Story: A Mom’s Thanksgiving

by Cat on November 25, 2009

This was originally posted November 25, 2009

We are ending this week short due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will be back Monday with lots of great posts! Before signing out: Designing Mom Tori had recently requested for us to write about our holiday traditions and this is my contribution…


by Designing Mom Cat

It was the day after Thanksgiving last year that I received the call from my dad that my mother had passed away. I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. My sister was in her third. To be honest, I can’t even quite remember what we did last Thanksgiving…just that everything was chaotic, pensive, incomprehensible as my mother lay comatose from a sudden brain hemorrhage in hospice.


In the weeks leading to her hemorrhage, my father said she was frantic, insistent on completing a set of albums that chronicled my siblings and my childhood. He remembered she had a look of utter relief when she placed the last photo into one of our books as she breathed, “finished.” On the plane ride back to San Francisco I carried my set back…two albums filled with meticulously documented photos from the time I was a newborn. These were the photos I pored over after the birth of my son, staring at photos of myself at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months to see when I was rolling, propping myself up on elbows… Finding answers to all of the questions I would have asked my mother about.


My mother was absolutely beautiful, modest, hard-working and she adored my father. I’ll be sharing those details about his paw-paw and the albums of my childhood with my son each and every Thanksgiving. We will make her favorite cranberry orange relish together. We will indulge in the luxury of simple pleasures and memories which were all the things my mother treasured most. There is so much to be thankful for.

It is hard to believe I am writing this on the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. But I wanted to share this because this is how Designing Moms started. As an ode to my mother. An outreach to surround myself with moms for creative and personal support when all I wanted to do was retreat. For that I am so grateful to have the support of all of my Designing Moms, read their amazing posts and projects, and to have the support of all of you readers out there. I wish all of you a heart-filled Thanksgiving with your family and little ones.
xxx-ooo, Cat

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika November 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Cat, this is beautiful. I love knowing the inspiration behind Designing Moms. Your mom sounds like a very special woman. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, xo Erika G

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Abby November 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

You just might be the strongest, most incredible girl I know. Now I see where you get it!

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Tori Higa November 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm

wow, cat – what a touching post and special tribute to your mom. what a wonderful woman she was. thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us – you are an inspiration. your mother would be so proud.

i wish i could give you a big hug today – you'll have to accept a virtual hug instead…XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

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jackie November 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm

so touching, your mom was a lovely woman. thanks for sharing. have a wonderful holiday with your family!

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Anonymous November 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Cat, that is a really special, heartfelt tribute to your mom. It is truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Pat

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marzi November 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

you look so much like your mom! what a beautiful woman.

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mari November 25, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Cat, you brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the heartfelt post, I will be thinking about it during our own thanksgiving – and remembering to be extra thankful for the family I'll be seeing.

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Heidi November 25, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Cat, your post was so meaningful to me! I am now in my 2nd trimester and my grandmother just passed away about 2 weeks ago. Thanksgiving was always her specialty, and every year i would call for her stuffing recipe…never able to replicate it just right. I miss her so much!

thanks for sharing your wonderful stories about your mom. i'm certain she is smiling down on you…every day! xo, heidi

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tammy November 25, 2009 at 10:23 pm

cat, it's tammy. remind me never to check designing moms when i'm in the studio. i'm tearing up here behind the front counter. such a beautiful, touching and inspiring post! :)

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Our Designing Moms November 26, 2009 at 12:34 am

Thank you all so much. Words can't describe how touched I am to be in such fine company. Wishing all of you the very best Thanksgiving with your family and little ones. xxoo, Cat

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cw November 26, 2009 at 12:47 am

Such an incredibly moving tribute to your mother. I feel so honored to have met her, and lucky for me I get to hide my tears behind the curtains in the back from reading your post. :) Thank you for the heartfelt reminder to cherish all things small and simple.

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Anonymous November 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

Cat

This is so special. Your Mother is an inspiration to all women. I Love all the pictures. I admire you and this site!

Love
Ada

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Earthy Beginnings November 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

You know very well the journey I find myself in… I'll be taking lots of photos today. You're strength is inspiring to say the least! Thank you for sharing. I feel very fortunate to be part of this blog, even more so after reading this. Hope you can feel the warmth I am sending from NY!

Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

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shinmin November 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

Cat, this is so beautiful. I think I cried a bit. Thanks for sharing something so personal.

I don't think I express enough to my mother how much I love her (typical Chinese family….. shy of expressing emotions). Your story reminds me to run and hug my mom.

You are lucky to have inherited the beauty of your mom.

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Aya November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Cat, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. I am in tears. I always admire your kindness, strength, warmth, and thoughtfullness and I now see where you got them from.

Thank you so much for sharing such a special story.
big hugs and kisses,
Aya

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