Aging Poem

Shortly after her death I found a copy of this poem in my mother's belongings.

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I hope you feel good about the fact that you have been the bigger person here. I'm sorry that she is not able to recognize your pain and give you the love and support and...

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© Ruby Latimer Edwards

Published on February 2006

The Forgotten Mother

A gray old woman sits all alone
Unloved, uncherished and unknown.
Sitting beside her broken door.
Dreaming of days past long ago,
When children played about her knee
Filling the air with childish glee,
Tended by her with loving care.
Knowing the blessing of a Mother's prayer.
But now they have gone, each to his life
A girl to her husband, a boy to his wife,
Forgetful are they of her who sits here
Silently wiping a tricking tear,
For striving for things in a life so brief
Blind their poor eyes to a dear Mother's grief.
But does she upbraid them in word or in mind.
Nor does their neglect to her seem unkind.
She'll forgive and forget all unkindness they've shown
This poor old mother who sits alone.


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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Richa, Virginia
  • 3 months ago

I too have been a devoted single mother. My now 30 year old daughter always adored me but recession of 2009 bought some hard times. I at 50 found myself unemployed for 4 years and my daughter was too mixed up in her life as my energy was running thin. She was not there to give me emotional support but accused me instead and said cruel words which fed into a mild depression. Anyway, she gives all her energy and love to her friends and her new family/ families as she just got married. I am the forgotten and feel worse than death itself to find myself so very unloved and last on her list if even that. I have to always swallow my pride and be the grown up just to get some stolen moments that I can live on. So, I too cry as I write this and join some of you in your pain. 3 years ago I would have never imagined this as everyone envied our relationship.


  • by Janice Gardner, MD
  • 2 months ago

I hope you feel good about the fact that you have been the bigger person here. I'm sorry that
she is not able to recognize your pain and give you the love and support and understanding
that you need and deserve. I don't know if you are a religious person but I know that
there are many good and wonderful people who have suffered very difficult things in this life....
You must feel that she is feasting from the banquet of life while you are left with the crumbs...
She may not be able to return your love and value you in the way that you need at present - so perhaps you should seek out new friends or other family members to fill this need to love and be loved.....
Perhaps in time - as she sees you living a happy and fulfilled life she may realize what she is missing and if not - you have developed a wonderful life of your own from which to draw strength and fulfillment.


  • by Olga, Ohio
  • 1 year ago

My eyes filled with tears as I read this poem and the shared stories of others. I realized that I am not alone. I raised my daughter from the age of 3 on my own. Any single parent knows what a struggle that can be. I was there for her each and every time she needed help. Today, she hasn't spoken to me in over 8 months because I disagreed with something she wanted to do. No Mother's Day card, no birthday card, no phone call. Nothing. It hurts so much. And you wonder why is this happening? What have you done wrong?
When my father died, I made sure to see my mother, who lived on her own, every weekend to take her shopping and for my daughter and myself to have dinner with her on Sundays. It gave my mother something to look forward to. I did this until she died at age 86 and I don't regret one moment.
I can relate to the above poem and to the mothers who shared their stories. I wish there was a support group for forgotten mothers because there are so many of us. God bless you all and stay strong.


  • by Amy Foldery
  • 10 months ago

I never knew that so many mothers shared this type of heart ache! I unfortunately am experiencing this with my son who is only 15 years old! He lives with his father now, and because of something or things that I have done, he does not want to have anything to do with me. I cannot begin to understand what it is I have done that was so horrible, that he would want to completely disown me like this. Many people have assured me that in time he will "come around". That this time in a child's life is difficult anyway, and when you have parents that are divorced it is so much easier to walk away from a parent if they are not happy with the way the parent that their living with is treating them. I pray my friends are right, but am currently mourning the time I am losing with him until that happens...if it happens. I am so thankful that God put this site in my path. I know my friends empathize with me, but people here really understand and have felt and are feeling what I am feeling.


  • by D. Lannoye
  • 1 year ago

Before retiring, I worked in the senior living industry. I cannot even begin to tell you the times I have seen sadness in a seniors eyes because family has "forgotten them."
Old age is often portrayed as a time of take it easy, reflect and take hold of opportunities to do things that were put off while raising families. Unfortunately, the aging process is not always so pleasant. Events such as constant and possibly debilitating medical issues, the loss of friends and loved ones and the inability to take part in once-cherished activities can take a heavy toll on an aging person's emotional well-being.
While I worked in the senior living industry, I would have my employees write down the five most important things to them on slips of paper. I then had them fold the slips of paper and lay them down in front of them. As expected, the items would be things like - my children, my husband, my parents, my health etc. One by one, I would take a slip of paper from them to try and communicate the emotion of loss. None of us will totally understand what their loss feels like until we age, and walk in their shoes.
When I look at seniors, I see veterans that fought for our freedoms, farmers and ranchers who fed us from their long days of toil, teachers, nurses, and doctors. These individuals put the shovels in the ground and made this country what it is today. Honor them - remember them.


  • by Julie, Ipswich Uk
  • 1 year ago

We are now living with my 81 year old mother in law. It is very hard. She is suffering from severe depression, my husband has started smoking again after several years (outside) and I hit the wine as soon as I come home from work. I have a 91 year father and 86 year old mother who still look after themselves even though neither are totally fit, but they get on with it and I help as much as I can. My mother in law is totally and utterly pathetic and doesn't try to help herself expecting everyone to feel for her, I hate it, but she's old so therefore we accept that it is our duty to be there for her and support her as much as we can. If only she had been as supportive of us over the past 30 years, perhaps I wouldn't feel so bitter about the whole experience.


  • by Renee, North Dakota
  • 8 months ago

If I could have my mom back to put her back into bed, or help my daddy to the bathroom, or my sisters into their pajamas or give my brother another back rub I would gladly do it.


  • by Dee Phillips
  • 1 year ago

As I sit in this CICU with my mother, I cry. I live with her and care for her. I do the best that I can and often feel unappreciated. My life? My life is her until she dies. I wouldn't have it any other way. Shame on you children who are not there for their Mothers. My only sister passed years ago, my father is gone too. I know it's so depressing watching this unfold I just don't know what to do. I feel so alone.


  • by Katy
  • 1 year ago

I raised 3 children on my own, now that they have grown I'm now all alone. Mothers day is 2 days away and know one has called to make plans on spending the day with me. I just want to craw into a deep hole and cover up.


  • by Shawana
  • 1 year ago

OMG I have been taking care of my grandmother for 13 years. during that time I had the privilege of taking care of my mother too, she died in 08. It has been hard to watch my mother and grandmother realize that all that they have done for our family has gone unappreciated. It is a very sad thing to watch.


  • by Delhi - India
  • 1 year ago

Our daughter recently married and flew from our nest to another city where our son in law works. They make it a point to stay in touch with us over the months through phones, sms's and social network. Though we miss her a lot, we look forward to their calls , emails and messages.
Maybe we are one of the few lucky ones to have got loving children and our son in law has taken the place of a son in our lives.
It is equally important to realize that we need to give our children their personal space and respect their choice. Its all a matter of understanding and a little give and take and life goes on smoothly. ~ beegee


  • by Ohio
  • 2 years ago

I am This Grandmother. My heart aches for anyone that is going through having their family forget them. I wasn't perfect started at 16 being a mom but I never neglected my children. I have tried everything to be excepted, I have finally decided to leave well enough alone and go on without them. When my great granddaughter was born they didn't put me or my mother in the birth announcement I felt like someone stabbed me in the heart. Maybe I shall divorce my children that treat me so unkindly. I have one out of seven that includes me in her life.


  • by Carol, New Zealand
  • 2 years ago

Today I sat and listened to a perfect stranger tell me about her children and how busy their lives are with work, children, events, holiday plans and with every part of their busy lives I watched her emotions pass across her face from happy to sad and at the end I saw contentment within her not hating nor begrudging them their lives.

I walked away later and reflected on what had just happened and realized how my mother must feel as we got on with our lives and realized that a stranger had given me insight to my mothers world.

I might not say I love you as much as I should and I get involved in my own world but I never stop thinking about you because without you their wouldn't be me. Love you forever xxxxx


  • by Sister Lydia
  • 2 years ago

I have realized that raising children is not a guarantee that anyone will be around in one's old age. Thus, I have steeled myself and taught me to be satisfied with my own company, hoping that God takes me out before I need to have someone help me in any infirmity. In other words, I'd rather be dead than depend on children or grandchildren in this age of elder and other types of abuse.


  • by Darla, Wv
  • 2 years ago

In 1999, I lost one of my best friends, in 2000, I lost a sister, 10 months younger than me, in 2001, I lost a 2nd sister, two years younger, in 2009, I lost a 3rd sister, also younger. In 2010, I lost my mother and a younger brother. In 2011, I lost my husband. After losing my husband and his income, I lost my home and had to move in with my daughter and son-in-law for 4 months. I have 3 grandchildren who I was very close to until recently when my daughter informed me that she did not want them around me because of my dark depression. I feel so lonely, so very sad and can completely identify with Terri from Va.


  • by Terri, Suffolk VA
  • 3 years ago

OMG, I am that woman, my son has totally forgotten me and I live with my daughter that wishes she could. I stay in my room all the time just to keep from feeling the way they make me feel. I am their only living parent and did my best, but I feel like they are punishing me for not being good enough :(


  • by Maria, Texas
  • 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Tears fell as I read this poem. This is all too familiar to me. I am that forgotten mother! I try to figure why my children don't include or want me in their lives, and in the lives of my grandchildren, when exactly did this happen, over time or all of the sudden? Wasn't I a good mother? Have I not always been there when they needed me? How can this be? Crying as I write this. Thank you again. Blessings to all the forgotten mothers out there.


  • by Greg Isabel
  • 3 years ago

Really touched my heart as my mom just turned 90 and I am only one of three children that seem to give a damn about her and I am wondering why...

None of us were abused or neglected, perhaps spoiled and she has always been there for all of us and yet my brother and my sister just don't seem to care...

Remember everyone, Dead noses can't smell Red roses, so treat the living right while they are still here to enjoy it!


  • by Franca, Oregon
  • 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Tears fell as I read this poem. The heart ache your mother describes is all too familiar to me. I am that woman! The poem takes away some of my pain as I realize I'm not the only mother that has been forgotten. I try to figure why my children don't include or want me in their lives, when exactly did this happen, over time or all of the sudden? Wasn't I a good mother? Have I not always been there when they needed me? How can this be?
Wow, I didn't realize I was carrying all this pain. Thank you again


  • by Susann, Tx.
  • 3 years ago

I am the youngest of 7 kids, I live 11 hours from my mom my oldest brother lives 20 miles from her drops by couple times a year at his own will. There are 3 more of her kids within 50 miles of her. One hasn't seen her in 7 years. She knows I love her and she knows they don't. You can't fix that.


  • by Ft Oglethorpe, GA
  • 5 years ago

I just moved my mother in the apartment around the corner from me so that I could take better care of her. I am next to the youngest of six kids all with the exception of one are within a maximum of 1.5 hours drive from here. Two brothers even go to a place down the street to eat and drink and sometimes my sister meets them. They have yet to come see my mother or even call for that matter. This poem pretty much sums it up for her. I try to make up the difference but some things can't be made up. Thank You


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