My Mother & Me, June 1994

My Mother & Me, June 1994

On September 28, 1994 my mother died from the same strain of pneumonia that killed Jim Hensen, creator of The Muppets.  She was 80 years old and her mind was sharp to the very end.  It was then  I learned that losing one’s mother is a special kind of raw pain that will linger forever.  I cannot tell you how often I wish I could  see her or pick up the phone and call.  I’ve worn her gold wedding band on the index finger of my left hand since the day she died.

Lorena Lee Taylor Mason

Lorena Lee Taylor Mason

Her name was Lorena, but she always went by the nickname of Rene (pronounced Reen).  She was a terrific seamstress as long as I can remember and at the time of her retirement, she was supervisor of the sewing room of a large company in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She moved to Colorado when my stepfather, her husband of 41 years, died in 1988 and lived only 2/10th of a mile from my home.  I could see her house from my front window.

She cooked the world’s best green beans and made a delicious fruit pie for my husband, Richard, once a week.  She’d call him to stop and pick it up on his way home and it always had just one piece missing.  I don’t blame her, after going to all that trouble, why not enjoy it? She was active in her church and Rebekah’s Lodge with lots of friends for a busy social life.

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cincinnati, Ohio

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cincinnati, Ohio

She also had her share of heartache. When I was four years old, she lost my little sister in an early birth. Her only son  died suddenly from a coronary at age 45.  She spoke to me about both my siblings on her last day. Never having been a smoker, she lost a lung when she developed a benign cyst in its center and a blood vessel was nicked during surgery.  Late in life she developed congestive heart disease.  She loved growing flowers and caring for birds, so in lieu of memorial flowers, an aviary was built in her name by the Volunteers of America.

At the time of her death, I was still writing poetry and  the one I wrote for her was published in an anthology aptly titled “Echoes From the Silence”.  There is no silence louder than the loss of a beloved voice.


The angels pulled the clouds apart and lowered golden stairs.

My Mother looked toward the sun and saw my brother there.

Her weary face she turned once more to look into my eyes.

“If you would let me go,” she said, “I’d start toward the sky.” 

Into my own, I took her hand and gently touched her hair.

I told her that she could get well, that I would never care.

With silent tears, I watched her go. She turned to smile once more.

She blew a kiss and climbed the stairs to walk through golden doors. 

A peacefulness she sent to earth to tell me she’d got there.

And happiness is hers once more…no longer has she cares.

The angels are excited cause a new one’s come to sew

white gossamer into soft gowns with piping made of gold. 

God lets her water all the plants and feed the snow white doves

and send to earth soft, gentle winds to touch me with her love.

My Guardian Angel has a name and is a special lady.

She’s looking down from up above, still watching o’er her baby. 

(© September 1994 Jackie Taylor Zortman)


Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

(For information about her books, click on the ABOUT tab at the top of page.)











































About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief, first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST" and award-winning novel "SNOW ANGEL". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
This entry was posted in family, grief, Jackie Taylor Zortman, Mother's Day, Mothers. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. mmgornell says:

    Jackie, a lovely and loving tribute.


  2. jtzortman says:

    Thank you, Mad. I appreciate your kind words.


  3. Nancy LiPetri says:

    Didn’t realize you’re a poet, too, Jackie. Both the prose and the poem are fabulous. What a shining tribute for such a wonderful mom!


    • jtzortman says:

      Not sure I’m still a poet, Nancy, but that’s the way my writing began. Poems would come to me completely intact and I couldn’t just sit down and compose one. That evolved into short stores and then books. Weird, huh? Thanks for stoppig by.


  4. Barbara Shepperson says:

    Reading it again brought tears again. A great tribute!


    • jtzortman says:

      Thanks, Barb. Did you read my poem years ago? I’ve forgotten who knew about it and who didn’t, but of course, I’d have shared it with you.


  5. Denise says:

    I thought I had she’d every last tear today..until reading this…and your poem. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your mama. You favor her tremendously! As grown woman still walking around feeling like a lost child since my mother died…it is comforting to know that I am not alone in knowing the grief…a grief like no other. She was my best friend…my soulmate…my mama. Thank you, thank you for sharing this! ♡


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