Reflections, Mother's Day 2015


Spring has definitely sprung in Chicagoland. The crabapple tree outside my kitchen window has begun exchanging its gorgeous magenta flowers for green leafy branches.

That tree inspired me to include one just like it in A Groovy Kind of Love. It’s the tree under which Thaddeus and Spring get married. Its appearance is a little nod to my mother. We planted our own crabapple tree in her memory eighteen years ago after she died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Pink was her favorite color, so each year when magenta blooms festoon each branch, coincidentally around Mother’s Day, I can’t help but remember Mom.

I’ve been thinking of Mom a lot lately. Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the states. The weekend prior, my husband and I moved my 75-year-old father from the third floor to the garden apartment of the building in which I basically grew up. We moved there when I was ten. I have snatches of memories from younger days, of course, but most of my cognizant childhood and teen years were spent in that third-floor, walk-up apartment.

While we worked, flashes of my mother bombarded me, things even as seemingly insignificant as having root beer floats came back to me while I washed my father’s glasses and placed them into new cabinets.

I’m glad he moved, so I don’t have to relive the last time I saw Mom in that apartment, now bed-ridden and without use of her legs and arms from the hellish ALS, every time I walked past their bedroom. I don’t know how he lived there for so long after she died, but he and I are very different people.

Mom and me, circa 1986.

My mother was warm, kind, and extremely huggable. An only child, she dreamed of having her own brood, but unfortunately, only had me. Instead, she became “Mom” to my schoolmates throughout the years, from grade school through college, making cupcakes for class holidays and hosting Superbowl parties for college buddies in desperate need of home cooking.

I posted about her on my personal Facebook page this weekend and was touched by how many wonderful words my FB friends had for her, all of them mentioning how nice she was, how kind.

I learned a lot about being a mother from Barbara Wojcik.

Never underestimate the value of generosity of spirit. For that, my friends, is what truly counts.

Thanks, Mom. xx


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit


Kelly Hashway said…
Moms are truly amazing people. I don't know what I'd do without mine. She's always been my best friend and the one person I know I can always count on. It's because of her that I have such a great relationship with my daughter. The mother-daughter bond is so special.
Chrys Fey said…
Your crabapple tree is gorgeous! I want one!

You mom sounds like she was an amazing lady. I like that she was "Mom" to all of your schoolmates. My mom was also a second mom to my friends. :)
It definitely is, Kelly. Moms are great role models.
Thanks, Chrys. I really love that tree. Aren't we lucky to have had moms like ours?
Claudine G. said…
Mothers are precious people and yours sounds amazing. I'm sorry your mom (and you and your dad) suffered towards the end of her life.
Thank you for your kind words, Claudine.

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