Forever Under My Skin

For six mornings, I’ve woken to the thought that my mother is no longer with us. It’s something I’ve had to fathom with deep breaths. This morning, I woke with the thought that this is the day we’ll lay my mother to rest, and though I know it makes no sense at all, I told myself I never thought I’d see this day.

In honor of my mom, we tuned in to the Frank Sinatra station on Pandora. She loved to listen to Frank Sinatra, especially when he sang accompanied by Carlos Jobim.


I smiled when the first song began to play: “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

There were many times throughout my life that my mother and I got under each other’s skin. In fact, the last time I saw my mom in a conscious state, only a few weeks before her death, we argued about something stupid–everything is stupid after you’ve lost someone.

Frustrated that I couldn’t convince my mom of my side of the “argument,” I told her it was time for me to leave for Dallas, and I walked out of her room. I’m so grateful that something made me turn around and go back. I told her I didn’t want her to worry about anything, that I’d take care of it, and I’d even do as she requested, even though inside, I disagreed with her. But, something told me it wasn’t important.

I told her I loved her.

So this morning, when I heard the words to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” I smiled, believing it was my mother’s way of telling me she’d always be with me.

I’ve got you under my skin
I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin


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16 Responses to Forever Under My Skin

  1. erinleary says:

    Sending you strength and good wishes. I so know the feelings.


  2. A beautiful tribute, Jan.


  3. Marsha D says:

    It’s a Mother/Daughter thing :). Love you Jan and thinking of you.


  4. Jan, you know me well enough to know that my relationship with my family is complicated. My dad irritated and frustrated me pretty much every time I spoke with him. We are angry only with those whose opinions and love we value.
    Here’s what I believe.
    When we pass over to the next world, God’s love burns away our pain and suffering, turns to ash all those petty worries we clung to so tightly here on earth, vaporizes, if you will, those sins that separated us from our loved ones while we walked this earth.
    I believe that Dad loves me now far more then he was able to do when he was alive. Death isn’t a separation from those we love. Death is a release from constant worry and insistence on our own interests. Death is a union with God, and with those we love, a communion so absolute that those of us still on this side of the veil can only experience it in tiny sips and only from time to time.
    Today, I suspect that veil has lifted and you and your mom are united in love and acceptance.


  5. Mustang.Koji says:

    What a most passionate story, Jan… A tear jerker, as they say…and I am happy something made you turn back… If you hadn’t, you may have punished yourself for the rest of your days. While I am not a fan of George Takei, he did have that pain, described in Toyo’s Camera. He said he called his father a pretty much a coward for letting “them get herded into this (concentration) camp like sheep”. His father passed away before he could apologize…

    I believe you know I am Buddhist and with that, I put my hands together and say, “南無阿弥陀仏” and lower my head…


  6. Blair Baker says:

    Jan, I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I am glad that you had the chance to go back one last time. It is a odd feeling, perhaps God’s way of helping us, that comes to us at that precise moment and all of the static and background noise disappears. It is at that instant, that we are not so concerned with being right, but doing what’s right.
    I wish you, your sisters and brother, and family all the best in this sad time.


    • Jan Morrill says:

      Thank you, Blair. You, as well as anyone, know some of the conflicts I had with my mom. But you’re right, in that moment, we forget all of that, and what I’m left with is happy memories and appreciation for what she gave me, including life. Thank you for your thoughts and best wishes. It means a lot.


  7. Ruthie says:

    Did I not tell you she hears you and would find a way to tell you she loved you?


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