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InsteadMay 9, 2010

Instead of getting all bitter and sad about today, Mother's Day, on a day when I have no mother, nor do I want to be a mother, I decided to scan some photos I found when cleaning out my office. Seems appropriate to put them up here.


During the trip we took together to Italy. Good god, this was 2001. Nine years ago? Wow.


This is my favorite boat in my favorite town. It's always parked here, and over the years and trips, I always snapped a picture of it. Mom had it made into an oil painting for me by an artist friend of hers, Chet Hill.



We were in Venice for the highest acqua alta I'd ever seen. We bought boots and felt like locals.


I kind of dropped Mom in the water, though, when we were scrambling from one walkway to another, and she was FURIOUS. She was wet all the way up to her hips. She wanted to go back to the hotel to change, but I talked her into letting me buy her prosecco at the most expensive place in Piazza San Marco, and suddenly, she was all giggly smiles and wanted to go on tromping the streets.

We looked for parts of the wonderful book, Miss Garnet's Angel, and found them (like the Levantine Camel).


She loved the view from our hostel in Siena.



Wrong train, wrong stop, wrong city, completely lost. Whatever. We didn't mind.


I've always loved this photo, taken in Murano on a different trip.


There's a rose floating in the acqua alta below (didn't scan as well as the photo came out).



Me, Marco, Franco, and Luigi (an old gondolier).



In Murano


OMG, this picture cracked Mom UP. It was the only vaguely ribald joke I ever heard her make -- this trip to New Zealand wasn't long after I'd come out as liking both boys and girls, so she saw this sign and made me go stand under it so she could take a picture. She was giggling the whole time. As was I.


My favorite sheep picture I ever took. In New Zealand. I am actually lying on my stomach in the middle of the road to get this -- somewhere Christy or Beth has the photo of ME doing that.


And one of me with Mom. I love this one. Safety, happiness, all of it.

Sigh. I'm going to frame some of these and put them up in my office today. I was going to garden, but it's been pouring, oddly enough. And then back to work tonight. My (working) vacation is over, and it's back to the grind. It's all good, though. Good to have a job, good job to have.

I miss Mom, though, dammit.


Wonderful photos and memories, Rach. Much love. xx

So sweet! A big ole hug for you!

Love the photos and story. I miss my mom, too.

Your mom is always with you because she is part of you. Never forget that. It is not the same as her actually being there but you know you can hear her voice some times when you think about doing something she wouldn't approve of. I know I do.

And I love the photos. Blow them up and frame them.

Thanks for this. Missing my Mom today, too.

What a lovely remembrance of your mom. That last photo is priceless.

such fantastic photos of you and your mama. tearing up over here and sending you love. xoxo, cathy

cheer up kiddo. Our parents are with us always - they're in our genes.
BTW - I sent you a link to a funny video which just might make you smile... tina

aw. thanks for sharing all those great photos, chica. ;)


What wonderful memories! This is my first Mother's day without my mother... its been a little harder than I thought. So what am I doing today? Yes, knitting and embracing the memories I have of my best friend.

Oh Rach... I feel like I was with you guys in Venice although it's impossible I was reading your blog then...not until 2002, I think. Although I never met her, I feel like I know your little mama. Thank you for sharing your stories and these pictures. Xoxoxoxox.

These are beautiful, thank you for sharing

Wow - I teared up looking at these pictures. What a great remembrance of such a wonderful woman.
I wish you comfort and peace this Mother's Day, and plenty of great memories.

Lovely photos. I really like the pic of the two of you at the wrong train stop.

I'm another that especially misses my mother on this day. She and my daughter would have been thick as thieves. :)

Calling my mom NOW, again! I love the way you two held each other -- I need to work on that.

Happy Mother's Day! No need to be bitter because you can celebrate having had such a wonderful mother. I understand you're sad she's gone, but you are here because of her, and you have HAD a life with her. You are very fortunate.

Perhaps each Mother's Day you can do something special that you would have done with your mom to celebrate her life. Keeping her memory alive with this blog post is just wonderful.

a beautiful, poignant post.
and I swear that restaurant w the prosecco is the exact place drew proposed we get married. weird!

Thanks for sharing your mom with us. Your memories will keep her alive and know she is with you always.

Looks like it was a wonderful trip. Very nice blog today, xoxo!

As I lay here on my living room floor, squinting at my teeny-tiny backup laptop (because my regular one CRASHED), you took me away to Italy. I loved the trip...the boots, the long walks, the dancing, the wine...and I don't even drink wine. Thanks for sharing the memories and know I'm sending warm thoughts you way. :)

I love all of the photos and think it's so awesome that you had these trips with your mom! I haven't really done much, one-on-one with my mom since the early days.

And it's so great that she got you that painting of your favorite boat.

Honestly, you make me cry more often than any other blogger. Love those pics!
This morning at 0 dark 30 driving to the airport, the NPR workers were giving their names as "Jane Smith's daughter Amanda, etc." all through the credits. I was crying all the way across the Golden Gate.

Thanks for this post... it made me teary too. I spent what is likely to be my last mother's day with my mom today - she's dying of cancer - and somehow I miss her already. I miss the times I know we won't have. ugh. just so hard.

Wow such wonderful pictures and memories. *Hugs*

OMG this post made me cry. :) What a beautiful entry.

Such amazing memories. How wonderful that you have your pictures of the funny, happy times!

Wonderful photos, I think it's totally appropriate to miss you mom on mommies day.

Thank you.

Finally getting around to telling you how great it was to met you in person at MDSW! Mother's Day is tough when you have no mom -- I lost mine when I was 30, and 4 years before I had my own son, and those were hard years. Looking back through those photo memories is soothing in a way, though I still miss mine too, eighteen years later. Celebrate with your lovey and your four-legged kids, and know that she'll always be with you.

This was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. It left me wondering....is the water on the streets in venice salt water?

Awesome memories. This was my second mother's day without my mom and I find I've moved from grieving to celebrating. What fantastic memories!

Thanks for a wonderful tribute to your mom. I, too, like so many others, miss my mom on these days. But, truthfully, I am grateful that she truly is with me/in me in a special way now, more than when she was alive. I can only be the best person I can be thanks to her.

PS - love my dogs!

I shed a few tears in the morning for my Mom, then celebrated "I'm so glad I'm not a Mom" day at a fiber festival, where I bought 10 feet of bubble wrap, but no fiber. It was a good day.

I sure do miss my Mom, too. I was able to spend the day with my mother-in-law, tho', and it helped because she was so pleased to have me there. However, there will never be another person in the world who will be my personal cheerleader. Even after 10 years, I still find myself turning to phone my mom to tell her about some little accomplishment in my day. I still have those wonderful memories, tho.

What a wonderful tribute and what beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Rachael honey, you clearly DO have a mother. And just as clearly, she's living forever in your heart. That's a big thing, a great thing and something that many people will never have. I'm so glad you took the time yesterday to celebrate her.

Aweee! Standing joke in the office for me is that if you give me chocolate I will give you my first born in trade ;). So send me some chocolate and you will get a pretty, very kind, low maintenance little girl for a week... JK.

Rachel, lovely memories of your mom. She was so very lucky to have you as a daughter - beautiful, talented, vibrant, complex. And you, equally lucky to have her as a mom. I wish we could all be lucky enough to have a mother who could love us that much, accept us that completely, and still be such a hoot to travel with. Cherish your memories, as you obviously do. And thank you, a million times again, for sharing them with us. I hope that makes her a bit more present for you.

Rachel, thanks for sharing...what a lovely tribute to your mom. What a great idea looking for the bits of Miss Garnet's Angel - great book. I also love that you have a painting she had done for you - she'll always be with you no matter what.

I think that is the nicest tribute to a mom from her daughter that I've seen. What a fabulous friendship you two had! You're not alone, I miss my mom, too...I hope you did frame some of those (if not all).

Really wonderful of you to share it all. It touched me. Lovely.

Sorry to hear you missing Little Momma. You and your sisters so obviously love her.. Now and always.

How wonderful to share such wonderful journeys with her while you were young and as an adult.

So sorry for your loss, all three of you gals. But how wonderful a mother she was for instilling such a positive spirit in you all.

Loved seeing the pics of you two on your adventure :) Too precious.

Sorry for all the wonderful'ness in my comment. You and your family just bring it out in me :)


Oh, these photos are FANTASTIC. I love them. And you.


Hi Rachel, we corresponded about your hot water bottle cover some years ago :-). I was delighted to see your lovely pictures of Venice, my absolute favourite European city too, and I am thrilled to see you have made it into print!! Congratulations, that's a massive achievement! Also: have you read any of the Donna Leon novels set in Venice? She clearly loves the city too :-) Waving from NZ

This was nice. I took a trip to Venice with my mother, too. :) It was a wonderful time, and I have tons of pictures of it to remember her by. It is one of my very favorite places in the world.

I'm sitting here in Borders -- because I STILL haven't gotten internet at home -- all teary for you and loving the photos of you and your mom. I hope printing and framing those photos helped to ease the day for you.

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