The Magic of My Mother

The Magic of my Mother

This photo is on my wedding day. My smiles says it all. I love my mother. She is now forever in my heart. I miss her laughter and her smile. I miss most of all, hearing her voice and everything in the world being OK. It made it all OK to hear her voice. Now I must listen more keenly, for her voice is in my mind and heart. I must listen now.

Here is a link to a beautiful portrait I wrote about her when she was alive. She was magic. My magic mama.

Magic Mama:

“The palm on your fevered brow, the soft kisses when you need them most, the grip that steadies you on rocky roads, the hand that feeds and nurtures you, the voice that tells you that you are loved, the shadow that walks beside you unconditional and enduring, a mothers love.”

–  Sunita Sharma

“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. 

-Washington Irving

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” -Ann O. Nymous

It takes some one really brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone more than herself. – Lilly

Love is blind because “My mother started loving me before seeing my face” – Unknown

“If I had a flower for each time I thought of My Mother, I could walk in my garden forever.” – Unknown

“Mothers are the rock that we lean on in almost all our troubled times and the wings that we depend on to take that flight towards our dreams.” – Mimi Estrada

#Brain Tumor Thursday

So I have volunteered to write about brain tumor patients and survivors to raise awareness.  There is an ongoing awareness campaign over on Twitter called “Brain Tumor Thursday.”  It happens every Thursday on Twitter.  Just put in the hash tag #braintumorthursday.  There is great information, support, stories, and articles being shared from this link about cell phones and cancer to an inspirational story about a woman’s awesome fight against a brain tumor.  There are many great organizations and individuals reaching out to help individuals and families dealing with the effects of a brain tumor.  Check it out on Twitter.

My mom made it to the next spring. I am thankful for that. My thoughts and prayers go out to all people dealing with brain tumors.                          Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.

As most of you know, my mother has had non-cancerous brain tumors since 2000.  She was diagnosed by a doctor after a series of tests at the emergency room. She has two brain tumors: one on her brain stem and the other in her cerebellum.  This always confuses me — is it in her cerebellum or on it?  She had emergency brain surgery in 2000 to drain the fluid in her brain.  The surgeons put a shunt in her brain to drain the fluid.  She had radiation treatment in 2004.  My mom is alive and able to talk to me on the phone.  When I hear her voice, it makes me happy.

My magic mama

She is my magic mama.   The link (Magic Mama) is an essay  I wrote to celebrate her beauty and dedication as a mother.

I have always been grossed out by medical procedures and I can’t even look at a scan of the brain on Grey’s Anatomy without losing my lunch.  So I have stayed out of the medical part of my mom’s illness.  I realize that I am biting off more than I can chew by offering to write creative nonfiction pieces about brain tumor survivors and patients, as I barely have time to shower most days.  But this is for a good cause.  I believe people should know that having a brain tumor doesn’t mean the end of life.

Photo © Megan Oteri – All Rights Reserved Dogwoods are in blossom this time of year in North Carolina. I absolutely love this flowering tree. Find out everything you want to know about the Dogwood at this link:

For most patients, they want to see another spring and watch in awe at the beauty of nature, as she unveils her white silky buds of the Dogwood, or the yellow cupcaked beauty of the daffodil.

Daffodils – the great march into spring Photo © Megan Oteri – All Right Reserved

Brain tumor patients want to see the next spring and the next, just like any other person.

So, I launch Brain Tumor Thursday on my blog.  I will try my best to post a feature story or mini muse interview with a brain tumor patient every Thursday.  I will make a heading at the top of the page so they are easy to find.  That is one thing I am working on with my writing is organizational skills having to do with technology.

So here is how it will work.  If you know someone with a brain tumor, please have them email me at  I will ask them to email me a photo of themselves doing something they enjoy or a favorite photo of theirs.  Whatever they want to share.  Then I will ask them to fill out this short questionnaire.

Art Credit:

Fill in the blank:

I hope…

I wish…

I dream about…

I am (be)…

It follows my mini muse interview formula and my motto (Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.)

* Optional

* Brain tumor diagnoses and treatment…

* Favorite quote…

* Three things you’d like to share…

I will do my best to get my mom to fill in the blanks over the phone and she can be the first one to do the mini muse interview.  But feel free to email me right away if you want to participate.  There are some amazing organizations promoting awareness and offering support and information.  Here is a list of the ones I know about.  Please feel free to add them to the comments.  I will work on adding the links to the sidebar.


I am in the process of working on writing a blog post to catch everyone up to speed.  But honestly, the last week has been a whirlwind of creative connection, human connection, technology connection, and soul connection — and oh, how can I forget — writing connection.

I want to put some links here that will give you an idea of how connected we all are and also what I have been up to creatively.

1.  Talenthouse:  My photo, Brain Tumors, which is a photo of my mother in the hospital the day after she almost died.  The photo was taken last year in May.   The photo received over 1000 votes and they are still coming in.)  The support all over the world has been incredible.  Just click on the link, Brain Tumors and take a look around to see what’s going on over at Talenthouse.  I have met so many amazing artists through this website.  I really appreciate what Talenthouse is doing for artists and creatives.  What I really like about their website title is it reads: “Talenthouse – ALL CREATIVE.”  The winner will be announced March 15.  You better believe I will let you know!

No doubt about it - I am a right brained brainiac.

In a nutshell — I entered the photo, Brain Tumors in a creative invite at Talenthouse to work with Tiffany Shlain, who was honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century.”  “Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, and co-founder of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. A celebrated thinker and catalyst, Tiffany is known for her ability to illuminate complex ideas in culture, science, technology and life through her unique films and her dynamic talks and projects.”  Tiffany also recently did this film, Connected. She is beyond raderific!  She is also a mom.

2.  Attachment Parenting International:  I am a regular contributor to their online blog, API Speaks and magazine, The Attached Family.  API is a great international organization and I practice attachment parenting with my son, Benjamin.  My essay, Magic Mama, which honors and celebrates my mother’s legacy and giant spirit, is posted there right now.  This essay has been getting retweeted and has had an incredible amount of readers.  It actually got retweeted by Tiffany Shlain after I tweeted it to her and other organizations having to do with brain tumor support and information.  I am honored to share my mother with the world.  The essay was also linked to via this post, Motherhood is hard, with a pingback to my essay, Magic Mama, when Lara, the mom blogger said, “How on earth did our own moms make it all look so easy?”

Attachment Parenting is an international website, with over 20,000 fans on facebook.  That means 20,000 people, all over the world, potentially read this essay, which celebrates the beauty and dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship.  I also made arrangements with the director of the nursing home where my mother is at, to have someone read her Magic Mama.  This makes me happy.  I wrote this essay for my mom, so it is fitting she hear it.

3.  Mamalode: My essay, Take a Number, I Just Got to Town was published on Mamalode’s website last week.  This is also a magazine and website I am a regular contributor for.  I can’t tell you how much I adore this magazine.  It is a collection and community of honest, down-to-earth mamas, telling you how it really is, how they wish it were, and how sometimes it isn’t anything they even understand.  This magazine has subscribers in every state in the US and a presence internationally.   Check out their Spring issue, themed Flow, coming out this week.  You can subscribe via the link above.  This issue will feature an article by Kelle Hapton about writing her new book, Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, which goes on sale April 3rd.  You can pre-order a book at her website.

So, how we are all so connected — by technology, by the human condition, by our hearts.  I have connected with an artist in the US and one in the Ukraine because we both lost our fathers; these connections were made on Talenthouse.  I will be writing about these connections later on this website (here at Right now, I am just trying to get out the basics so you all can be caught up to speed.  Anyway, there just feels like there is so much to tell you.  Like how someone I went to junior high with in Chicago, posted the Brain Tumors  link in his 20th high school reunion facebook feed.   Or how Tiffany Shlain retweeted my essay on Mamalode because I had tweeted it to her, as well as, to the American Brain Tumor Association.

How are you connected? How does it bring you joy?

Thank you for following my blog and reading this post.  Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.

Extra information and memomuse news:

Photo by Megan Oteri (c) ~ All Rights Reserved

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4. Wheat Thins Review: “What do The Colbert Report, Family Guy, a disbelieving twitterer, a hiker stuck under a rock, and Wheat Thins all have in common? They all are part of the new advertising launch of the new Wheat Thins made with 100% whole grain.”  I was asked by to write a review for Wheat Thins.  This is a great website with articles, reviews, information, coupons, and news of the grocery industry.  We all need to eat, so we all need to go to the grocery store.  Here is the link to the review.  It was fun to write and it is funny.  I promise you will laugh.  Really, I do.

Have a museful day!