experience I’m having—there is nowhere I can look, either around me or inside, where she isn’t. It feels as though we are part of the same “soul energy,” if you will. ♥ Mali

  4. Being married and having my mother-in-law come to visit, I was trying to imagine what scenerio is this? When she came and left for home, it all made sense she would be the one for me. Her nuances intrigued me.

  5. What a lovely tribute to your mother. It reminded me of when my grandmother passed away – everywhere I looked I found something of hers, from the afghans on the couch to the jam in the pantry. Your mother sounds like a very special person. I only hope when it’s my time to go, my loved ones will have such fond memories of me.

  6. Thank you Scott, you’re a love!

    Geri, you are so right: there are so many times I feel I “channel” her, whether it’s her sense of humor, her often-unique perspectives, or her sometimes bizarre predilections. There is really no way in which she will ever feel “gone” to me. She is everywhere I look! ♥ And I have to laugh: it was at your house that I first realized mealtimes could be something to look forward to—I will never forget the taste of the curry with raisins that you’d learned to make in South Africa…

  7. Mali, I love what you wrote about your mom, my friend Chris, and I laughed! And as I did, I heard her laugh, too, and I saw her smile because you sound like her in this writing. The loveliest tribute to her is just that, and I think she could let go and walk away, knowing she gave you that sense to see things so clearly.
    It’s so hard, so very hard to deal with our mothers leaving this life. I know that you will always keep her spirit close to you in what she gave you; that you will catch yourself saying her words, or looking at a life moment as she might have. You are the best of her, you are even more than she could have asked for you. I hope you will be consoled in that, and in the love we, your friends, have for you. You are her gift to the world, to me, and I hope you will remember that.

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