Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Lovely Mom...

Anita Louise LaGrave Gillis

Only One Mother

by George Cooper

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.

I was determined not to include a "sappy poem" with my mother's picture but all of a sudden, I remembered a poem that my mother used to read to me when I was a child.  I found it...and I knew this was the poem I had to include. 

My mom died when I was eighteen. I loved her more than anyone (Jud and Katie, of course, are right up there with her). She was always physically weak, as the result of a rheumatic heart at aged twelve, and died at the age of forty-nine. She was one of the funniest people I have ever known, though she married a difficult man and things weren't always very "funny." 

She was a lousy housekeeper. Instead each morning, she went for "coffee" with a varied group of women. In reality, she was practicing her college degree of Social Work, counseling and supporting each one of them. From her I learned the deep importance of my women friends.

It didn't matter how much money you made or where you came from, my mother loved people for who they were. My father let her buy one nice dress a year which she invariably wore to church with a button hanging by a string or part of the hem falling down. She didn't care. Clothes didn't matter. People (and her relationship with God) did. 

She was a weeper. She cried at parades and when her favorite hymns were sung at church. She had her own rating system for how "wonderfully emotional" things were, as in, 
"That was a four kleenex wedding." 

People in my town always said that she had a different and individual relationship with each of her children, which was true. We were very different, yet she loved each of us as if we were the "only one."

When she died, I heard two friends of my parents discussing her. "Annie was a great gal," said one man. "No, she wasn't" said the other, "Anita was a wonderful woman."

She was a very wonderful woman. She lives on in all of us but I see her most in my daughter who "stole" this picture from me and put it by her bedside when she was about nine. "I need it." she said. "She's my guardian angel."

I love you, Mom. You are my angel, too. I am so grateful to have been born your daughter. 


  1. Suz...what a beautiful story about your mother. I am so sorry you lost her when you were only 18. I know you must miss her dearly...I can hear it in your voice. I know you feel great strength from her, even though she has been away for so long....that is a priceless a mother only hopes she passes along. Happy Mother's Day my friend~
    p.s. she was a beautiful woman =)

  2. My dear dear Suz, We both lost our Moms at such a young age. Your Mom is beautiful. And so is mine :)

  3. Such a lovely post, Suz...a wonderful tribute to your mother! She sounds like a wonderful must have been hard losing her so young... XO

  4. Suz, your mother was so beautiful! And so very special...your post is divine, sweet. ~ Angela

  5. Suz,
    Such a touching tribute to your mom. She sounds like someone I would have loved to have you

  6. Suz, this was such a beautiful post. thank you for sharing it with us. Your mother was beautiful inside and out! ...I see where you get it from..
    Hope you have a lovely week, xo natalea

  7. lovely tribute!
    happy mothers day, suz!

  8. Hi Suz,
    such a beautiful tribute to your mom and you must miss her so much.I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.
    Sending hugs,

  9. From goodness comes sounds like your Mom knew this very well (and it sounds like she lived by this also.)

  10. I love that poem. I am always so envious of women who can express so much that is lovely about their moms. My own mother taught me more of pain than of love; still, she was my one and only and I loved her and will miss her always. Your mother is someone I would have loved to have met!

  11. Beautiful post, mom! Love you and I feel so lucky that you were my mom and that grandma Anita was your mom! <3

  12. Oh, Suz, this is the most beautiful post! Your mother was so gorgeous and I love how she spent time doing awesome things instead of housework...she inspires me!

    I hope you had a Happy Mother's Day, dear friend.

  13. Happy Mother's Day to you sweet Suz.
    Thank you for sharing the touching poem. I, too, lost my mother at a very young age and still miss her.
    Hugs to you and thanks for sharing such a lovely post.

  14. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mother. It brings tears to me as I realize how short and precious life truly is. Your daughter was very wise at 9. Suz you are so special and loving...I just know even having never met you in person. Thank you for sharing your most personal story.

  15. Such a sweet sweet tribute to your darling mother. I am sure she is keeping an eye out for you...that is what moms do!

    Hugs and love .xoxoxo

  16. So much beauty here today, dear Suz....What a lovely mother, what a perfect poem...what a loving guardian angel you both have, my friend.

    Wishing you a wonderful day and sending lots of love and prayers...


  17. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom!
    Hope you had a fabulous Mother's Day.

    Wishing you a lovely week!

  18. Hi Suz,
    Think of you too! and sending blessings your way, dear friend.

  19. Oh how beautiful and tender dear Suz...I feel honored that you shared your special Mother with us...absolutely precious post!
    Hope your day was sweet and you got treated like the Queen you are!

  20. Suz your Mom was beauitful.
    What a lovely tribute to her with the words you shared and I can't imagine losing my Mom at such a young age.
    Here's to a little less house work in honour of your sweet Mom!

  21. Although I am late on reading this it has brought tears to my eyes ~ such a good really good post and tribute to a woman I wish I knew and had in my life. What a great life lesson she taught and your words are very artfully written. I think there is a lot of her in you my dear! Love across the miles and lots and lots of blessings!

  22. Hi Sweet Suz,
    Your Mother was so lovely!
    Well, it`s still raining here in Tn. so my little garden fairy is still cooped up inside just waiting to smell the flowers! My garden ball that houses her is so fun to decorate then you hang her little house outside on a tree or hook and she watches over the garden!
    Have a Blessed day~

  23. Hi sweet friend...thinking of you and hope all is well. xoxoxoxoxoo

  24. Hey girl! Thanks for your congrats and sweet comments!! I love this tribute to your gorgeous Mom!

    Sandy xox