Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

An Unexpected Blessing – Celebrating Mother’s Day


In 2012 I wrote the following for a special event celebrating Mothers. My mother-in-law, Muriel Nichols, is now 92 and still as vibrant and beautiful as ever. Today I share this writing again to honour her, the memory of my own mother, Beatrice Amelia (Livie) Donabie, and all the wonderful women in my life who are mothers whether in body or spirit. Happy Mother’s Day!

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

On the evening of May 12, I will be reading at an annual event called, “Walking In My Mother`s Shoes” This evening on Mother’s Day weekend honours mothers through the arts (the written word, music and visual arts).

DSCN1640As I thought about what I would write, I found myself contemplating the recent blessings in my life. What great good fortune to meet and fall in love with a wonderful, loving man who brought me to live in God’s country. Here surrounded by walls of pink granite, guarded by tall pines I found a safe haven to explore and develop my creative gifts. This would have been enough for me but more came with this new relationship.

I quickly connected with artists and writers who shared my passions and interests. Heaven – this had to be heaven. And this was enough.

But there was still more to come.

Mum in 1979

In  1982, I lost my mother to cancer. I hadn’t realized how connected we were until she was gone. Over the years our relationship experienced ups and downs from teenage rebellion, through divorce and loss of a son-in-law she loved, my second marriage to a man she struggled to accept and finally loved, and culminated in our deep and abiding friendship as she battled the disease ravaging her body.

I missed her terribly. I felt lost without her. When my father passed away, I was 15 and my mother took on the role of both parents. I learned to depend on her as I entered adulthood and now she was gone. I went on with my life, yet, an emptiness remained.

This emptiness only worsened when my husband died in 2006. During his illness, I had constructed a steel-reinforced concrete wall around my heart. However, during that time I also developed several close women friends. I discovered a sisterhood I had not known before and I trusted them with my deepest feelings. In a way, they replaced my mother.  Yet, I still missed her,  especially on Mother’s Day when we take time to celebrate those who gave us life, who raised us, put up with our antics, kissed our booboos, hugged us when we cried, encouraged us when we struggled and cheered on our victories.

I never expected to have another mother in my life. My mother-in-law died in the 1980s and after my husband`s death I determined I would live a single life unless the right man dropped right in front of me.

Doug, me, Hugh and Mom (Muriel)

Then two years ago, it happened. There he was right in front of me and my wall of protection came crumbling down. When my spouse and I began dating, he arranged for us to have breakfast with his mother, Muriel, and her special man, Doug. I approached that day with trepidation having no idea how I would be received. Would she like me or hate me? I needn’t have feared. The moment we met, I felt embraced and loved. That’s what mothers do. They desire the best for their children and when they see happiness reflected in the eyes of their sons and daughters, they rejoice.

We don’t live close enough to see one another often but the times we spend together are precious to me.  They are comfortable times, as though we’ve been doing this for years and years. Whether we simply sit and talk, enjoy one of Doug’s incredible dinner creations, walk through the garden or down a country road, we find lots to laugh about and share. Muriel and I particularly enjoy taking on the guys to a game or two of euchre. Occasionally we let them win.

During a recent visit with Muriel, I took her aside to ask her if she minded me calling her “Mom”. It seemed so natural for me. She hugged me and said, “I’d love it.”

Mom will be attending the event on May 12 so I will be able to share my thoughts with her.

These will be my closing words, “Mom, you are an extra special and unexpected blessing in my life. Tonight I have this perfect opportunity to let you know how much I appreciate you and to tell you publicly, I love you. You have effectively filled that empty corner of my heart created especially for a mothers love. Thank you and Happy Mothers Day!”

© Wendie Donabie 2012

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DSCN1419Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Mothers-in-law, Mothers to be, Step-Mothers, Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers, Foster Mothers, Spiritual Mothers and any other Mothers I have missed!




  1. Betty Pinkston

    Beautiful Wendie, so happy for you to have found love both from a spouse and a new found mother. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. Chryl Livie

    Hi Wendy – I love reading your blog – what a wonderful tribute to mothers – I especially enjoyed seeing a photo of your mom – I always thought she was a very regal lady – I lost my mom in 2002 but really lost her several years before that to Alzheimers – I still miss her though – one never forgets the wonderful memories of your mom – Happy Mothers Day to you!! Cheerful regards, Cheryl

  3. Juanita Kynoch

    Wendie, I cannot believe this is the first picture of your mom I’ve seen, and we’ve been friends how long, or maybe my memory is not as good as it once was. I am so happy for you, you deserve every one of these blessings you are receiving. Take care,
    Enjoy your evening .

  4. Melissa

    Wendie, what a beautiful story. I am so happy for you that you have so many blessings in your life, that you are so clearly open to them.

  5. Shirley Trimmer

    This is a wonderful heartfelt piece Wendie. Well written. As much as we miss you in the Horseshoe, you are where you belong.

  6. Reblogged this on Blue Heron Writes and commented:

    Over the past few days, I’ve had so many hits on this piece I wrote two years ago for a special woman in my life, I thought maybe I should post it again. So with this, I wish all mothers out there A Happy Mothers’ Day!
    Blessing to you all….Wendie

  7. Susan Laughlin Gilbert

    Lovely. I miss you in my life. We are havinga family reunion in Muskoka in September …. Perhaps I can drop by with my grand daughter and introduce you to her.xoxox.

    • I private messaged you on FACEBOOK… and yes, let’s get together….


  1. Make Dinner Sunday For Your Mom « jovinacooksitalian

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