Hymn to Her

Sixteen years ago today, my mother passed away. Mary Bernice Theresa Haidarian. She was only 70 years young. It was one of the worst days of my life, I will admit. She was my best friend, my confidant, my mentor. Without her, our family would have fallen apart.

She was a quirky woman. People either loved her or were terribly annoyed by her. I was both. I loved her so so much, but she could tremendously annoy the crap out of me when I was a teen and in my early twenties. Of course, back then, I thought I knew it all. I had no use for anyone but rock stars and glam gals. Anyone over 22 was an old cat and anyone with a brain was boring. I had a lot to learn, I know. And God bless my mother for having the patience to tolerate that (for years!). Please Oliver, don't put me through the same thing!

The weekend before she died she begged me to come and see her. I look back and think she knew she was going soon. I couldn't see her. Friday, she called, "Please!" Then Saturday, "Please!" Then Sunday, "Please!" Never before had she had such desperation in her voice. I can't remember if she died on a Monday or Tuesday, but on that day I knew I had to see her. Just knew. I called. And called. And called. I found my dad and called him to ask where she could be. Now I was becoming desperate. He finally went home and found her. "Andi, I think she died." he said with such sorrow. "What? No! Go check her again. Go. Check. Her. Again." He put the phone down and shortly came back. "No. She's gone. There's no pulse." We mourned. She died at home. In bed. A stroke.

When I arrived later that evening, shortly after I found out, I kid you not, it was like a scene from the Wizard of Oz. Although my mother was nothing like the Wicked Witch of the North, there she lay on the ground, clothed and covered in a sheet, with only her red shoes peeping below. The story is too odd to write about in a blog, but maybe not. My mother would encourage it. But the details I'll leave for another time. So there she lay, red shoes and all. Only my mom would go out in such a manner. Oh how I loved Dorothy and those Ruby Slippers! And today when I see a pair of red shoes, I know she's nearby!

One other thing I remember from the funeral. I truly thought I was my mother's only friend. She treated me like that, like I was the center of her world....yes she has other children, but she had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in her life. As we drove from the funeral parlor to the church that morning of her funeral, I looked behind me in the car. For blocks — blocks — there were cars lined up. There had to be over 100 cars. My mother had so many who loved her. I met many of them that day. I had no idea! No idea!

Anyway, I thought I'd list a few gifts she bestowed upon me that have really made me who I am today. She was not a saint, but she was an interesting woman, and I would not trade her for any other mom. I miss her a lot. She has never met Matt nor Oliver (on Earth). But I know she loves both of them, and I know Oliver has a very special guardian looking out for him. She's still young and alive today in my heart. And I will pass on her spirit to my child.

A few gifts (in no special order) that I received from my mother:
  • how to plant flowers
  • how to get in the car and just GO!
  • how a road trip could be a vacation
  • how to drink coffee and lattes before there were Starbucks and Alterra
  • how to break in the middle of my day for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat
  • how to chat someone's ear off relentlessly :)
  • how to dress the way I want and not care what peeps think of me
  • how to love my children unconditionally
  • how to enjoy the journey, not just the destination
  • how to get my money's worth
  • how to smile no matter what!
  • how to fold towels and do laundry
  • how to feel hurt; it's ok to let people know when you're vulnerable and sad
  • how to make canned peaches
  • how to cook a hot meal for a dog
  • how to enjoy a dinner out, driving an hour to get there if necessary
  • how to unclog a drain using no chemicals
  • how to find treasures at tag sales and good will
  • how to drive a car
  • how to arrive fashionably late
  • how to love someone with devotion
  • how to be a soft place to land
  • how to snuggle with and protect those I love

And here's an email from my sister Teri who is into life after life...

Mom said she had a hand in Ollie coming to you. About a year before you were pregnant, she told Ollie that he would like it if he chose you for a Mother. He has Mom's blessing to come to you. Ollie is close to the soul grouping of Mom, whatever that means. I guess they are souls that always end up around each other. Mom is sort of like a guardian angel for Ollie.

And here's a song that I clung to when she passed on. I played it often after she died, and I read it at her funeral and at a Sunday church service afterward, later that month. It rang true for me back then, and it's still reminiscent of how I feel about her today.

by The Pretenders

Let me inside you
Into your room
I've heard its lined
With the things you don't show
Lay me beside you
Down on the floor
I've been your lover
From the womb to the tomb
I dress as your daughter
When the moon becomes round
You be my mother
When everything's gone

And she will always carry on
Something is lost
But something is found
They will keep on speaking her name
Somethings change
Some stay the same

Keep beckoning to me
From behind that closed door
The maid and the mother
And the crone that's grown old

I hear your voice
Coming out of that hole
I listen to you
And I want some more
I listen to you
And I want some more

And she will always carry on
Something is lost
But something is found
They will keep on speaking her name
Some things change
Some stay the same

Mary Bernice Theresa Haidarian

Born March 26th, 1923 .... lived a sweet life and moved into another on September 15th, 1993


  1. Oh Andrea what a wonderful heartfelt tribute to a woman so loved and loving. Than you for sharing this today. Hugs darlin'

  2. yes, i totally agree, what an amazing tribute!!! (((HUGS)))



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