Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Monday, December 27, 2010

Of Sparkles and Mothers

As dawn approached this morning it unveiled one of the wonders of the world; hoar frost. My landscape is sparkling in its' shroud of diamonds. Soon it will blow away, but until then the trees shine.

We have been through a series of firsts this year. The year my father died. The year my mother has lived alone for the first time in her life. She comes from a time when a daughter went from her father's house to her husband's. The daughter of Irish immigrants who identified herself as his wife. Struggling to understand a life alone.

So I made a Christmas for her. I strung lights in the house, sparkles on the house plants, ornaments glistening in bowls. I set a formal table, something I learned because of her insistence on finishing school for me. Doesn't that sound quaint and archaic. I thought so as I had to attend because she insisted. I made manicotti, something my mother would climb mountains for.

And it was good. It was peaceful and happy and bright. The fire snapped, the lights glowed and my mother drank champagne, ate cake and was smiling. She is not accustomed to smiling. I did right.

For now, there is the hoar frost. Nature did right as well.


  1. The smiling says it all - you did right! Thanks for sharing that beautiful frost-laden photograph.

  2. What a beautiful daughter you are -- it sounds so lovely.

  3. That's so great you could give your mom cause to smile! I counted on my Brother and sister to do that and they did not let me down!

  4. What a wonderful thing. The smile on your mom's face probably put a big smile on your face! You are a very thoughtful daughter! The hoar frost is gorgeous.

  5. Such beautiful work you've done here!

    It's so hard to see our mothers grow into this new place of their lives. I think with the love and guidance that you are giving her, she'll grow into it beautifully!

    Peace to you both in the new year - may it bring newfound strength!

  6. Sandra: I am so glad you could do something so lovely for your mum. Mine won't come to us, & we can't go to her because then my Dearest would be alone. It's the phone for us. The hoar frost is lovely to look at but I think you can keep that, along with your snow. I suspect it is cold & wet & rather nasty in the flesh.

  7. oh,
    though I feel my own tears,

    I feel your good good love.

    This is what we do . This doing for others. It matters.

    My husband's parents, wonderful , loving , silly , and getting old Italian love Christmas eve, parents were beyond thrilled that we showed up , albeit some of us reluctantly for the dinner thing. The fish thing. They followed us out of the condo down the hall to the elevator saying thank you.

    tears in their eyes thank you.

    Hoar frost and family. Little miracles.

  8. You have made me cry! You are a very special daughter...

  9. dear sandra,

    i think you would want to know, allegra needs us....

  10. Thank you for all of the lovely comments everyone. It is true that doing something for another makes a person feel good. A thought I need to consider more often in my life.

    rebecca, thank you. I am sad, but I know she wants us strong.

  11. How did I nor comment here? I know I started to, maybe I got overwhelmed thinking about my own mother, now on her third Christmas widowed. Maybe my internet went down for the umpteenth time and I gave up. Maybe the interwebs ate it. I wanted to say your post was very touching. You are a good daughter, and your mother is lucky to have you brighten her day.
    I wish it were so easy in my case, but it never seems so. My mother could not be happy before my father died, and I am weary to the bones from trying since I was a small child. Oh, never mind with this sad, same old story.
    You did a good thing, and it made me smile to think of it.
    You know I love your frost pictures. We have had some amazing visuals this winter.
    Stay warm.

  12. Mel: my mother and I have had a troubled relationship, but I need to do what I can for her. It has greatly helped me lose the residual anger. Of course it helps that my mother, overall, has decided to appreciate my overtures.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.