Happy Mother’s Day — to my Jeans


scan - Version 2Mother’s Day is a tender day of love and remembrance for me.  In 1998, I lost my much beloved mother, Jean Carey Flynn–a cultured, gentle woman who was also intrepid, talented, smart and incredibly kind.  She gave me much of my own spirit, and on Mother’s Day, it is to her that I bow in gratitude for her love, and for my life.  Just a few months after she died, by instinct I picked up a Mother’s Day card with a lovely coral rose, before I remembered, still heartbroken, that she was gone.  She was only 73 years old.

That same year I met Jean Mahoney.   The universe in its complete mystery put the love of my life at my doorstep (she joined one of my writing groups), just weeks after I lost the first Jean I would ever know.  Jean Mahoney, gentle soul, intrepid mother, gardener, teacher and talented poet, swept me off my feet. And with a flourish Mothers Day 2015!shared her daughters Katie and Emily with me–and I became a mother.

Yesterday my beautiful 95-year-old mother-in-law, Barbara, joined Emily, Katie, Jean and I for afternoon lunch and sweet treats in our garden.  Roses, foxgloves, poppies, milkweed, hydrangea, camelias and purple sage glowed in the sun, all lush with the fecundity of the earth and Jean’s care and tending.  We all gave cards to Barbara, and Katie and Emily wrote sweet cards to Jean and to me.  But we were all there in our beautiful family because of Jean.   We, like the flowers in her garden, blossom because of her tending.

On Mother’s Day I have the sweetness of celebrating my mother-in-law–who I know my own mother would have loved.  I have the sweetness of celebrating the beautiful women my wife Jean raised, and the wonderful mother she is.  And I have the happiness of remembering my mother Jean, and all the love she instilled in my core.

Happy Mother’s Day  to all my Jeans — and to all the love of all our lives.


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