Never Again In My Mother’s Arms


About My Mother

In 2011, I wrote a Mother’s Day post, In My Mother’s Arms:

I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t in my mother’s spotlight.

Standard psychoanalytic theory holds that one’s sense of self originates in the infant’s awareness of the mother’s unconditional (and, indeed, unreasonable) empathic care radiating from her eyes. The mother provides a nascent identity for the child, which, if all goes well, is, during one’s childhood, adapted and internalized as a psychological element independent of the external world.

When the photo atop this post was taken in 1950, the young woman had recently become a mother while living in a tiny, poorly insulated, inexpertly constructed home in rural southwest Missouri, helping her husband try to make a living tending to the remnants of their failed farm and selling used cars on the side. She should, by rights, be as upset as the squalling child (that would be me) in her arms. Instead, she gazes upon him with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.

I grew up knowing intuitively that, regardless of my mistakes, errors, or misbehavior, my mother continued to gaze upon me with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.

And Now My Mother Is Gone

Bobby Ruth Showalter, my mother, died in her sleep at her home in the Ozarks last night after many years of worsening health.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle Ray Showalter, two decades ago and by her younger son, Bobby Lynn Showalter, 45 years ago.

She was a caring, smart, forgiving, funny, altogether delightful woman, who was beloved by family, friends, and community.

She will be missed.


Because of my mother’s death, I will be away for an indeterminate period. If any posting takes place at this site (and that is a possibility) over the next week or two, it is likely to be sparse and sporadic.

Finally, I occasionally wrote about my mother. These posts, especially, the first couple listed below, are (in my judgment) some of the most interesting entries I’ve published.

28 responses to “Never Again In My Mother’s Arms

  1. We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Please accept our sympathies and know that we await your return, whenever that shall be. Blessings!

  2. So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, my condolences. Pardon my intrusion, but somehow I ended up at your blog on a search, something to do with your wife, such a wonderful read of your life together, and your music tastes, wonderful! hope to c-ya back soon!

  3. Marie O'Brien

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss Allan. She will always be with you.


  4. Coco Éclair

    Words fall short of expressing my sorrow for your loss, Allan.


  5. My sincerest condolences, Thinking of you and your family.

  6. Sheila Henriques

    Sorry for your great loss Allan. My best wishes to you.


  7. Sincere condolences – thoughts are with you and Penny…

  8. Sincere condolences on your loss – she will always be in your heart…

  9. Deep condolences, dear Allan.

  10. My deepest condolences, Allan.

  11. Tony Crosbie

    I am so sorry to read of the death of your Mother, Bobby Ruth, Allan. My sincere condolences to you and your family on your loss.

  12. Cher Allan, je t’envoie toutes mes meilleures pensées…

  13. Deepest condolences, Alan – my prayers are with you.

  14. my sincerest condolences, Allan.

  15. Allan, I am with you in your loss….

  16. Sincere and warm condolences for your loss.

  17. Gwen Langford

    Sorry for you loss Allan, may she rest in peace.

  18. Sincere condolences Allan, beautiful photo. From your writing she sounded like a lovely soul :)

  19. Heartfelt condolences, Allan and Penny.

  20. Vanaudenhove Danny

    So sorry for your loss Allan, may your mother rest in peace.

  21. Allan,
    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your Mom.
    After reading the news, I searched some of your older posts where you wrote about your Mom and the old homestead. I’m confident she held the same high esteem for as you did for her. As the commandment states, “Honoring your parents leads to long life.” May it be so for you.

  22. I am sorry for your loss Allan, I hope you’ll find your way without her presence in daily life, but with loving memories in your heart.
    I love what you wrote about your mother, may she rest in peace.

  23. Dear Allan & Penny,
    I send you much Love, Healing Light & Peace <3

  24. Norma Fleming

    Never again in your mother’s arms–surely you feel this way now but I believe you will feel her warm embrace forever. I don’t know how or why this works but I have felt my parents’ protective prescience since their passing. But, of course, the physical arms are, indeed, removed from you. I am so sorry. I love the photos of your parents’ house. She was such an artist (and your father,too,for his ability to put her items exactly where she directed. I hope you are soon able to return to your fascinating Leonard Cohen site. I was so excited to see him in person for the first time in Victoria. I look forward to your many insiteful posts. My thoughts are with you in your grief.

  25. Mary Colwell

    Dear Alan,

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. Marilyn Johnson

    My condolences for the death of your dear mother. I look forward to your return to this wonderful sit
    Here’s a virtual hug from New England (( )).

  27. oh Allan,
    Never is such a definite statement but guess what – just take the ‘N’ off and there you have it ….. Ever in your mother’s arms!
    My thoughts are with you,