Bruce Jacobson
Dorothy Helen Phillips

Mothers Day

It’s Mother’s Day and I am thinking of when my mother opened her eyes, I held her, and she was gone.

We were in a hospital room in Bangor, Maine, on 16 April 1997. After a short illness, Mother was awaiting the end, eyes closed. My brother, sister-in-law, and I were taking turns sitting with her.

The alarm clock rang in my hotel room around 2:00 am that morning. I dressed, took the elevator to the lobby—and then, utterly confused, had no idea where I was or why I was there. When I walked into the dark parking lot I realized I must drive to the hospital.

Upon arrival, I was told that Mother had been asking for me. I knew why. I went to her, held her hand, and did what a wise friend had advised. I told her that I loved her, that she had done a great job as a mom, and that we would all miss her. And, if this was the time she chose to go, we would not be angry or disappointed in her for not trying to hold on longer.

She opened her eyes, I held her, and then she was gone. I miss her.


Dorothy Helen Phillips gave the above photo to her mother, Helen Rickards, on Mothers Day in 1936.


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This work by Bruce Jacobson is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 International License—Attribution-ShareAlike.

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