Mother’s Day without your Mom leaves a big space to comb through the past.

I cannot count myself fortunate enough that on my last visit with her in 2011 (never expecting it to be the last), that I got her to record some audio stories of her past, growing up, her family life, meeting my Dad, etc. This little snippet includes her talking about moving from the “inner city” of Baltimore “uptown” to Garrison Avenue (which these days would be considered inner city Baltimore).

Mom talks about her fondness for her father, his need to be busy on projects (or napping), and hints at a more distance relationship with her own mother, but that her mother had a special tradition of hand making a specific dress style that little girl my Mom had chosen from a store window.

I barely remember my maternal Grandmother, Ida, who came to this country on a boat from Lithuania with her mother, Sarah, in 1904:

Mom's scrapbook photos of my grandmother, and great-grandmother, along side a photo of Mom taken February 2011

Mom’s scrapbook photos of my grandmother, and great-grandmother, along side a photo of Mom taken February 2011

For anyone who is with their Mom, do yourself a favor, and get some audio recordings of their life stories. Do it for your future self, when you sadly will be facing your own missing Mom pieces.

Top / Featured Image: Thinking about my Mom today I sought out my flickr photos from the last time I saw her, a visit with her in Florida in February 2011. My timeline in flickr allows this (sadly in the past I could link to my photos in a time sense, wow it took my 12 minutes to munge a search for this time range, the search parameters are in unix server site, sigh)

flickr photos taken during my last visit with Mom

flickr photos taken during my last visit with Mom

The jigsaw puzzle ones are most memorable, and the one of her pointing to a missing piece, my flickr photo shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license, while staged, is a not to a family story. And it seems appropriate, as she is my missing puzzle piece, and damn these tears.

It was no surprise that when my sisters and I got to her house to empty it after she passed away, there was a partly completed jigsaw puzzle on her dining room table.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I was thinking about jigsaw puzzles lately and how much I enjoyed working on them with Mom. I may have to start one. The problem is that I’ll do nothing else until I finish it!

    Yes, there’s a missing piece in my life. Good analogy.

  2. Good advice my friend you are handing out….Hugs….Have the same reflection for both my parents. Even with losing the first – my mom who had about 5 years of good days and bad days and then not getting any audio, video or even written stories, never got my Dad either – we talked about it, he was willing – but we didn’t get it in….he went quickly with morning coffee at his computer checking Yahoo Finance about his “fortune” as he called it, 2 weeks before exploratory surgery for suspected saliva gland cancer and a month after successful colon cancer surgery. All happened quickly and for the best – but never got that audio or other things. Hence my first DS106 large project was about my Dad….and why I am now trying to capture and curate the living family so they have it in the future.

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