Mother’s Day – What degree a Mother’s Love and Who Decides?

May 6, 2010 at 10:34 am 20 comments


I have been dreading this day as once again I know that I am going to be torn apart .On one hand I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful mother of my own and a grandchild who fills me with “life”

but on the other hand someone is missing this Mother’s Day. I know I will be looking for the ghost in the pond from last year, as I look in every room and see all the gifts from previous Mother’s Days given by a child’s chubby hands and then from the hands of the man my child became. These gifts, precious at the time of giving, have now become priceless.

You will be hearing a lot about Mother’s Day in the lead up to the occasion we will be bombarded with reminders and how special a Mother’s love really is .

I was the recipient of a “note” last month from Dr. Angela Marie (Lombardi) Ritchey DO , it was meant ( in my opinion ) to cause me pain as Chris’ mother. The “note” came through the “mail drop” of my dead son’s belongings- how thoughtful was that? I am not sure why or what purpose she hoped to serve. Her particular mindset is not MY worry.

There was one sentence though that has caused me to ponder the meaning both from the usage of the English language but also the words “your intense love”
The whole sentence reads:

I think your intense love for Chris shielded you from getting to know who he completely was.



At first I had visions of Captain Kirk , the Starship Enterprise and and “Shields up – Mr. Sulu”

Was Chris some sort of alien being lurking beneath the loving son I thought he was? Visions of Klingons and The Invaders ran amuck in my mind.

But it was the words “intense love”. that puzzled me.

I was married for 8 years before Nikki arrived and a further 3 years and 10 months before Chris completed our little family.

When Nikki came into our lives I was overwhelmed with a love for this little girl . I was so worried that if I had another child how could I ever have any love left over for a new baby? I needn’t have worried I loved my son no more and no less than my daughter. Oh! there was a difference -the bond between a mother and daughter is a little different from the bond between and mother and son, not weaker or stronger – just different.

Both my husband and myself always put the needs of our children before anyone else even each other. Was that a mistake? I don’t know , all I know is that it became as natural as breathing. The rewards for what little sacrifices we made to “enable” came back to us a thousand fold, in a smile, and hug and a love that was returned.

Does a mother’s love come in degrees? Was I , as a mother, supposed to lessen the degree of my love the older my child became? Is there a cut off point at 18- 21- 30 , when they marry , become parents themselves maybe?

How is it nobody told ME? And how do you go about that? Is it written somewhere, is there a time-table? How does one lessen love?

My mother didn’t tell me I was supposed to lessen my love for them as they grew! Infact, she has worried and fretted a great deal over me these last months at the age of 91 over her “senior citizen child”. I asked her if she loved me to a lesser degree than when I was in my 40″s?

No ! she said because she doesn’t see the “old woman” I have become but the little girl sharing her sweets with the dog as she looks into my eyes.

I understand exactly what she meant as when I look at my daughter I see a little girl with big blue eyes and a ready smile for her mum.

I saw not the man wracked with cancer and disease hooked up to machines as my son lay in that hospital bed but a little boy whose chubby little arms reached across the years looking for me to “make it better mummy”

Was the word “intense” meant as an insult – a dirty word ? Should I be ashamed of loving intensely my child? I looked it up just to make sure :

Definition of intense (adjective)
very strong; extremely serious.

What , I wonder, was her “base line” for the definition of a my “INTENSE love” I can only wonder if what seems natural to those that love and receive love unconditionally is not always understood by those who may not have had that experience.

What degree a mother’s love and should it be decided and negated by one who has never experienced it?

To all those mothers that love their children UNCONDITIONALLY and INTENSELY to YOU this MOTHER’S DAY I wish you love RETURNED that is intense and unconditional as well.


MAY YOU TOO BE DEFENDED EVEN WHEN YOU DIDN’T DESERVE IT!!!!!!

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Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, hell is other people, Love, Mothers, personal opinion. Tags: , , .

Wednesday’s Child is….. My Florence Nightingales- The Nurse

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark  |  May 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

    IMHO, Angela is feeling guilty and is lashing out. She should have been the one at his bedside, not just you. At some point, she should realize that it was her decision that ‘Chris’ll be ok’ to drive back from Texas, rather than fly, that caused him to contract H1N1.

    Her lack of caring and love for Chris in his last days seems to have been readily apparent to Chris. Have to wonder if he was questioning his decision to say “I do”.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    In fairness Mark Chris contracted the H1N1 in Texas…. I emailed Angela and said I thought he needed to be evaluted as something was going on and it wasn’t the side effects from SGN 35 in my opinion……she had planned on flying down on the Thursday for the results on the Friday and came down the weekend before……….to be honest I thought she would take one look at him and realize that he was ill with something ( I thought it was walking pneumonia) but she was and is the medical professional…..she said it was the side effects…. but I had strong doubts and that is why I almost begged her and Chris not to drive back.he was getting worse and I know the front my son would put on.

    I remember walking down the hall to the apartment he could barely breathe and he got a phone call from a friend and he put on this voice that was so strong it stopped me in my tracks you would not have thought that seconds before he was struggling…..

    But even putting on a good front could not excuse her in my opinion as he was getting up and taking 8 or 9 hot baths a night to relieve the pain in his joints and I was filling hot water bottles for him every hour. and stopped eating snd the night sweats….how she could lay next to him and not see that there was a problem I don’t know….

    She did sit with Chris , intially we took it in shifts.. and she was a calming influence.he did love her. I won’t deny that . and he died in love and for that I am thankful….

    ….but it was the last week when he couldn’t talk and the “gypsy caravan ” made the rounds….. I went into my dying son’s room to find people I have NO IDEA who they were sitting around and standing around his bed.his poor body exposed like a “pre death and embalming” visitation.… sickened me……
    I will never forget that sight….

    I have had no contact with her or the gypsy caravan since the the morning of my son’s death however I am unfortuate in the fact she contacts us with her narcistic notes…. and of course lied to his family 8 days after agreeing and took our closure from us ….. she and her committee of 19 ….. and the now the mail drop od death continued last week
    ( more on that later as I explore the Love Story”

    Yes Angela had told Chris that she wanted me to write “their love story and he would illustrate it” well sometimes you get what you ask for!

    My son may have loved her but he would not love what she has done to those that he also loved…..no matter her justification or ignorant rationailzation……

  • 3. Liz  |  May 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I took her sentence to mean that you have a “mom filter” and you saw Chris through the eyes of a mom. She has a “wife filter” and saw Chris through her own eyes. There’s nothing wrong about how you both viewed him as a person, they are just different points of view. She will never understand what it was like to be his mom, and you will never understand what it was like to be his wife.

    My parents know me, and so does my husband. My parents have more ‘breadth’ of knowledge (longer period of time). My husband has more ‘depth’ of knowledge (deeper, more personal). I think that all 3 of them don’t COMPLETELY know me. And the harder question is: Do I completely know myself?

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    That could be true if the line was just that line ……however since it was in the middle of “other lines” that were somewhat insulting to me I have taken it into a context that doesn’t quite have the “nice” flavor 🙂 … but we can’t ask Chris can we?? Nobody really knows “everything about a person” a wife or a mother .we all have our secret places……. so for her to tell me she did know him completely and what he wanted was also “self’ ish. and full of conceit and actually as I will explore through his works as I answer her first note to us and her reasoning of taking our closure that she was “wrong” ( something she will have to live with ) I have the written proof.but that is for a future post..at the moment I am going through the journey…… Loraine

    I agree do we really know ourselves…I have learned a lot about myself in the past months I didn’t know…. and I am still learning….. Loraine

  • 5. Mary  |  May 7, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I understand that intense mother’s love! My children (including my wonderful son in law) happen to like that intensity. They say it makes them feel safe in a crazy world. I know I have an extremely close bond with my father and it is reciprocated. Knowing the intensity of his love for his daughter (whom he also still sees as a little girl) is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I am only sorry that Angela doesn’t enjoy that same bond with her own parents/family. Maybe that is why she can’t understand the relationship that you and your children have. I always took it for granted that everyone enjoyed the same type of close relationship I have with my parents and my own children. I since found out that is not the case. And those people who don’t have that type of relationship and don’t understand it really resent those that do. I’ve learned to just feel sorry for those people and cherish my relationship all the more!

  • 6. thatwoman  |  May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    She and her immediate family have a very strong closeness a kind of “school of fish ” mentality ( if I can describe it) ( I am not being insulting just trying to explain what it looks like to me the outsider ) where they all think as one as they are alone in their world.. the trouble is they do not see there are other fish in the ocean unless they serve their needs……and I watched it in action that last week and a huge support group but it was different than the relationship my family has to each other…. We all tend to swim in different direction but will come together and are very protective of each other ….

    My poor husband would go home , bring me clothes , take care of the house and dog and my mum….and in the end I said NO you have to stay up here now all the time too. I needed him as my emotional punching bag….. I needed to vent and it had to be to him and he had to take my letting go of emotions as they ( the others )drove me crazy in that waiting room with their snacks and food stuffs and chatter…. otherwise without him I would have “done my nut” but I couldn’t for the sake of my son…..I really thought he would get off that vent. and we could move on………still not to be…….but I owe my husband a great deal for that week and since …..we have been each others emotional punching bags since Chris died…. trouble was he was walking around the hospital when I reached my tipping point with Mama Sue…….
    and there in lays the rub!!!!

    There is intense love and there is self- ish love…. but I guess it is love,,,,,,..Happy Mothers Day Loraine

  • 7. dave c  |  May 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    In his play “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Thornton Wilder’s leading lady is Mrs. Antrobus – a symbolic way of saying “every woman.” He describes her thusly,
    ” She lives only for her children; and if it would be any benefit to her children she’d see the rest of us stretched out dead at her feet without turning a hair — that’s the truth. If you want to know anything more about Mrs. Antrobus, just go look at a tigress, and look hard.”

    All the mothers I have known have, indeed, had an intense love for their children. To me that is the “norm.”

  • 8. aylin  |  May 9, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Dear Loraine.

    A quick note before I head to sleep in regards to your post which I read yesterday – I have wanted to reach out since… Noone knows the love that is between two people except the two people themselves who are involved. However, there is bond between mother and child in which instinct and intuition can over ride what is being presented on the outside. That is, a mother knows when ‘something just isnt right’ with one of her cubs internalls although the external picture “looks good”.

    As for Chris’ wife, it is very possible that she loved him, but if she treated the people he loved poorly, that tells me that her feelings trump all – no matter the situation at hand (his illness and ultimate death). True love (romantic love) means putting those you love FIRST and their interests FIRST, and yourself and your interests last – which can be quite the sacrafice at times, but in the end, is the right thing to do. I have always believed we see people’s true colors when the chips are down. It is sad that she couldnt be charitable enough to do the right thing – especially after Chris’ death. That is telling of character and integrity. The passive aggressiveness that comes MONTHS after his death is just plain cruel.

    I am asking the Blessed Mother and Our Lord to put some healing salve on your heart this Mother’s Day. I know it will be particularly tough. I will also pray for Chris’ wife that she will not intentionally cause you great pain. I dont even think she understands (unless she is a true sociopath) how much intense pain a parent goes through watching your child ail – much less pass away. I am ashamed at her lack of compassion for you and her strange need to reach out to you and re-open these wounds again and again.

    I know you will miss Chris, but know that he is closest to the Blessed Mother. She is everyone’s mother. She loves everyone of us more than even our own mothers. She understands your journey more than any human could – and so does God. Please know she has her arms around him and he is in eternal peace.

    Keep cherishing that beautiful grandchild of yours. Feel blessed in his innocence and love. The closest thing to God and His love that we will ever feel or see on earth must be children. Some people never have them, some people never live to see their own grandchildren – what a grand dividend of your daughter, of being a mother and of this life.

    God bless you, Loraine. Happy Mother’s Day.
    aylin.

  • 9. thatwoman  |  May 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Dave and Aylin, thanks you for your comments….it is very hard this morning as it was “last night ” actually …today will be a little different in our celebration of “Mother”……Chris will be our focus as we will plant ( special meaning perrenials) and tidy and add to the place where a “weeping Norwegian Pine” grows surrounded by spring flowers and the green canopy above … it will be is a place where the 4 elements come together. and are reprsented in one form or another …earth, air, fire and water and that “5th element ” ( love) and the 6th ( spirit) ….. .it is a place of love , strength , respect, peace and beauty …… surrounded by the life of the forest…..

    It is ongoing but that is what we will do this Mothers Day, My mum , me and Nikki and the men who loved him as a father, uncle and brother in law…. and I am sure Gavin will be in the mix….he refuses to be left out of anything…….he has his special wildflower seeds to scatter and plant…..

    Thank you everyone who understands and is patient with my rawness of emotion and pain….. Loraine

  • […] cause the sheer raw pain they have caused without a reaction – especially since the Princess sent letters full of spite and hurt to the Wicked Witch and her family . The Princess: “I wrote everyone letters, sharing Chris […]

  • 11. Strasbourg- September- Remember « That Woman’s Weblog  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    […] to light a candle as the family were devout Roman Catholic and to purchase a rosary for my then daughter in law. I thought perhaps it might bring some solace to the child’s mother seeing they were of this […]

  • […] has to go to Dr. Angela Marie ( Lombardi) ritchey for starting me out on this quest for without her cruel words unasked for and unappreciated, without her deeds of deceit as mentioned in previous posts I would […]

  • […] cardboard boxes sent with a dead brother’s, son’s ,nephew and grandson’s clothes and containing the narcissistic and cruel musings of Angela to his grieving family months after his death as she “moved apartments ” to a mor… […]

  • […] and how much I miss your strength. Everyday a living reminder of a “mother’s day” https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/mothers-day-what-degree-a-mothers-love-and-who-decides/ GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  • […] You know who I am […]

  • […] this particular“good Dr.”) in the first Mother’s Day after the death of my son. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/mothers-day-what-degree-a-mothers-love-and-who-decides/ I was the recipient of a “note” last month from Dr. Angela Marie (Lombardi) Ritchey DO , it […]

  • […] https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/mothers-day-what-degree-a-mothers-love-and-who-decides/ At that time, just weeks after my son died, I received a letter in my dead son’s clothes from my son’s “bride” the “healer”????? Angela Marie (Lombardi) Ritchey DO who made my love for my son something of a negative which “blinded me to who my son was” . I replied to Dr. Angela Ritchey in an open post- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/i-didnt-know-my-son-chris-ritchey/ […]

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