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Founder: Heart.Soul.Pen.® for women writers & the Women’s Writing Den. Essays: @NYTimes @WashPo @LATimes @BuzzFeed. Author: “Restless in L.A.” www.robinfinn.com
https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/

Tomorrow is my mother’s yahrtzeit. That means it is the anniversary of her death. It is her first anniversary. Or mine Or ours. The first year of my life without my mother. I have a Zoom call set up with family in Pennsylvania and Canada and Florida. My own children will join from separate road trips up the California coast. My husband is coming home early from work. My youngest will sit beside me. My mom will be honored and remembered and celebrated. And she will miss it all.

In the last several months: My son graduated from high school…


The last time I was in Mexico, in October of 2019, my mother fell. It was the last night of the trip and we got a call from the Emergency Room that my mother had a bad fall. I spoke with her. She told me she was okay and that it wasn’t too bad and that she would be out of the hospital before I got home the next afternoon. When we hung up, I was concerned but not desperate. I was flying home the next day. I would be at her apartment before she went to sleep.

Unfortunately, the…


This Memorial Day weekend, friends of ours invited us to a backyard barbeque. I sat under an umbrella at their patio table, chatting with our friend’s mom. While he was making burgers and corn and slicing onions and tomatoes, his mother and I were discussing the Buddha I wanted to buy for the succulent garden I was planting, and Israel trips and whether they would be possible this summer, and how long she and my friend’s dad had been married. “More than fifty years,” she told me. …


Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

I sit in my new white cloud chair and put my feet up. I need a break from the news. I read the news every day and think about what is going on with the world. But, some days, it feels overwhelming. I believe in the good of people. I believe in the ultimate triumph of good over evil. But, some days the news is so disturbing and sad and frustrating and infuriating that I wonder if I am becoming well informed or simply making myself sick? Or both?

One thing is for sure: it wears a body down.

Today…


Mother’s Day many moons ago.

As young adults, my brothers and I used to ask my mom if she remembered a family vacation, a favorite family toy, the weird relative who visited, or the ten-speed bikes we rode around the neighborhood. Her answer was always, “vaguely.” My brothers and I used to poke each other and double over in laughter that our mother only had one kind of memory: vague.

“Do you remember anything vividly?” we would ask her as we snorted. I am glad I found this so funny as a kid because now, as a midlife mom, I understand.

My mother only half-remembered…


I made it through my first Mother’s Day without my mother. During the day, my emotions ran the gamut from joy to despair. In the morning, I took a walk with my husband and felt contented and calm. Then I came home and got into bed and felt so sad I wanted to cry. Later, I felt happy and angry and relaxed and stressed and celebrated and ignored and mad and sad and then happy again. It was like riding a merry-go-round of human emotions, all between 10 am and 11:30 pm.

When I woke up, I made an iPhone…


Last night, I returned from what used to be called my annual “New York City Love Fest Tour.” My husband and I met at a party in the Ansonia apartment building on the Upper West Side in 1993. After we got married, we moved into a subsidized apartment on the Upper East Side while he finished med school. We had kid #1, our oldest daughter, there. She went to Bright Horizons Day Care while I worked and my husband did his residency. It was a decade of dating and marriage and baby and work and friends and fun. We love…


A style influencer on Instagram wrote that she wants to “dress with purpose” in 2021. This really hit me. There are many reasons why I want to dress with purpose: sustainability, spending less money, expressing my personality, and getting rid of clothes that don’t fit, some of which never fit but I bought them because I fantasized they’d make me more relaxed, more organized, a hipper and cooler person than I am. But the real reason I want to dress with purpose is because my mother did.

When my mom died in June 2020, during the Covid quarantine, one of…


Photo: http://www.baskinrobbins.com/

“I need a bigger pot,” I told the checkout lady at Armstrong’s. She looked at me and said, “Who knew?” and we laughed. It is nice to have interpersonal interactions with strangers. For nearly a year, I didn’t go anywhere or see anyone. It was like the world was populated by only my Zoom friends and the Amazon delivery person. I was happy to chat about succulents and potting soil with the checkout lady at Armstrong’s.

Today, I interacted with several strangers. I went to Baskin Robbins to pick up a chocolate-chip ice cream cake for my youngest’s 16th birthday…


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I was braced for a month praying praying praying that my son would come through this strange ordeal of illness. And he did. In one month, he got sick and then seriously ill and then admitted to the hospital and subjected to painful, invasive tests and then removed from the hospital and then put on new treatment and then he recovered. All without a confirmed diagnosis.

It is hard to relax into knowing he is okay when we don’t know for sure what happened. But he is okay. He is eating cereal and going out with friends and taking walks…

Robin Finn

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