It’s Sad My Mom’s Not Here

the whole family

This is my first motherless Mother’s Day. It’s sad she won’t be here with us today.

Her death was the last step on a long road where the woman we knew and loved slowly disappeared. It didn’t seem fair for my mom’s life to be as burdened as it was with infirmity. She finally surrendered.

harold-betty-vintageSo, tonight I was sitting downstairs in the studio looking at some photos and remembering.

My mom’s name was Betty. She was one of two daughters in a family living the American dream. Both her parents had immigrated from Eastern Europe. My grandfather worked his way from waiter to the co-owner of a luncheonette. He and his partner (referred to only as, “Spiegel”) made, as they say, a good living.

Betty always looked younger than her age. She was very pretty. As her son I never picked up on that.

mom dad and meMy mom was very supportive–more than I deserved. I was always encouraged. My accomplishments were noted. My shortcomings forgotten.

One day she was summoned to Miss Leddy’s office at PS 163. Mary M. Leddy was our principal, humorless and stern. There was a very hard, very imposing, solid oak bench outside her door.

parents trudi and me“Mrs. Fox,” she began. “Your son Geoffrey is telling dirty jokes.”

I was in third grade.

My mom also got the call from Rabbi Thaler.

“Mrs. Fox, your son Geoffrey is going to embarass all of us!”

He was calling a week before my bar mitzvah. Spoiler alert. I did fine. We didn’t totally understand then that I was a performer.

At my niece Jessica’s wedding, my daughter and her cousin, Melissa, got their grandmother drunk! She was a fun drunk. My one and only time seeing her that way.

While working in Connecticut I called my mom nearly every night as I drove home. My dad told me she looked forward to it. Me too.

I knew grew too old to call her, “Mommy.”

I really haven’t cried much since my mom died. I am crying now. I really wish she was here.

In this particular instance, life sucks.

13 thoughts on “It’s Sad My Mom’s Not Here”

  1. Missing my Mom too…8th Mother’s Day without her….doesn’t get much easier… sorry for your loss…we all want our Mommies…we never outgrow that love affair…

  2. Geoff, please remember that life -never- sucks. Circumstances might, events might, mean people might, but -life- never does. I’ve been three quarters dead twice now, and I can assure you life is quite a nice thing, though some days are assuredly better than others.

    I am sorry for your loss. My mother is in her late 80’s, and not nearly as spry as she used to be. I’m not looking forward to that day…

  3. This too, is my first without Mom. She passed very peacefully March 21st with all of us smiling and holding her hands. She knew she was surrounded by love. I say hello to her every day I ride on the Farmington Canal. She is there with me. happy Mothers Day mom.
    Hang tough Geoff…

  4. Geoff,

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom…..sprinkled with poignancy and humor. I too wish my Mom were still here…..she passed when I was just 5 and now it’s been 58 years without her. The memories never fade, and both our Mom’s will always be with us!!

  5. I understand. I was 29 when I lost my Dad. I am sorry for your sadness. The loss will always be felt. I think it’s great you have many sweet memories of your Mom. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and re-live those some memories. Days like yours I play “One more day with you” by Diamond Rio. Dad and I liked that song. He liked any excuse to dance with me at our deli, country line dancing. I miss those chicken leg dances he used to do.

    You’re not alone. When feeling such sadness I often believe it stings because my Dad is missing me too. Never know – bonds with our parents are quite strong. I love my Dad. His loss is still felt every day. He was a jerk sometimes though, but he was MY jerk.

    One Mother’s Day I told him I would take Mom to the Villa in Sandy Hook to inform him I would not be working the deli this day. He said ok. While at the restaurant my friend whose family runs the place, Arjent – taps me on the shoulder and motions for me to follow him. I follow him into the kitchen. There’s my Dad and some bimbo all dressed up to the nines. She wore a sequined gown and certainly had a more revealing body than I cared to look at. I scolded him in front of his date and told her she should have spent the time with her kids. Arjent hid them in the kitchen until he found them a table in another room, off to the side, out of sight from my Mother. She didn’t know about this Mothers Day fiasco Arjent and I prevented until Mother’s Day the year after my Dad died.

    Hope you got a chuckle out of that story. I hope today’s tears help you. Celebrate Helaine and please wish her a happy Mother’s Day. 🙂


  6. Geoff,

    That is a beautiful tribute to your mom!!! I can say honestly I know how you feel. I lost my mom 42 years ago ( when I was 4) but her death has had a long lasting affect on me. I still miss her EVERYDAY & talk to her everyday!!! I believe that I have my own angel in heaven helps me get through days. Just remember your mom loves you & will ALWAYS be there for you!!,

    Ps. We miss you in CT!!! Tho I wont be here THAT much longer either.

  7. I feel your pain Geoff. This is my first Mother’s Day since my Mom passed and I am missing her terribly. Yeah, it sucks.

  8. A beautiful tribute to your Mom, Geoff…I’m sure she is smiling down on you. Someone told me that as time goes by it will become easier. It’s been 6 years and it hasn’t gotten any easier for me. I look out the window and search for a brightly shining star. When I find it, I know its my Mom and I feel better.

  9. Thanks for sharing with us, Geoff. I was in my late 30’s when my mom died—my dad lived on for another 25 years. I have since lost a sister, also. But every mothers day when WSHU Folk program plays songs about childhood memories and Moms–I get teary eyed. When you have good memories and realize that you had a good childhood because of these folks, you know you were and still are blessed. Thankfully, we can still pull up these memories and relate them to others–. So, don’t ever think that it is silly–Life is still good because of the folks who we love, and who also loved us.

  10. I so, empathize with you Geoff. I lost my mother just a month ago. My parents moved to Florida from Flushing. Your description of Miss Leddy at PS 163Q was perfect. My mother was also called by Rabbi Thaler before my brothers BarMitzvah. I once called you at WTNH because you mentioned Mrs Shugrue, our third grade teacher,although I’m a few years older than you. You are blessed to still have your dad, enjoy him. Just wanted to say hello from Cheshire!

  11. Geoff – mine has been gone 13 years. It’s a void that is never filled…an emptiness that never goes away. And yes…it sucks.

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