3 Aug

My mom!

My mom would have turned 80 today. Since she died before looking “old,” I find it easy and comforting to picture her when she looked young (okay, 60) and radiant as in this photo.

Recently, I received my daily e-mail quotation from Real Simple and was struck by how it conveys a main impetus for my blog (after eliminating the “in-law”).

“Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends” (Mencken).

Because I have a conscience which I credit my mom with helping develop, her impact on my life has never ended. I guess that would be a good goal or the moment when we know, as mothers, that we’ve succeeded with our children—when we see that they are making decisions and living life as if we are part of their conscience.

It’s exactly what I miss—my mom’s advice, support and criticism. I have this romanticized vision of my mom telling me how great my children are—how it’s because of what I do…  Also, I imagine her telling me that I am doing some things wrong. I think I would love to hear her say, “You’re letting her stay out too late….Do you think he is eating enough vegetables?…Have you ever thought you should limit computer access?” And, I imagine changing these problems simply because my mom thinks I should. Of course, in reality, I know some of these comments would make me angry. It is easy for me imagine her visit as all wonderful, how nice to be the conscience of a person who is always doing the right thing. But, I know that your conscience (i.e. your mom) is also great at pointing out your flaws and mistakes.

Still, I continue to miss all of that and wish my 80-year-old mom was here. I am grateful that she at least left me with a very solid foundation and is an active part of my conscience.

I am not sure if H. L. Mencken said this with the positive force that I infer, but I am thankful for the thought. And, I wonder, who makes up your conscience?


Mencken, H. L. “Daily Thought.” Real Simple  29 July 2011 : Web. 2 Aug 2011..


One Response to “”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster August 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I would say my mom, my godmother and my sister’s mother-in-law (with whom I lived my final year of college) are all important parts of my conscience. This is an interesting question to ponder. I have to say also that I relate to the feeling that I’d be aggravated if my mom actually spoke some of the words to me that comfort me to imagine, but that recognition doesn’t seem to change the feeling. Mmm.

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