Re-copying a poem after 28 years–for Mom

Re-copying a poem after 28 years–for Mom

When I was about 10 years old, I wanted to give my Mom something homemade for Mother’s Day. I was too old for noodle art and too young for anything that involved going out to get something to create a masterpiece. So, I decided to sit down with a pen and paper and copy down one of her favorite poems. The handwritten words took a bit of a downhill slop as I neared the end of the page. Some words were crammed in to fit onto one line. It was far from perfect but completely from the heart.

I credited the author and then signed my name and the date. I framed it and wrapped it. I remember her eyes brimming with tears when she opened it. I felt such pride that I gave her something she cherished.

She hung up that poem in the vanity area of her bathroom so that it was the first thing she saw every morning. As the years past, the ink began to fade. In fact, after a couple of decades it was hard to make out what exactly the poem said. But she knew. And I knew. That is what mattered.

I knew the poem held special meaning to my Mom. It wasn’t until I became a Mom myself that I fully grasped why her eyes filled with tears that day and how ironic that was.

It was more than a year and a half after her death that my Dad took down that poem. He asked me if he could before he did. Part of me wanted it to stay hanging there forever, but part of me knew it was time to take down it down. (It now hangs in my vanity area– unreadable and in the scrawl of a 10 year old’s hand, but something I “read” daily.)

So, Mom, here for Mother’s Day I will once again post the words to your favorite Mother’s Day story. This one won’t fade. I miss you, Mom. I will always love you.


When the Good Lord was creating mothers He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And the Lord said, ” Have you read the spec on this order?”

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 movable parts… all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.

The angel shook her head slowly and said,” Six pairs of hands…no way!”

“It’s not the hands that are causing the problems,” said the Lord. “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, “What are you kids doing in there?” when she already knows. Another in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, “Come to bed. Tomorrow…”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, ” I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick… can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger… and can get a nine year old to stand under the shower.”

The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

“But tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?”

“Not only think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak, ” she pronounced. “I told you you were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “it’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

” It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride.”

“You’re a genius!” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber.

“I didn’t put it there.”

-Erma Bombeck

12 thoughts on “Re-copying a poem after 28 years–for Mom

  1. Pingback: perfect pair
  2. I just read this same thing on another blog. It didn’t have the author though. Erma Bombeck, of course.

  3. That gave me a shiver. Yay for mums who can do all that.

    Happy Mothers Day.

  4. Erma Bombeck knew motherhood. Thanks for sharing this with us on this special day.

  5. Great poem. Love Erma Bombeck. Thanks for sharing it and your sweet story about your mom. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day with your family.

  6. And now there’s a tear in my eye. Your dedication to your Mother and her memory is admirable.

    Happy Mother’s Day, and the tears are OK.


  7. I had tears in my eyes twice today. Once when I read my kids’ Mother’s Day cards in the morning, and now, as I was reading your post.

    When I called my mom this morning and told her “mom, look at my website”, she looked, and when she thanked me, her voice trembled. She had tears in her eyes too.

    Now, after reading your post, I am even happier that I had this chance to make her happy. I haven’t aways been the best daughter. Thank you.

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