Posted by: Michelle UluOla | January 4, 2012

My Mother’s Gifts of Light

Today is my mother’s 89th birthday. She has spent those years in unconditional, loving service to her family, friends and everyone else. I know of no time when she has turned down someone in need of help if she had the means to do so. Her life is one of continuous prayer, not only for those she knows, but also, for all people on the planet, along with those who’ve transitioned. She was a Lightworker before that term was invented—anyone who comes in contact with her basks in that Light, which is her greatest gift. But with her genuine humility, she’s uncomfortable when anyone points that out.

Mom has another big gift that’s only been shared with family and friends: her writing. We’ve all been delighted when she’s treated us to original verses celebrating our birthdays and other special occasions.

Dictionaries give technical definitions of the word “writer,” and there are many quotations, both humorous and serious about what it means to be one. My favorite, which I feel is most accurate, is by Robert Penn Warren: “Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.” That certainly describes my mother. While she may have silently dreamed of being published, fame and fortune were not on her menu, as she never pursued those. She is a real writer and has always written simply because she couldn’t not write.

Last Mother’s Day, I introduced my mother in my post, Amazing Women. I ended it with a list of “Lorraine’s Daffynitions,” showcasing her great sense of humor.

While Mom’s quick wit has always been a delight, her main form of self-expression throughout the decades has been poetry. Robert Penn Warren also mused, “The urge to write poetry is like having an itch. When the itch becomes annoying enough, you scratch it.” The scraps of paper on the kitchen counter, with poems jotted on them in haste in-between household chores, attest to the fact that Mom has always been itchin’ to write.

Recently, while sorting through a drawer filled with memorabilia, Mom came across a poem she wrote as a young woman and read it to me over the phone. Actually, she recited it, as she finished by telling me that she still remembered every word she’d memorized so many years ago. I was very moved, and when I exclaimed over how wonderful it is, and that it should be shared with the world, her typical response was, “Oh, I never thought anyone else would be interested in reading it.” I assured her that, indeed, others would and asked if I could introduce it here. She hesitated, but finally gave me permission.

Mr. Warren made yet another astute observation when he stated, “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.” And that circles me back to Mom’s gifts of Light. In hindsight, her poem is deeply autobiographical, a reflection of who that young woman was. Those of us who know and love her can attest that this mature woman’s now distant, fervent prayer has been answered in the affirmative every day since she penned it. And that continues to be so.


A life’s prayer

No, you didn’t ask too much. Thank you for your precious gifts of Love, Light, Wisdom, Humor and Comfort that you’ve bequeathed to all of us.

Happy Birthday Mom!

******©UluOla 2012******



  1. It is a beautiful poem. I wish you all a wonderful birthday celebration. Isn’t it funny how we are writers but we don’t always see ourselves as such.
    Recently I was at a party and on the spur of the moment the host shared a poem. I was so touched by his words and his emotions. Ask your mother if she wants to share anything else. I will be glad to read it.


    • Thank you, Jean, for your kind words and insights. It took me many years of writing a weekly newspaper column before I could comfortably declare, “I am a writer.” Mom has never gotten to that place and is still uncomfortable sharing her work beyond her family. But if that changes, I’ll be happy to spotlight it here.


  2. Awesome! There is a lot of depth to the words of that poem. I enjoyed it so much so that I had to read it twice, mostly because it’s asking for something so simple yet very complex. Bravo Grandma. I hope I get to see more of your work. AP


    • Thank you for your sweet comments, Aaron, that I’ll be sure to pass along to her–she’ll be moved by them! (((Hugs)))


  3. As you know we had the privilege to celebrate with her in person. She is the most eloquent person I’ve ever met. This poem speaks to her outlook on life and feelings in general. Thanks for sharing! xoxoxo


    • You’re welcome–glad you enjoyed. I know Mom was happy to have you celebrating with her and appreciates your kind words. Thank you!


  4. EACH one of us has UNIQUE gifts… UNWRAP them n SHARE these TREASURES with as MANY people as we possibly can is what makes the WORLD A TRULY WEALTHIER place……”””THANK U for passing the GEMS ON…..””””we are ENRICHED………..””””MAY YOUR TRIBE INCREASE…””’


    • Thank you, Rita, for your excellent observations and comments! Namaste’


  5. I’m certainly glad your mothers well has filled and overflowed to you and then on to us. It appears apples do not fall far from the tree that they flowered upon and also your families disposition to writing seems to be something you must do. One thing that crossed my mind is the sensitivity of people needing a kind work and the ability to wield those words. Thank you for taking this glowing gift to the world out of its drawer and writing this blog. And thank your mother. For birth and gift she brings the world. Steve Booth


    • Thank you, Steve, for your eloquent, lovely and most appreciated words. I treasure your support and will pass along your compliments to Mom who’ll be as moved as I was. (((HUGS)))


  6. A beautiful poem and wonderful birthday tribute. Two very special ladies responsible for this. 🙂


    • Aw, gee, shucks , thank you, Paul! High praise from one of my favorite writers and much appreciated! (((HUGS)))


  7. What a beautiful tribute! Her light and gift shines through you.


  8. M – What a lovely poem – so filled with intense thought, emotion and care. Thank you for taking the time to share it 🙂 Many, Many Happies, M’s Mom – may you be spared for many more.


    • Thank you, Dani! I’ll pass along your wishes to Mom, and I know she’d want me to thank you, too. 🙂


  9. A beautiful poem and a wonderful tribute to an inspiring woman!


  10. Some children are very, very , very fortunate…. Thank you. -j9


  11. Thank You for sharing, Michelle! Love-ly!


    • You’re welcome, Doreen–thank you for your comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog.


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