First Mother’s Day Without, Mom

Mom and her four kids:Becky, Sonya, Mom, Kenny, Granddaughter Shanda, Grandson Jahmari and Gwen (2015 in San Diego, CA)

By Gwen Pierce


Last night, I was visited by a dream of my mom, a cherished memory that has lingered in my thoughts lately. Her presence, her voice – soft, sweet, and comforting – fills my mind. In those final six months she spent with Ronnie and me, there were simple pleasures we shared, like sitting on the porch indulging in her favorite “organic” ice cream sandwiches. Recently, we bought a box, raising a toast in her honor on what would have been her 84th birthday, May 4th.

But as Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself grappling with emotions I can’t quite articulate. Usually, I take solace in celebrating her life on social media, sharing photos and memories. Yet this year feels different, as if words and images fail to capture the depth of my love for her. Perhaps this is just another facet of the grieving process, riddled with unexpected twists and turns.

And then there was the dream. It felt so vivid, so real. It began with a phone call at 2:00 am. The time she and I would usually catch up, like clockwork, was every day at 9:00 am. In the dream, the phone rang only a couple of times before I picked up, greeted by the familiar caller ID: “LULA HUNTER.”

Excitedly, I answered, “Oh hi mom!” She answered back, “Hey Gwen, my talking child. I really didn’t want anything, just to hear your voice.”

Her voice, clear and warm, as she greeted me with affection, calling me her “talking child,”  a title that she gave me and I wear it as a badge of honor.

In that moment, it was as if I could see her, her beautiful round face beaming at me through the phone. My mother had a way of brightening any conversation, a trait I had observed countless times as she spoke with my siblings, scattered across different states.

Mama, and me (Gwen Pierce) This photo was taken in the eighties or nineties on one of Mom’s many trips to San Diego.

Our conversation flowed effortlessly, as if she were still here with me, instead of wherever she may be now. We laughed, we reminisced, we even gossiped a bit – just like old times.  I asked her if she was having a good time. She said, “Girl Yeah!  And Geneva just got here.”  Geneva was her sister-in-law that she loved like a sister. She recently passed away in March, at the age of 89.

And when I mentioned bringing Ronnie and Shanda into the conversation, she gently declined.

She says, “That’s okay, Gwen, I just wanted this to be our time together

And then, just like that, I woke up.

The next morning, I recounted the dream to my daughter, struck by how vividly I remembered every detail. It reminded me of my grandmother, who used to claim visits from my deceased grandfather, a notion that once unnerved me, particularly in the presence of his striking portrait.

This Mother’s Day marks the first without my mom, and the ache of her absence is palpable. I miss our simple rituals – the ice cream sandwiches on the porch, the late-night TV binges, the road trips to Arizona. Yet, I find solace in the belief that her visit in my dream was her way of assuring me she’s at peace, that everything will be okay.

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself compelled to share a message about my beautiful mom, Lula, and the joy she now experiences in heaven. Fly high, Angel. And know, you’re welcome to visit me anytime. I miss you, mom.

Rest in heavenly peace, Lula B. Hunter. Sunrise May 4, 1940, Sunset May 13, 2023


3 thoughts on “First Mother’s Day Without, Mom”

  1. Kay Voelzow Novosel

    Oh my goodness.. This a beautiful tribute to your mom and everything you love about her.
    It’s hard to lose your mom. Mine died in 2011. 😢

  2. Cedalue Mitchell

    I miss calling my Auntie Lula on every holiday, that beautiful calm voice, it was an honor to establish a relationship with her that I will honor and always remember, Miss you auntie

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