*not quite* 68 Things

This week, my mother would have been 68 years old.


Mom and Butchie 1972 - Version 2

In your honor, Judith Marie Brockmire, here’s a list of what I know now:


It seems like you were just here.  Yesterday.  Today.  This morning.

It seems like you’ve been gone longer than forever.

I miss you.

My children live too far away.

I (still) hate ironing.

A person who is cruel to animals will be just as cruel to humans.  Especially children.

I love sports — love them.  As spectator and as participant.

I once heard Toni Morrison say that all kids want is to see your face light up when they enter the room.  She was right.

Loving mothers make the world go ’round and ’round and ’round.

I always carry a book to the bathtub, every single time, whether I open it or not.

Unless you live on a farm, 3 dogs is probably too many.   Though I will never admit it.

I can’t save them all.

It is easier to forgive an old friend than a new friend.

I will never be 5’9.

Hard exercise makes me happy. and it has nothing to do with weight.

My children are mine, no matter who birthed them.  And I respect their birth mother …. I wish we knew each other better.

I am an inappropriate crier.  And I am an inappropriate laugher.  I apologize.

No matter your circumstances, you can make anyplace your home if you try hard enough.

I inherited your sarcasm.

Rome has the best pizza/pasta/gelato on the planet, but my house  has the best chicken and dumplings, thanks to Grandpa Red.

Boys are infinitely nicer than girls.

You can be very happy with the right man, but you do not need a man to make you happy.

I love going to the drug store. Thanks, Grandma Ann.  I love going to the grocery store.  Thanks, Mom.  I hate all other shopping, period.

Thanks for insisting I was not a weirdo because I liked to spend all of my time in the library.  Thanks for listening to me ramble on and on and on about books.  Nothing beats a good book.  Nothing.

I wish you’d known wine.  I imagine us sitting on your porch in Kelso, on a spring or fall evening, with a glass (or 3 or 7) or wine.  Crickets chirping.  Buddy howling.  Wade complaining.  Us, laughing.

You should sing as often as possible, whether you can sing or not.

Too much mascara and eyeliner looks bad on anyone over 40.


Apply dubious amounts of sunscreen.

Love all.

If you have a grill, you don’t need a fancy oven.

Handwritten letters will always, always, be important.

You said I looked like Lee Roy, but I really look like you.  Especially on my drivers license.

I miss you.  Have I mentioned that?


If you could write your mother a letter, what would you tell her?


17 thoughts on “*not quite* 68 Things

    1. Teri Post author

      And speaking of moms, the kids are going to have such a fun play date tomorrow!!! Squeeeeeee! 🙂

  1. Catherine

    I love this list. Your mother is beautiful and somehow I think she hears your words.

    I would tell my Mum that I wish I weren’t so far away, that I wish I could pop home every weekend. That leaving her each time is so wrenching and kills me for months.

    1. Teri Post author

      I so understand this, Cat. My mother was always thrilled that I was out living my life but wished I didn’t have to be quite so far away. I feel the same way now about my own children.

  2. Josey

    yesterday evening, i spent more than 8 miles trekking up the hills around my neck of the woods thinking about what i would say to my mom if every thing didn’t feel so heavy between us. then i came home and read this and realized all i really need to tell her is that i love her and she is my mom and i will always be glad for that.

    you and you’re mom are both gorgeous. when compared to the pictures you’ve shared of her, you look happier–and as any mother knows, that would make her the happiest, right?

    such great words here. thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. to Judith Marie. you raised one fine daughter.

    1. Teri Post author

      I understand, and it’s so much more complicated right? My relationship with my mother was a lot more complex and difficult and fun and irritating and loving and frustrating in real life than it seems now, 11 years gone. I try to remember that she did not have the life she dreamed of, but I do and I owe her for that.

  3. independentclause

    I’d apologize for every time I told her that morning glories were pretty and shouldn’t be pulled, because now that I have a garden, I realize that those fuckers must die. I wouldn’t use the word fuckers. (sorry, mom)

    I’d tell her thanks for everything and that I miss her a lot. I miss the little conversations about nothing, telling her about the meals I ate, talking about books, having these silly little rituals. I never eat biscotti anymore.

    She was always the one I wanted to call.

    1. Teri Post author

      Not having her to call is the toughest. Who’d have thought? Between 4 and 6 pm is the toughest time of the day.

  4. Barbara Kawahara

    Love this Teri. My mom passed away recently at the ripe age of 89 but it felt like she was 60. Miss her immensely. I guess it doesn’t matter if it was 30 yrs ago or yesterday, the memories are profound. Your mom is beautiful like you.

  5. donnaeve

    Love your words and love the picture. Even though the photo is black and white, the color of her personality still comes through, her expression to me is a bit pensive, almost like, why in hell are you taking my pic when I’m trying to enjoy the sun? That could just be me…

  6. Averil Dean

    I would–I do–tell my mother not to worry about me, that fulfillment looks different for me than the way she thinks it should. Sometimes I remind her that she gave me the most valuable of all gifts: a happy childhood. The older I get, the more I realize how rare it is to get one of those.

    Your mother is lovely. She’d be so proud of you.

    1. Teri Post author

      As strange as it sounds, even I had a happy-ish childhood. Even with all of the surrounding turmoil, I was always the kid with a smile on her face, figuring out how to make the best of things — which I MUST have inherited from somebody, right??

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