Mother’s Voice

Somehow, I didn’t even give it a thought.  Not until I heard the song, anyway.  Then the tears filled my eyes and I struggled to keep them back.  I couldn’t stop the lump that formed in my throat, though.  I couldn’t talk, couldn’t even whisper.  I had to stop and listen and remember.

Music, even a song you’ve never heard, can set both the tears and the memories flooding in.

It’s the anniversary of the drastic surgery I had in 1982 that gave me back my health.  I had forgotten all about it.  Normally when November rolls around, I find myself thinking back to that time, and how lucky I was to have the doctors I had, the family I had and the friends I had.

But what makes me think back most fondly on having my guts torn apart and totally reorganized was that it reintroduced me to my mom.  I went from having no respect for her whatsoever, to realizing that she was one strong, smart, funny woman.  That was my silver lining.  I’ve writen about that time a lot, including here.  And here.  And here.

When I heard this beautiful son on a satellite radio show interviewing and playing Arlo Guthrie’s songs, Mom came flooding back.  And I’m so glad.  It’s always a gift to spend time with Mom who passed away in 1997.

Happy Anniversary Mom.

Mom at my wedding.

Mom at my wedding.

Thanks for everything.  I love you.  Especially when I made you laugh and you spit beer on the wall.  Or when you did it back to me.

53 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Crohn's Disease, Family, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mom, Taking Care of Each Other

53 responses to “Mother’s Voice

  1. Julie

    Oh no you don’t! I will not be sucked into listening to that song that will have me blubbering! Not today girlfriend. I have to be very very careful around here as you seem to know just which one of my heart strings to tug on to start the water works…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember reading about your mom. Am very thankful for your silver lining, too.

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  3. This had me almost tearing up, both because of your tender sentiments towards your Mom, (and her most mischievous smile in the photo above), and because it had me remembering how my own Mom and I got close, especially during the last years of her life. Then I went back and re-read your death by tether ball post, and it had me smiling again. Happy Anniversary, to you, and to your Mom. And to all those memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, 99. I think you really get the getting close towards the end part. I feel so fortunate. I don’t think my mom knew about my tetherball experience . I wouldn’t have told her because she would have worried too much~

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Memories bring a variety of emotions, and can strike us at an unexpected time. So I say, cheers to your mom … and what a great pic of her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. That was pretty good. And god bless modern medicine. Where would we all be? Actually, I know and don’t want to think about it.

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  6. Oh, you made me cry too. I loved this, along with stories of you and your mother. My favorite was of your surgery and your time together, is that kinda sick?

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  7. Paul

    Neat post Elyse. I’m glad that you and your Mom made up in the end. my Mum and I haven’t spoken for a while now, pehaps that will change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so. I had a huge fight with my sister Judy and we didn’t talk for 2 years. Then something made me forgive her. She died 6 months later. I have thanked my lucky stars for that ever since.

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  8. PsiFiGal

    I just finished reading all of the posts you had linked here. I am so glad you were able to have that surgery, what a blessing. Reading about your experiences with getting to know your mother, laughing in the bathroom with the painter looming above you and your moment with the tether ball that wasn’t (thank god!) long enough and all the rest, I feel I have been able to get to know you a little bit more. I laughed and I cried. I am a new reader to your blog and I have to say I am glad to be one. OK, now the burning question I have to ask, you had an alchoholic dog??? WTF? 🙂

    Mary

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  9. I’m glad that you got her back and have those memories. Sorry you’ve lost her.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a story. Your mom came up real big back then – $16.50 for a ride back home and everything else that she knew how to do when you needed her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bruce. She was quite a character. I knew that all along, what I didn’t know was that she was competent. That was a huge shock to me (and probably to children across the world throughout time)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Maybe mothers and daughters go through that. At different levels but it happens. And it’s good you came to realize what your mom was about. That truly is a silver lining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am lucky. I realized that even while I was discovering her. With the way folks are spread out, though, today it’s harder to really get to know each other as adults.

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  12. Music can indeed unleash the memories, both the good and the bad. In this case, I’m glad it was the former. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I had the privilege to see, meet, and listen to him back in the mid 70s. He’s always been masterful with words in my view. I’m blessed to still have my mother with us and yet, listening to him sing was tough for me, too. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so lucky, Eric! Arlo is such a cool guy. And to still have your Mom, wow. That is the sort of luck I’d really like to have. (Next life, I guess)

      The intro to this song on the radio was Arlo talking about Woody. Woody couldn’t read or write music and he jotted down the lyrics to hundreds of songs, with no music. Arlo’s sister Nora (I think) collected them and sent them to a group of folk singer/songwriters and asked them to put the words to music. This one was done by Janis Ian.

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  14. I remember this photo of your mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Music soothes the soul. This time of year is always so hard for me, so I find myself thinking of my dad and listening to all the tunes he loved.

    Holding those positive memories of our loved ones close to our hearts is what helps us heal. Thinking of you, Elyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Elyse, you do honour your Mom when you write about her. A read I always enjoy. I had never heard this song but it certainly brought back a flood of memories for me. Music can move us to tears quicker than anything I think. This time of year, the song “Silver Bells” can bring me to my knees as I always hear my Mom singing it to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey, Arlo and I have almost the same hairstyle, he doesn’t look frightful at all. ☺️ Great song and his guitar sounds lovely, I sometimes use the same tuning – dropped D.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Here’s to your mom, Elyse.I don’t know that song, but glad I listened to it. Amazing where music can take you.

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  19. Thanks. I shared your post on my Facebook page.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love your voice, Elyse (and Arlo’s and your mother’s, too).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. And I remember your posts about your Mom ~ MJ

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