Skip to main content

Mother's Day Lessons of the Heart: Poem #12

POEM #12


Poem #12 does not really need an introduction. Not in my wildest dreams could I have surmised that my poetry muse would visit in late Winter 2020. And by this Spring, I have already written a dozen poems in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Conjuring how I could express thoughts about Mother for Mother's Day, this poem came to me unexpectedly, full of sentiment and candor. These words were familiar as they were somehow etched in the recesses of my brain from long ago. They would at times appear in my dreams. Mother appears in my dreams often enough, I am taking such sign from her that I am to set the words free.

The old photo is from my maternal grandfather's collection; thanks to him I have a few I've grown to treasure as I age. This photo is who my Mother was, is and always will be in my mind's eye. This is the beautiful woman who raised me.

My Mother in Her Youth. ©Lu Sobredo Collection



What comes to mind about my Mother?

That I yearn to see and hug her; talk and walk with her.

I recognized her walk even from afar.

Her bearing effortless. “Elegant presence,”

Her best friend from college described

Whenever they reminisced in their early forties.


Her eyes full of melancholy

When her own Mother died while she herself

Was in early recovery from surgery, and nursing

A terminal illness. Painfully, she couldn’t

Be with Grandmother to say goodbye.

Mother was heartbroken, unable to properly mourn;

I wept with her. I weep for her, for them both to this day.


Her laughter was infectious. Her storytelling

Rivaled a comic, a mime and a dramatist.

Most entertaining when joined by her soulmate,

Her inseparable sidekick, my Aunt,

Who at 91 still wishes that Mother  

Had not exited to Heaven too soon.

At age 53, that was too soon. Cruelly, too soon.

My heart aches to this day

Because she was taken far too soon.


She fought her battle with the big “C,”

The disease that tested her courage, grace

And fierceness. That same fierceness to protect

Emerged when loved ones or overlooked strangers

In need were threatened or neglected.


While at her deathbed saying goodbye,

I resisted like a child, although in my 20s.

When I attempted to bargain with God,

Her retort was brutally honest to a fault.  

She admonished with coherence: Don’t be selfish.

My mortal body can no longer handle the pain.

My mission on earth is complete.

Your own mission will be revealed in due time.


Mother fell into eternal sleep

Before I could protest. I was speechless.

Speechless as in stunned with awe

At her unadulterated courage.


I am told often that I look like her.

That at times, I sounded like her. But her

Forgiving heart was unequalled.

She caressed her pain close to the chest:

Scars in the heart from lost loves, broken promises,

Torn up love letters and lost poems

From college sweethearts. Until her last breath

She cradled only kind words

Even for the few that she trusted but failed her,

betrayed her and caused her inexplicable sorrow.


The theme song from her first love, no he

Wasn’t my father, was called No Other Love.

Although the torn love letters, poems,

And images of a beloved with a baritone voice, 

Strumming a guitar serenading her

Were my Father’s. These images

And stories stayed mostly buried in Mother’s

Heart when they parted ways.


Even extended family might not know, she played

A simple arrangement of No Other Love on the piano. 

The only time she ever played for me, we laughed 

And cried as we sang to our hearts content.

Those mother-daughter moments made my head swirl,

Intoxicated by the way she recalled without regret

Long lost loves; and the eventual love that sustained her.


What comes to mind when missing my Mother?

That words would never be enough.

That the warmth, thoughtfulness and sacrifices

She showered me unconditionally are carved

Deeply, intricately and precisely in the core of my being.

And whatever disappointments caused her

To tear up or shake her head while raising me,

Or while watching me from Heaven,

I know she forgives and cherishes

Them as lessons of the heart;

Lessons of life. Her love embraces me

All the days of my life.


Poem ©Lu Sobredo

Photo ©Sobredo Photo Collection


About the Author 
Lu Sobredo is writer/publisher at Lu Travels Abroad, a blog dedicated to folks whose limitations do not hamper them from traveling. A year into early retirement her world collapsed from the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her total life changed, but she did not let RA define her. With love from family, friends and an awesome doctor, she regained some functionality--her new normal. She will have RA all her life. And she now writes about life and travel with RA. During the pandemic of 2020, she stays put and writes poetry and a first novel, a travel of sorts but in the heart and mind.

















Popular posts from this blog

Travel and Why Not?

By Lu Sobredo WELCOME to LuTravelsAbroad Website! What's new with me? TODAY I am exploring possible format/design for my LuTravelsAbroad website, for my Blog and Facebook page. Tickled to be launching a new venture. I have this incredible feeling of drive from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A similar feeling that came over me when I finally realized I will travel abroad again. Travel while disabled, you might ask? Why not? Mother & Son: Midnight in Paris, ©James Sobredo 2004 WHY A TRAVEL BLOG The Travel Blog and Facebook web presence is meant to be a self-help travel corner, and a vehicle for opening up about my personal health journey. When preparing for the 2016 travel, some websites and travel blogs were a great help. While in Spain as I focused on the moment and less and less on what discomfort to anticipate, I gradually experienced the thrill of traveling. It was then that I began to envision creating a one-stop self-help corner for peopl

Ten Essentials for Autumn Travel to Spain

TEN ESSENTIALS FOR AUTUMN TRAVEL TO SPAIN By Lu Sobredo The warm weather hasn’t completely waned, but there are signs of the new season including a little chill in the early morning air. As of September 22, 2021, North America is officially into autumn and I am thrilled! A year and half of waiting for COVID 19 infection cases to decline in the U.S. and other parts of the world has been challenging. But survived, I did! So did my circle of friends and family. I feel for those who did suffer much and lost loved ones or colleagues to the indiscriminatory virus. Diligent adherence to health protocols have helped and I wished many more would take the risks seriously by getting vaccinated, continuing to mask up and limit exposure by distancing or gathering responsibly in small crowds. I feel fortunate to qualify in the late summer for a third vaccine. Being someone diagnosed with an autoimmune illness renders me high risk to infection. On August 31, 2021 I walked into a pharmacy and took con

Finding Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum

by Lu Sobredo Viewing Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum. ©Lu Sobredo 2017 "Celebrate the rich diversity of Philippine art with 25 compelling works recently added to the Asian Art Museum’s collection. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry and textiles; Christian devotional statues from the Spanish colonial period; postwar genre and landscape paintings; and contemporary works come together in this intimate exhibition to tell fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines.” ~ Asian Art Museum Introduction I’m surprised to be hanging out on a Thursday afternoon at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the middle of summer. Most times, I am there either appreciating some permanent exhibit or being drawn to a special exhibit or event. Sometimes, I could be found simply sitting at the museum Cafe sipping green tea and lingering over an apple almond tart. It is at these moments when I am moved to write. The writing I do these days is for my blog.  

Through His Camera Lens: Lights, Landscapes and Life Abroad

by Lu Sobredo ~Celebrating the many dimensions of my husband James Sobredo: his interest, talent and heart as reflected through his camera lens. Introduction Yes, my son and I, and sometimes our friends take very good pictures with our mobile phones. But the person, whose camera lens I totally rely on to document life's moments and special places, is my husband James Sobredo. Being around him and his photography partner and close friend, Steven Montalvo when on their photography shoots, is both meditative and exhilarating to watch. As if their eyes are connected to their hearts. And after many hours and enormous patience, they might be happy with the outcome. I know I am. Folks have asked me why I find blogging so much fun? Other than the fact that: My family actually have visited the amazing places I write about. I get to meet fascinating people and who have become part of my family’s life.  As strange as this sounds, it’s even fun to awkwardly attempt speaking a d

Great Friends Make Great Medicine

GREAT FRIENDS MAKE GREAT MEDICINE By Lu Sobredo There is a new drug in my health journey: a daily dosage of friends. When added to my pharmaceutical regimen, it seems to magically expand the time between flare-ups. Closest Best Friend, My Beloved: Our 26th Wedding Anniversary at The Kitchen in Sacramento. ©James Sobredo The stores were about to close when I was struck with a yen to pick up bowtie pasta at the Italian Deli in my neighborhood. It’s not every day that I make an impromptu dash to the store. Once there, it’s never just bowtie pasta that finds its way into the shopping cart. Just ask my young, adult son who drove me there. It wasn’t going to be a quick trip after all. I ran into my primary care doctor and his lovely wife at the grocery store. She has a PhD and rightfully has the title of Dr., I thought to myself. My M.D. asked about my recent visit with my neurosurgeon. Aside from a chronic illness, I also had a mass in my r

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage on My Terms (Parts 1 & 2)

By Lu Sobredo PART I Introduction Walking near the border of France and Spain through the Spanish Pyrenees to the city of Santiago de Compostela was not the vacation I envisaged, not for my first trip to Spain in 2010. However, my husband James, the avid adventurer had other ideas born out of an earlier visit to Madrid and Seville in 2006. It was a decision that turned out to be monumental for the family and deeply personal for me. Mother and Son Bonding on the Camino. ©James Sobredo This essay is sprinkled with practical hints from lessons learned in the pilgrimage. It is a personal reflection of the whole experience. It is about the physically challenging, emotionally invigorating, and spiritually uplifting journey. It was an experience made increasingly significant because of a life-changing diagnosis that followed three years later, a diagnosis that has rendered me chronically disabled. I sincerely hope this serves as an important reminder to all: act no

Top 10 Restaurants We Love in Spain

By Lu Sobredo Gastronomy and Spain have become synonymous. Writing this photo essay makes me think of scrumptious meals. My mouth is literally watering with great longing to return.   Since starting my blog in 2016, my husband and I are often asked for recommendation of places to eat when in Spain. I have given recommendations in a private message through my travel Facebook Page: Lutravelsabroad . And I do it happily. But there is no reason to keep our recommendations private. When one finds a gold mine, I believe it is important to share the wealth. My family and I have managed to partake in culinary feasts on a budget when traveling. When we do some modest splurging, it is all planned and calculated into our travel expense. Why not live a little while we still can? If curious, you can still access my first Blog post on the subject: Happy Eating on a Budget in Spain . This earlier essay takes you from the Madrid area and Barcelona, to the Galician region in Santiago de