Mother May I? 6

Mother may I tell you how blessed I have been that you are my mother? On the grand occasion of your celebrating your 86th year, may I tell you a few things?

Thank you for not killing me – accidentally – as n inexperienced mother at 19, living far away from home.  You kept me safe and learned quickly how to keep watch.

Thank you for your strength, love, and reinvention.  When you went back to college in 1968, I was in high school. Your determination in going to school was an inspiration for me, my siblings, your siblings, and friends.  You set a standard that we have all followed. 

May I thank you for all the boxes of gifts and goodies that started when my children were babies and you did your grand-mothering from afar?  You shared resources, advice (which I heard and often took), and time on many trips to Boston when the kids were growing up and when they came and stayed with you.

May I compliment you? You are beautiful, stylish, and creative.  I have always been impressed by how you can put together an outfit, how you could sew virtually anything.  I especially loved you telling me about the outfits you picked to go to the annual New Year’s Eve soirees of the Vagabonds in St. Louis, with the pre-dinner outfit, dinner outfit, after celebration outfit, and breakfast outfit. 

May I tell you how I admire you fierceness in your protection of all your loved ones from the devil (who is always working overtime), stupidity, and other foes.

Oh, oh, hand-on-hip.

Thank you for giving me the love of reading.  It has been delightful to pass books back and forth to you. I am sorry that your eyes are aging and cannot see as well as they used to so that reading has become tedious.  We will have to make the foray into audio books.

I must thank you for all of your prayers. I apologize that I gave you so many occasions where you had to pray on my behalf. (I wrote about this in this blog post shared at the end of this post: My Mother Prayed for Me.)

Thank you for passing on your love of food and cooking. I enjoy our ongoing conversations about the latest meals we have cooked and sending you photos of what I’ve concocted.  I have enjoyed splurging on delectables that I know you will enjoy and was so glad you enjoyed the peach pound cake I baked and sent overnight because who deserves it more than you?

Mother may I think you for passing to me a love of music and dancing?  The music moves and grooves and we get ants in our pants and need to dance. 

Mom and James (RIP) at one of the many soirees at which they danced.

May I say that I know how fortunate I am at my age to have you here and, because of technology, near – phone calls and Zoom.  I pray that I will be able to be in your physical presence before too long.  Meanwhile, stay strong, stay safe, loved by your children who are near and me, your first born, who is far but holds you ever in my heart and is beginning to look like your twin.

Mother May I say I love you in a whisper and as a roar, these words come to you, whom I so adore.


(*Mother May I was a game we played as children.)

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My Mother Prays for Me

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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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6 thoughts on “Mother May I?

  • Helen M Credle

    How does a daughter thank her mom from tirelessly bring her from crayons to perfume. I’ll let my mom tell ya in her own words. My mom passed on into God’s loving arms while in her early 60’s 1984. When I opened her box of “How To Bury Me With No Fuss” in her words not mine; I found a poem that she had written to me on my 21st birthday, September 3, 1962. Here we go!
    ‘MY GIRL”
    I never dreamed there’d be a day like nineteen forty-one.I was just barely twenty and the war, already begun.
    I had a teen-age marriage and was beginning to regret, but then I found God sent you to me, my life began you bet!
    I looked at you so tiny and wondered how should I do to raise you into womanhood against all odds in view.
    T’was then I asked the Good Lord to help me in my quest, to raise a fine young lady whom we could call “the best”
    I swear it was not easy, you were a fiery, determined dame, but I was blessed with patience, the factor which kept me sane,
    Through the years we battled, but true I can’t deny my pretty little daughter brought happiness I could not buy to me.
    Through teen-age years we suffered we got our share of woe; but you were made of good stock and continued on to grow.
    Now, Helen, you stand before me, a product of twenty-one years and I’m so proud to tell you in vain were all my fears.
    I wasted years of worry, thinking I”d made a mistake but God told me that in “His Book called Mothers” I did surely rate.
    So I wish to “thank you” Helen for t’was you who made God see that I was a worthy enough mother t have four more children dealt to me,
    I love you Mummy and I know that you can see me sharing your Mother’s words with my God and my Sisters on bending knee!

    • Candelaria Silva Post author

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem your mother wrote to you. What an incredible gift. I love what she writes about the challenge of raising a daughter with a strong personality and getting through the teenage years but knowing that she did it right as evidenced by having birthed and reared a woman that she could be proud of. Writing down and writing out our love to our mothers, parents, friends, and neighbors is so important. What a wonderful gift. May she rest in peace and may you continue to live and embody her in your glory.