Happy Birthday Mom!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (2005)

Bowen Island (2009)


Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work -
New York City (2005)

Today is my mom’s birthday.  She would have been 64.

Unfortunately, as most of you already know, my mom passed away almost 2 years ago.  Cancer.

But today I celebrate her birth and remember the brilliance of Jeanne Robinson – dancer, writer, choreographer, Buddhist, sister, wife, friend, aunt, and of course, mother.  I could go on and on about how kick-ass my mom was.  Anyone who met her knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I took some time by myself today to walk in the woods and connect with her.  Listening to the birds.  Watching the ripples on the pond.  Feeling the breeze.  Telling mom how much I miss her.  Wishing she were here with me during my own struggle with cancer.  Crying.

I’ve been crying all day.  Thinking about her.  Remembering.  Watching old videos of her and Miss M.  Looking at photos.

In doing so, I realize that amidst all the turmoil and sadness of mom being sick there were still so many moments of joy, laughter, dance, music, and love.  The videos and photos were full of them…  My mom and dad singing and playing guitar while Miss M bounces up and down to the beat.  The family walks through the magnificent rain forests of Bowen Island.  Miss M giggling and my mom soaking up every possible piece of her.  The love we all felt just being together.

I am so glad Miss M was born when she was.  I’m sure it was no coincidence.  Miss M helped us stay rooted in the moment and not dwell on the fact that mom was sick.  She made my mom so happy and allowed her to forget about the cancer.  Even now, Miss M continues to lighten our days during our second round of cancer.  It is no coincidence that she arrived when she did.  Miss M and my mom had a special bond.

Today, on my mom’s birthday, I remember all the good memories.  Today I give thanks.

Thank you mom for being such an inspiration.  Thank you for showing me it is ok to be a parent and still go after your own dreams.   Thank you for loving me unconditionally.  Thank you for modeling compassion.  Thank you for being my #1 cheerleader.  Thank you for helping me become the strong, confident, and loving woman I am today.  Thank you for being my mom.
Happy Birthday!

13 Responses

  1. Thank you Terri….

    Sounds like you finally opened that elusive grief door and Mom was right there to walk you through.

    Love you, Laurie

  2. You made me cry. How lucky we were, to have known Jeanne for so long, eh?

    I am equally lucky to know you. And so is everyone who does.

  3. Your Mom was the body and soul of our women’s group. We still miss her so much. Happy Birthday, Jeanne!

  4. I’ve been thinking of Jeanne all morning and wishing her a happy birthday as I go through the silly chaos of my day. Thank you for putting into words what has been tumbling around in my mind today.

  5. What wonderful memories and photographs. Jeanne was a remarkable warrior woman of grace and power, who shared love and wisdom with us all. I miss her, too.

    Namaste to you and Heron, to Miss M and Spider.


  6. Ah, she was such a great woman. I have such wonderful memories of her doing all the practical stuff that has to happen to run a meditation group, and doing it with grace and absolutely no fuss (well, okay, sometimes quite a bit of fuss!) and an absolute baseline insistence that no one person was any more important than any other person — novice student on their first retreat, teacher on their last, it was all the same to Jeanne.

    But maybe she would have made one exception for you, dear Terri Luanna.

    with love,
    Mary on Gabriola

  7. No less a personage than RAH, without quotes, that those who teach us things leave those things in our care when they die. In that way, they go on and on.
    Happy memories are the VERY BEST to leave behind.

  8. Dear Terri,

    When Jeanne’s birthday came around the other day, I said to myself, as I looked at her remains on my nightstand, that another year has gone by and she would have been 64. I miss her, too.
    Much love,
    Aunt Kathy

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