Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Little Blue Pitcher and a Mother's Love

So today's Mother's Day. What was once a happy time for me has become bittersweet, since I lost my mom to cancer back in 2007.

But...don't feel bad for me. Although she's no longer with us physically and I miss her every day, the love we shared can never die.

I take comfort in the fact that, although the world irreparably changed in October of 2007 when she passed away, that her love for me and my sisters lives on. I smell it when I make her spaghetti sauce. I see it when I spy a deck of cards and remember her love of penny-ante poker with the Sicilian aunts who raised her. I feel it every night, like a whispered breath, when I go to sleep and find her once again in my dreams.

All I have to remember her by is this 1930s era cobalt blue Shirley Temple pitcher. Back when Mom was spending those last horrible months in the hospital, my sisters and I had to make decisions about her home and its contents. Most of the stuff we gave away to charity or to friends who could use some of her furniture.

I looked around amid the chaos, knowing Mom was in hospice a few miles away and wondered what I should take to remember her by. For some reason, the little blue Shirley Temple pitcher that had always been in our china cabinet called to me. I knew my mom had gotten it as a little girl, perhaps as a gift from her dear Aunt Ethel, and I just knew this, above anything else, was what I wanted to keep.

That little pitcher occupies a place of honor in my home. It's not worth a lot. It might fetch $25 to $50 online. But to me, it's precious.

See, that little blue pitcher represents my mom, Theresa Annette Comparetto Reed, and something about her that I feel extraordinarily blessed to have known: unconditional love. The kind of love she showed for me and my sisters was the most valuable commodity I can think of. And I need only look at the Shirley Temple pitcher to remember it. To remember that she loved her kids above all else. Sure, there were times when we disappointed her, when she didn't approve of what we were doing, but never for a moment did we feel her love withdraw.

That's what I celebrate on this Mother's Day. May you know or have known such love for your mothers today.


  1. I echo your sentiments Rick and I am so glad you have fond memories of her. It is those little snippets of remembering that make me smile when I see something that reminds me of my Mom. Thanks for the story, this little pitcher reminds me of my sister too and she has passed as well.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jo. Happy memories to you.