To Ron on Mother’s Day 2021

Dearest Ron

When you were a child, I would sometimes tell you that you were teaching me how to be a mom. Then, when you were about 10, you stopped me with this: “Wait a minute! Does that mean Joe gets a better Mom than me?” Your thinking was always a step ahead of mine.

Throughout life, you challenged me, laughed with me, forgave me, and told me what you needed. I did the same. When you were about 16 and our relationship was strained by your need for independence and my need for parental control, we each read and then discussed the book Parent Effectiveness Training based on the concept of mutual respect. It helped us understand what we were not getting right. That’s how much you cared. Even at 16, you were engaged enough to read that book so that we could negotiate strategies to benefit us both.

Gift from the Sanchez family, the work of Marisa and Brooke in January, 2016.

Since you left in 2015, you continue to teach me how to be your Mom. My first words upon learning you were gone: “I forgive” not sure who or what I was forgiving. Then the knowing: “There is nothing to forgive.” Then wisdom: “I understand, Ron.” Then the wrenching grief: “Oh I am so sorry. So sorry.” Sorry for anything I did or did not do that brought us to this moment. And then, the plea: “Dear God, If You will help me through this, I will forgive everybody everything forever.” Your powerful love and spiritual essence led me to that understanding.

How often through the months and years, have I rocked and cried, “Ron, I am so sorry. So sorry” over and over. And I would hear you, “Oh Mom, you’re so roughed up,” your words for anyone in pain, “So sorry you’re roughed up, Mom.”

Now that I am about to enter my 6th Mothers Day without the flowers, the Phillies tickets, or just the right card, I know more deeply how you are at my side. You rescue me from despair.

You are there with our ancestors, holding and lifting me when it all becomes overwhelming. You have done that from the first moment when my shattered heart instinctively provided the words, “I forgive.”

You inspire me to be strong and brave so that, even in the agony of the grief and loss, I love, cherish, and value my life. This is because I know you are beside me, near as my shoulder, like a soft breeze against my cheek.  I consciously live my life in a way that would make you proud of me, even as I grieve and long for your presence, your touch, your laughter. It’s like we have a pact. I am your voice; you are my inspiration.

You give me the courage to be free in ways that I might not otherwise be. Because of you, with your brother beside me, my soul could be seemingly lifted to heaven in South Africa at the sound of the Soweto Gospel Choir singing “Hallelujah,” I am a stronger advocate for justice, Joe and I created a music video of Alexander Hamilton and, in another music video, the joyful audacity to dance with chickens!

Everything I do, I do for you, for my healing and the healing of the world. My heart, you and the world are one entity. I claim that for my truth.

Because of you, everything I undertake is holy and sacred. Because of you, I need not fear. Because of you, when I mourn, my lament reaches a depth I never knew could exist in one human body. Because of you, when I laugh, I laugh with a freedom that comes with the certainty that joy still lives at the deepest core of my being. As an ancient psalmist wrote, “Weeping may endure the night but joy comes in the morning.”

Healing does not mean an end to grief. Healing can mean the possibility of a fuller embrace of a love so profound and a grief so deep that both are transformative and redemptive.

I believe that receiving you into my womb, birthing you into life, nourishing you from my body, loving you through every age and stage then, through a world of tears, accepting your return Home is, after all, the one singular act of perfect love attainable in this life.

You continue to teach me, Ron.

Mothers Day 2009
Ron in Rittenhouse Square, 2013. I love that Phoenix tattoo. You inspired me to get one of my own.

Author: Marguerite Sexton

I was born in 1943, the 4th of 5 kids. My parents died when I was 8 and 18 respectively. I am fortunate to have been born to really nice people. My siblings and I sort of raised each other. I am married to Tom Sexton, the sweetest man on earth. My two sons, Ron and Joe, were from my first marriage. Tom brought three kids into our marriage, Tom Jr., Sean and Nicolle. I have lost many loved ones, most notably my mom and dad, my sister, Mary, at age 38, my brother Jack in January of 2015 and my beloved Ron on Christmas morning of 2015. I am grateful for all these beloved people who wait on just the other side of the thin veil.

29 thoughts on “To Ron on Mother’s Day 2021”

  1. It never really leaves you. I think of Ron all the time. Once in awhile out of the blue thoughts of him come to me. ❤️

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  2. What a beautiful Mother’s Day tribute to both Ron and yourself.. It inspires me to be a better mother and person Thank you dear sister.

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    1. Dear Marge,
      What a beautiful Mother’s Day letter/ reflection dedicated to Ron. I was so touched by your honesty and heartfelt love for Ron that will never go away, even though there is an earthly separation.
      Indeed, Ron is always with you, inspiring you, encouraging you, and celebrating with you those moments of joy you experience – and so freely share with others. I have seen that joy and it makes my heart sing!
      I wish you a peace-filled, loving Mother’s Day as I imagine you and Tom and Joe will celebrate together.
      With love,
      Mary Anne

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  3. Marge, thank you for sharing your deepest feelings with us, most of which I can relate to the loss of my son Peter.
    We never forget the pain, but also the joy of their presence.

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  4. Marge, Thanks for sharing your Mom memories with Ron. It seems you had a very unique relationship and Ron obviously felt he won the lottery to have you as his Mother. That’s a beautiful memory for you to hold on to even through your missing him beyond belief. With Love and Blessings, Cassie

    >

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  5. Dear Marge- I love this writing so much. I started to read it earlier but was in a rush and wanted to wait until I had a moment to savor it and take it in. Thank you for your words.

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  6. Marge,
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself through your beautiful writing. Your bond with Ron seems to deepen as you navigate your grief. Happy Mother’s Day!
    Chrissie

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  7. “It’s like we have a pact. I am your voice; you are my inspiration.” I now realize that I have been trying to express this for many years but never managed to put the words together correctly. You said it absolutely perfectly. THANK YOU, dear Marge. I love you.

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  8. Thank you so much for this beautiful articulation of your grief and hope, Marge. Wrapping you in love, blessing, and comfort on this Mother’s Day 2021.

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    1. Thanks for sharing such deep spiritual insights of grief. You and Ron both are part of my life in this journey of life for which I’m very grateful. Ron and I easily established a connection. May he continue teaching us both. I don’t have your gift of words but am most grateful for your sharing. Much love and prayers, Marguerite

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