I carry my stain stick with me – Im officially my mother.


We’ve been told all our lives that the day would come.  The day when we will officially turn into our Moms.  It’s universal.  It’s a mysterious phenomenon that can not be avoided and can not be controlled.  One day you wake up and bam! – You can’t keep your kids names straight, you remind people to grab a jacket before leaving the house and you’ve become a bit more judgmental.  *You’re going to wear that?*

I noticed the change slowly. I shrugged off the first few warnings, thinking it was just paranoia. I brushed off the comments when people started saying I looked so much like her. I ignored the first few signs, thinking they were just coincidences.  A little similarity here and there.  A comment about turning this car around, which I swore I’d never utter.  The gestures.  The mannerisms.  All the little things.   I’d catch myself standing with my hands on my hips, with a “because I said so” attitude all over the place.  I chalked it up to a bad day, while in the back of my mind a quiet voice whispered to me, Good Lord, it’s happening.  

I’ve noticed recently that I’m prone to spilling little bits of my lunch or dinner on my shirt.  Something my Mom was famous for.  It happens most when Clark is with me.  “You’ve got a big blob of something on your shirt”  I got tired of today’s young food servers staring dumbfounded at me, a look of confusion on their little freckled faces when I asked for a small glass of soda water to dab on my spill.  So, I’ve started carrying stain sticks around in my purse.  That’s right.  I admit it.  I carry stain sticks.  Oh, I’ve seen older men just eat with a napkin tucked in around their neck to catch the spillage, like a big adult sized bib, but I think I’m a few years away from that yet.

The metamorphism has taken place slowly.  Suddenly, running three errands to three different stores in a single day is exhausting.  It’s just too much.  And, I run the errands early because I feel the need to be home by 4:00 to start thinking about dinner.  (By the time Clark gets home from work, I’ve usually got the restaurant all picked out.  Hurray!!)  It’s not that we don’t have enough food in the house to cook a dinner.  No, we have plenty of food.  After-all, I’ve started to stock up on things (just like my mom did) because if a storm or inclement weather is predicted, God forbid we don’t have enough tuna in the house.  Or, frozen bread. My mom stocked up on things because there was a big sale she could not pass up – even if it was for something she never used.  I’m on the lookout for that habit to start creeping into my everyday happenings.

So, why is it that our biggest fear in life is that we’re turning into our mothers? As a young girl, it’s a dream to be just like your mom.  But, as you grow older it’s more like every woman’s nightmare.  No matter how amazing our moms are, (and let’s face it, they truly are amazing) there is something scary about turning into them.

But, is it truly the fear of turning into them that has us all tied up in knots?  Or, could it be the acknowledgment that we’re simply getting older. We suddenly start to walk into rooms and completely forget why we went there in the first place.  *what was I looking for?*  Our tolerance for alcohol started to diminish.  It’s that second Cabernet or Martini that always puts me over the edge. (But what harm’s a little cockie now and then?)  We shut the drapes at dusk so we can get into our jammies and be comfy and we get up at the crack of dawn declaring ourselves “morning people” when in reality, we are just getting older and need less sleep.  We start to choose to stay in on weekend nights rather than go out and when we do go out, we go close to home.

So, have Mom’s been getting a bad rap all these years?  Are we really so opposed to “becoming” the women who raised us and nurtured us and guided us through everything we know about life?

They were there for us when puberty turned us ugly and hostile.  They stood by us when we resented their very beings and didn’t hold anything against us when we came out on the other side and became human again.  And, as we grew into adulthood our mom’s actually became our friends – someone we enjoyed spending time with and talking to.  All in all, when you really think about it, there probably are worse people we could morph into.

So, remember what your mom always told you.  One day someone is going to be thinking the same about you!

How Absurd – we’re cool!  Who wouldn’t want to be like us??


What’s in a Tag?


Lately, I have spent a bit of time revamping my blog.  A new title.  A new domain.  A little tweaking here and there.  In the end, it pretty much looks like it did to begin with.  I guess I liked it just the way it was.

As I went through the process of making a few small changes, I discovered that the tags that we attach at the end of our stories, magically get organized into an invisible filing system.  When you hover your mouse over any of the tags, and then right click with your mouse, all stories within the same category appear.  Wallah!  Just like magic!  I love this newly found feature.  For someone as innately unorganized as myself, it is like having your very own secretary.

After discovering this feature, I found myself clicking & opening different tags from all the blogs I have written over the past year or so.  I was curious to see what I had unconsciously written about most.

I discovered that there was a small common sub-theme sprinkled throughout most of my posts.  Sometimes in a small way, sometimes big. I kept seeing it mentioned over and over again.  My Mom.

I paused when I noticed this.  A warm, sweet feeling flooded my heart.  Followed by a mixture of emotions.  Happiness, love and then sadness.  That feeling of void because she was not with us anymore.  One day, just like that, without any notice or forewarning, she was taken from us.

We used to talk on the phone several times a week.  If it was in the morning, we’d sit and chat, always laughing together. Though miles apart from each other, on those mornings we’d go through a pot of coffee together.  Or if it was in the afternoon or evening, wine.

She always mentioned my blog.  Commenting on what she liked about a certain post.  About what made her laugh.  Or cry.  If too much time went by between posts, she’d ask when I was going to write next.  She said the first thing she did each morning was look to see if there was an email notifying her of a ‘New Blog post from Margber’ – She said it would make her day if there was a new post.  That she got excited and looked forward each day to reading my blog – but was let down if there was nothing new.    I never really knew if that was true or if it was just a tall tale to her daughter – a way of conveying a mother’s love.

I tossed around the idea of making a tribute post to her for her birthday.  It was two days ago.  She would have turned 79. I wanted to honor her in some small way.  But the words never came.  So I let the moment pass, silently honoring her special day.  Missing her so incredibly much.  Offering up a vow to give anything for one more cup of coffee together and long, drawn out phone conversation.  It had been so long since I had heard her voice.

After the bittersweet feelings of this discovery started to subside, I thought about her with a smile in my heart.  It made sense to me that her name was peppered throughout my writing and continues to be.  She was a major influence of mine in regards to following my muse.  Thank You, Mom!

She was such a positive role model in my life.  Recently, more-so than ever, I’ve noticed that I am becoming more like her each day.  Oh, I know my kids and hubby have kidded me about this for years, but it was not until the past few months that I truly became aware of just how much I AM my Mother.  Not so much in little ways anymore, but in big, wonderful ways.  I  embrace this fact each time I catch myself doing something or saying something that she would have said.   My actions so often mirror actions of hers that are branded on my heart.  Years ago this would have made me cringe.  Today?  It secretly pleases me.  I think of it as God’s way of keeping our loved ones spirit alive and present in our everyday Lives.  Thank You, God! 

My mom’s passing still seems so surreal to me.  In a way, I think it always will.  Mainly because she still feels so present in my life – through my actions & in my words and through my writing.  Stumbling upon those tags and their path that led me back to my mom, was a cherished gift.  Re-reading some of my posts about her was like stumbling upon a treasure of gold.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I Love You.




what’s your muse telling you?

beach-readsOne of my dear friends won a writing contest.  An actual contest for showcasing her fabulous and gifted work.  As a result, she has been printed.  No, wait.  Not printed.  Published.  What an honor! Congratulations to her!!

Lesley is an inspiration to me.  She is a gifted writer.  She writes in a way that is mesmerizing.  You start reading her words and you can not stop.  Her writing is like a good,  gooey romance novel.  Only better.  Or, a good mystery novel when you get to the part where they are finally going to reveal who did it. It’s hard to put her writing down.

This is exciting!  I can say I actually know someone who has been published.  Well, I actually know 2 people who have been published.  My cousin Matt wrote a book.  I was thrilled for him the day his boxes of printed books arrived at his home.  He snapped a picture of himself standing over the opened box.  Or, maybe it was just a picture of the box.  Side flaps peeled back.  There they were.  All stacked up.  Beautiful and new.  He had followed his muse and he was looking at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

A muse?~ you ask.  When I use that word I mean some kind of spirit that dumps creative inspiration into the mind.  The source of an artist’s inspiration.  A prompt.  Kudos to Lesley and to my cousin, Matt, for following their Muse.’

So how is following your muse different from following your heart or the secret wishes of things you’d like to do in your life?

After my dad passed away, my mom and I got close.  She started to visit me more often.  She comes for long weekends.  We spend time shopping or going to movies or going out to lunch.  And traveling.

I remember vividly a conversation I had with her one day while we were making dinner.  We talked about regrets.  She told me she was sad that she had not traveled more in her life.  That there were places in the world that she wanted to see.  Italy.  She wanted to go to Italy.   My dad was not a traveler.  Therefor, my mom did not travel.  She felt it was too late.

c1dd542c8dab1157e9fa2cb2af367a3fThe week after she and I had that conversation, I was with a group of friends at a meeting.  Out of the blue, one of them said to me that she was traveling to Italy in the fall.  She was going on one of those organized bus tours and they had a few spots left.  Would I be interested in going with her?  I smiled to myself and thought, wow, what bizarre timing for that offer to be given to me.  Fate?  Absolutely!  Wasn’t I just discussing this with my mom?

At that point in my life I had never traveled out of the country before.  I rushed home and phoned my mom.  (Well, first I called my Hubs and told him about this great chance!!   I had shared with him ~ and he knew of my mom’s dreams of traveling.   He encouraged me to go on a trip with her.  “Maybe she’d like to visit Michigan or Wisconsin with you!!”  Ha!  I had bigger plans!!)

I told my mom about my girlfriend’s fall plans and about this great opportunity.  Within hours we were scheduled for what would end up being the first of many trips together.  Overseas, no less!

That day, my mom grabbed on to an opportunity and it opened up an entire new world to her.  Like her daughter ~ me ~ she has a passion for traveling and embraces it whenever the chance arises.

My mom and I are close.  We’ve grown closer through our travels.  We have a wonderful relationship.  Somewhere along the way it changed from mother/daughter to a sincere friendship. Oh, I still look up to her with the respect a parent deserves.  But, we can sit and visit, whether on the phone or in person, and talk for hours like two little old ladies.  There is true joy in visiting with her.  We laugh together.  A lot.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I regret I did not do that!?   We all have regrets.  The beauty of these missed opportunities is that it is never too late to do something you have secretly wished of doing.  To follow a dream.  To right a wrong.

What’s your “muse” saying to you?  When was the last time you sat down and thought about what you really love in life?  Are you where you want to be?  If not, What are you waiting for?

On a side note ~ I find it oddly comforting that today of all days I think about my friendship with my mom, the travels we have shared and the close bond that has formed since my dad has died ~  I find it strangely wonderful because it was 15 years ago today that my dad passed away. (15 years!  How can that be?  I miss him so much. )  I know he’d get a kick out of knowing that her travel horizons have broadened so widely.