A Mother Remembers

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A Mother Remembers . . . Passing through a special place

by Olivia Rossi, RN, MSN
Your Personal Trainer 

As a military family, we were always arriving or leaving somewhere, facing more challenges than staying in one place. One challenge I called the thread of continuity. That thread is so important in all our lives but especially so in a child’s—even more so when you move from place to place . . .

Of all the places we lived during our twenty-three years in the Navy, the most special in my heart was the time we spent on a little street in Richmond, Virginia, called West Avenue. It’s where our son was born. Over the years he learned, as we all did, that your home isn’t just four walls—it is all those things inside you that you take with you wherever you go.

When we left West Avenue, I wrote a poem. It was our son’s first home, the place we first knew him. I was sad to leave.

I called it “Passing Through.” It is a special reminder of my own early motherhood. The happiest day in my life was the day I became a mother. And so, I dedicate this poem, written in the spring of 1980 when our son was five months old, to all of you new and not so new mothers.


Happy Mothers’ Day. May your lives be filled with days and years passing through beautiful times and places.

Passing Through . . .
To leave you now makes me sad,  but to have met you at all has brought me joy.
I have come to know you but would that I could know you better.
You have touched me and I am not the same.
You have given me so much– my friends, my memories, and my beautiful little boy.
I’d like to stay and watch your children grow, to share your days and nights and another fall with you.
To watch your gardens change with every passing season and to see reflected in your face all the joys and sorrows of yesterday and today that make you what you are.
I cannot stay with you now, I’m only passing through, but I will take with me all that we have shared.
And so I say good-bye to your beauty and your charm. To all, and especially to you– farewell, West Avenue.

Olivia Rossi
aka “Mom”

Image: Artist rendering of the West Avenue row house, currently listed on MLS.