Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Thinking Of Mom

Mom as a young woman

One hundred and ten ~ years ago today, my mom was born in Stockhom, Sweden. In those days, the capital city was small and as my dad was born there also, this is pretty rare. They met on a tennis court, married late, which was also unusual in those days, and I so wish I could end this with saying that they lived happily ever after. 

I know their early years were good, I have many happy pictures of myself and my brother as babies and giggling toddlers. 

Then in 1947, my sister was born with the most severe form of Down Syndrome. My dad found himself unable to deal with the emotional part of this, the part that should have been loving and supportive. He oversaw the financial care of my sister after she was placed in care for children with developmental issues, but the rest, the love and support my mom needed, the visiting, the loving his daughter, he was unable to give. 

At home we never talked about her, only my mom visited her. When I became old enough to understand something was wrong at home, I became the support my mom so badly needed. We would go together and visit my sister, who, while she did not understand who we were, knew we were special. And I fell in love with her, she was such a joy. Her name was Ann-Marie, but her caregivers affectionately called her Ammi. She was supposed to die in her 20s they said. Well, she died in 2005, at the age of 58.

I never confronted my father, I never asked why, and it took me years, until the 1970s and a very good psychologist, to finally work through my feelings and forgive my dad. 

I have no idea why I'm sharing this with you guys, it just sort of came pouring out. I'm not upset about it any longer, I guess that today, on my mom's birthday, I just wish my parents years together had been happier. 

But after many more tragic years with my brother's addiction and death, and me far away, my mom met an old sea captain at the assisted living place. They got married and had a few happy years together. 

And for that, I am grateful.


  1. these are called happy but bittersweet memories I think. Happy for your mom she had someone in the assisted living to be with her in her last days.. I think it is much easier as we age to look back and understand things we did not when younger. I have many thoughts about my childhood years and can see now why they were and were not. forgiving othesr is a wonderful thing

  2. Dear Inger, in my blog posting this past Sunday, I, too, started out to one thing and ended up telling another. I dwelt with my story of Maggie. Just as you never intended to share all you did about your Mom and Dad and yourself, I never intended to write an entire posting on one cat. But when we love, our heart finds words with which to share treasured memories. And I am grateful that you did share for it helps me discover many more wonderful parts of you--a human being who has blessed my life. Your mother sounds like a fine woman. A valiant woman just as my mom was. There were and are such blessings in our life. Peace.

  3. This story was a lovely tribute to a strong & beautiful woman!!

  4. This happens often in marriages when a child is born with disabilities and one parent cannot cope. Not only did your mom go through so much pain but so did the rest of your family. Your mom did the best she could and I know you loved her very much. I am glad she had some peace at the end of her life.

  5. It is a very sad story and even sadder because your dad couldn't cope with his responsibility and support your mom when she needed it the most. I'm glad that your mom found love , even fin her old age for at least a little while. It must have been healing for her. I'm glad that you've forgiven your father but sorry that you didn't had him when you were growing up. Your mom looks so pretty and sophisticated.
    Happy 110 th Birthday to your mom.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. A few years of happiness is the icing on the previous sad times, and how can we understand how any one person handles sadness, grief and disability any better than another. I guess your dad felt guilt, disbelief, sometimes and downright angry at what he had been dealt. And some men cannot offer support and love at the best of times.For you, putting it into words today , shows us all how much love for your mum, for Ann-Marie, and yes for your Dad and brother too. Let the happy memories take over. XXX

  7. When we fall in love, there are spaces in the other person we do not know so we color those in with what we wish to be there. Sadly, when you think iron is steel, it rusts just the same. I am glad you grew to forgive your father which cast the burning ember of hate away. I am happy that your mother met a man she could face her last years with. Tomorrow on my blog is the story of my own mother making my early Christmases magical. :-)

  8. Bittersweet memories. We all seem to have them to some extent in our family life and history. I am glad you shared this. Hugs from UT.

  9. What a wonderful ending to your mom's sad story. She was a beautiful woman! And so lucky to have you. So was your sister. It is very sad that your dad was not strong enough to handle this, and I bet he spent times regretting it, too. But we all just do the best we can. I know you were a joy to your mom and sister.

  10. my own mother was born in 1921 and died of lung cancer when I was 25.
    that generation and the ones before it seemed to have that same wonderful inner strength.
    I emulate that. and … like you … I miss her to this very day! thank you for sharing a part of your life
    that is heart breaking really. and yet … it sounds as if she had a happy ending with her sea captain.
    blessings to you Inger! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope to see you post on your blog again. I think we have much in common. I just went there and read your beautiful response to my last comment back in August. It's been a long time... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Peace.....

  11. Your mother pressed on with life, like many strong women do. Glad to hear that she was able to find some happiness later in life.

  12. I am so glad that you eventually became your Mom's support, that you got to know your sister and that you were eventually able to forgive your father. Your Mom bore more than most are asked to but I'm sure the bright moments lit the darker days. Delighted that she found her sea captain to comfort her and bring her happiness in the end.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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