Monday, July 24, 2017

A Mother's Love Denied

Early on I realized my brother was my mother's favorite, but since we lived with my grandparents the relationship between my baba and me greatly compensated for any maternal caring that was lacking. When I left home to attend an all-girls high school, again not having any type of bond with my mother wasn't a high priority.  

Years later when I became a mother myself, I began to realize how much the emotional neglect I experienced in childhood had damaged my ability to love. Thoughts of why my own mother never hugged or kissed me crept into my psyche; Was it the way I looked? What I said? How I acted? 
I started to think about any conversations we might have had that would shed some light on answers to my insecurities. It was then that I realized there had never been a meaningful discussion between my mother and me the whole time I was growing up. How sad!

Fast-forward to 1983 when my mother came to stay with us. Her home was in a declining neighborhood then, and unsafe to be an elderly woman living alone. Before offering to take her in, I talked with my brother, wanting to know if he would be willing to extend her the same kindness. He adamantly refused saying he could never deal with her on a daily basis. Her favorite, right? 

Mother lived with us for 20 years, yet our personal connection changed little. I worked full-time while she managed the household. When I was home, she busied herself with mundane activities or stayed in her room talking on the phone to her friends. 

If it sounds like I'm putting the total blame on my mother for not trying to develop a bond while living in our home, I'm really not. Certainly I could have made an effort to get closer to her, but truth be told, that ship had sailed a long time ago. I had squelched a desire for my mother's love, and although I would always suffer the pain of not having it, I just didn't care anymore.

Now it's 2017. I'm a mother of three and a grandmother of seven. Admittedly I've not bonded as tightly with my own children as I would have liked, but I have tried. Since they were little, I've made sure to be active in their lives, been present for all their special events, and surrounded them with family and friends throughout their childhood. Since they've become adults, married and being parents themselves, we've become closer perhaps because we're now on the same playing field. As a 'grammy' in the words of one of the seven, "I'm the smartest, bestest grammy ever"! Without much guidance early on, I think I somehow learned to love myself and show love to those most important to me. 

Why am I telling you about the nonexistent connection between my mother and me now? Frequently over the years in ordinary conversations with relatives, friends, or just acquaintances, somebody would remark about their mother's lack of love for them. Occasionally I've heard terrible stories of how a person was abused physically or emotionally or both by the one who should have been their protector. I now realize that there are so many who have lived without that maternal relationship, and I wonder what kind of folks they turned out to be. Are they stronger, more independent, well-adjusted individuals than those who were seeped in their mother's love? Or are they weak, dependent, maladjusted people because of it?

I've decided to do research on this very topic, and eventually plan to put my findings into a book. If you have something to say, please contact me by email: or message me on facebook. Every thing told to me will be confidential, and I will not use anything revealed unless I have your permission to do so.

Realizing how prevalent not feeling love from one's mother is, I believe telling people's stories will be highly beneficial to both the sufferers as well as to those who knowingly or otherwise inflicted such pain. 

Monday, July 10, 2017


First let me say that this post is in no way connected with a particular company or ad campaign. I included the instructions below to merely provide info, nothing more.

I'm at the stage in my life where thinking about my passing pops up now and then in thought and/or discussion. I'm certain I do not want to have a viewing where folks come, exclaim how I  really don't look like myself, (after all, I'll be dead so what would you expect, a glowing, energetic corpse?), shed a tear, say a prayer, and then drop me six feet into the hard, cold ground! Gee, thanks, guys!

For years I've entertained the thought of being cremated and having my ashes sprinkled in the ocean from the Sandbridge, VA. shore. Then I happened upon a bios urn on FB. After reading about how it works, I knew this was for me. Having my ashes converted into a living tree that perhaps for hundreds of years would provide shade, rest, and beauty to so many would be my way of staying alive and continuing to serve others. 

Since I love trees, and have planted more than a few in my time, I figure this method of dispersing my remains is perfect. The only glitch would be as to where to place the 'me tree'. I don't think I want it in my backyard since others would soon buy our home, and have no connection to it's familial value, to them it would be a plain old tree.

Having three adult children with families and homes of their own, I'd be more comfortable with one of them, however I wonder if they'd fight over me, the tree. Two are in the Carolinas, one in Ohio. I guess it would be up to me to stipulate which lucky family would receive my living memorial. I could consider my first born, Joy, but she and her hubby plan to sell their home and travel once their kids are gone. Again I'd be among strangers who have no real connection with that tree in the front of the house blocking their view of the comings and goings of the neighbors.  They'd probably chop me down a.s.a.p! 

Then there's my son, Barry. Although I think he'll stay in his home, he's kind of a fuss budget with the landscaping around his place. There's already a tree in the front, and a bunch of them in the backyard. All are mature and thriving in the Carolina sun so I'm pretty certain he'd be opposed to removing any of them to plant a seedling that may or may not survive in the south.

Lastly, Kristy, my youngest, and the mother of three rowdy boys, will probably be my best bet. She enjoys gardening to a degree, and fortunately for me, her backyard is devoid of much in the way of bushes and trees. My me tree would go nicely there, and as my branches grow wide and strong, her sons will have a natural jungle gym to climb up, jump from, and disappear into its foliage when their dad is looking for somebody to clean the garage.

The only part of my plan yet to be determined is as to what kind of tree I'll be. I'm thinking decorative plum or pear. I don't know how well these types grow in the south, so I'll have to do some research.
Hopefully I have plenty of time to decide, but I'm going to hope on it soon since none of us are promised a new tomorrow!

How it Works

Step 1:   Purchase Your Living Urn® and Select Your Seedling (or baby tree)
(or purchase the version of The Living Urn® without a seedling and simply pick up your favorite tree seedling, plant, or flowers at your local nursery)
Step 2:   After you receive The Living Urn®, fill the Bio Urn with the cremated remains of your loved one (or, if you don't feel comfortable doing that, have your funeral home or crematorium (or veterinarian for pets) fill the Bio Urn with the remains)
Step 3:   When your tree seedling arrives, follow the planting instructions provided with The Living Urn® to plant a living memory (or click here for an online version)
...pour our proprietary RootProtect™ ash neutralizing agent on top of the cremated remains; then, place the soil mix and wood chips on top of the neutralizing agent

 ...and plant - it's that simple!  

A beautiful memory tree will then grow and keep your beloved family member's memory present in your life!