All moms should be divas...this one just happens to be in Jersey!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Letter to My Jersey Diva MomMom

Dear MomMom:

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing to you. I mean, on here, where I usually highlight my daily shortcomings as a parent. And you, in Heaven, where they may not even have wifi.

Let me take a step back, actually, since we never had the chance to meet in person. I’m your second of three granddaughters. My mom was pregnant with me when you passed away, 42 years ago today. I’ve muttered to you and prayed to you and put flowers on your grave, but we’ve never chatted. You met my cousins, your first granddaughter and grandson. You met your second grandson, my Bro1. But I’ve only gotten to hear relayed memories. I’ve always been incredibly frustrated by that, very saddened by that. It may sound odd to say about someone I never met, but I can honestly say you are one of the people who had the greatest impact on the person I am, yet I missed seeing you with my own eyes by seven months. 

First let me say, if you haven’t heard all of them all these years, NO ONE has had a bad word to say about you. From my youngest days, there were people in our family who sang your praises who never had a kind word about anyone else. I won’t name names, ‘cause, ya know I don’t have to— you know.

I’ve heard the family stories for years about the year you passed away just two days after Christmas from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mom was so young to deal with that, with one toddler already, me on the way, and your loss all at 25. That seems crazy to me now as I think about it, so young for such a rollercoaster.

But you should know that your daughter is an amazing woman. She gave Bro1 and me great Christmases all through our childhood. As I think back, knowing what I know now about the stress build up of over-stimulated kids at Christmas, I can’t get my head around the pain she must have felt remembering the anniversary of your death while watching us whale each other with Weebles. And, I mean, I know you could see everything so you know he started it. When your third granddaughter and third grandson joined the fracas several years later, she never missed a beat either… even while they were beating each other.

Not to brag, but I have supernatural maternal detection skills. I am CSI Mom, as you may have heard. I know I learned this behavior from the warden, pardon me, mother who raised me. I can only go by the word I have heard that she got it from you. I didn’t really get all of your height, but I got these genes, so thank you. I carry these cross-examination skills with me with pride.

Were you funny? Is that where mom got her sense of humor? I’ve been told I sound a lot like her, which is a good thing. She can wing good a one liner like nobody’s business. If that was from you, thanks. If not, please pass along the kudos to whoever is up there with you who is the actual party responsible.

I have to ask: Was Mom always late? Were you? Mom is in her own time zone. We were raised in Jersey with a mother on Denver time. Was she like this as a child? Is that why there was 12 years between your two kids? Was she actually due in 9 years but stopped to do “just one more thing” before delivery?

I also have to ask: Was Mom ever wrong as a child? I don’t mean in the annoying way Son1 is “always right.” I mean truly right. From friends to teachers to relationships, she has great intuition. At times I have so wanted her to be wrong, she’s been right. Did she get that from you? Or have you been boosting her intuition from above for the last 40 years. If that is the case I want to declare “interference” and demand a do-over of my teen years. Do you see ANY of those genes in me? God knows I feel like I second guess myself as a mom all – the -- time. Could you give my instincts a little boost from beyond? Thanks much.

You’d think since I’ve had all this time, decades really, to work on this letter it would be a lot more polished, right? I really just wanted to say hi, to say thank you for your daughter, for all that she means to me, my brothers & sister, my sons. She is a very active grandmother. I cherish that since I know how precious it is, having missed you. Know that you have never been forgotten and will always be cherished, even by those of us who were still twinkles in the eye when you went home to our Lord.
December 27 has never been and will never be just another winter’s day in our family. It says a lot about you as a person that 42 years later, thoughts still turn to you. I hope you knew while here how loved you were. I hope you know now much love you generated in others. You must really have been as fabulous as everyone has always said. From now on, to me anyway, you shall be “Jersey Diva MomMom.”

Xoxox- Your granddaughter

PS: please say hi to Grandpa for me. I did get to spend a lot of time with him, enough to make me miss him still.


  1. aw, this is so're making me tear up way too early this morning! I am sure your grandma has watched you grow up and thinks that you're an amazing mother and couldn't be prouder of the person you've become. Such a beautiful tribute, really, beautiful.

  2. Yes, such a beautiful tribute! I wish I had known my grandmother; she passed away when I was 2. The closest I've ever gotten to a grandma is through my girls Grand-ma...I make sure I tell her on a regular basis that she Rocks! And, my girls spend lots of time with her. Thank you for reminding me the importance of the child/grandparent relationship. Amy @

  3. This is so sweet and funny all rolled into one. I am sure that she would be so proud and honoured to read this...even if heaven doesn't supply good internet which case it might be a bit boring up there...cause it would be kinda cool to be twittering with Jesus and Elvis at the same time.
    Anyhoodles, this was simply beautiful

  4. That is very touching. Your mom is quite a woman to have lost a parent so young right at the holidays and still have let the holiday be a happy time for the family.
    Nicely done.

  5. What a beautiful post. And what a special family you have!