“Men are what their mothers made them.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I thought and believed at one time that my mother was God, or at the very least a god-like figure:    

For the past few weeks, I have been going through old journals, scissoring out unwanted and unneeded material.  Old essays, old emails, and old class notes–among other things.  Glued-in essays no longer relevant.  Gone.  Deleted.

So volume by volume, I page through.

On May 5, 2016, I was working on Volume 91: 12-11-2008–10-12-2009.

My reading became deliberate.  My entries slowed me down.  Few clips of the scissors.  More attention to the words.  A Mother’s Day.  A mother’s illness, and hospitalization.  A mother’s death [10-7-2009].  A chronology of events, details. 

Ironic timing: Another Mother’s Day is here. 

And some vivid memoriesofatime:

Mom in Ohio 2008Mom Relaxing on Swing, Ohio Cottage 2008


©  James F. O’Neil   2016




  1. Talk about ironic timing: as I am reading this post I too am down sizing as we.prepare to move to a new apartment. Much like you there is a lot of weeding out and throwing away things that no longer fit in my life.

    That is a great picture of your beautiful Mother…how you must miss her. Sorry for your loss.

  2. What a lovely picture of your Mum James.
    Here in the UK we celebrate Mothering Sunday in March. My Mum’s birthday is in May, as is another Mother’s Day celebration, so she gets a double whammy this month as my brother in NZ will remember, triple if you count March. Mothers are precious. We only have one, yet if we have siblings, they have to divide themselves equally. I hope mine is with us for a few more years yet, she’ll be 94 in a couple of weeks.

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