Friday, May 2, 2008
With Mother’s Day approaching it got me to thinking about my mother, my childhood and about what it means to me to be a mother. First of all my mother will be 91 years old this year. She was born in 1917 during the last pandemic. She was born at home and I guess it is a feat that she made it here at all or even survived her first year but fortunately for me she did. My first recollection of my mother was one of pure adoration. I always thought she was the most beautiful mother of all the mothers. She was as glamorous in my eyes as a movie star and I would sit on her bed and delight in watching her as she combed her hair at her dressing table. She had a natural beauty that required little if any additional adornment. She wore no makeup other than lipstick and a hint of rouge to add color to her cheeks. Her long black hair was pulled softly up on tip of her head, held in place by two tiny combs. It was the 1950’s and her attire was a simple housedress but somehow she always looked anything but simple. As beautiful as my mother was she was just as sweet. She was and is the most unselfish human being I have ever known, never thinking of herself but always thinking of and doing for others. She was a natural born mother; nurturing and loving with a gentleness that made you feel safe and secure. She would sing to me long after I had passed the age for lullabies and when my long legs dangled over the side of her lap. I loved the sound of her voice as she sang Silent Night on a hot summer night. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time when mothers met their children at the door after school ready to listen to the latest news from the day while serving snacks of peanut butter sandwiches (without the crust). Being the only girl in the family my mother also filled the role of playmate. She never balked at playing paper dolls or jacks with me while at other times we just talked about my latest crush. She taught me by example just what kind of mother I hoped to be. I remember when I learned that I was having a baby of my own my first thought was if my child loved me even half as much as I loved my mother I would be happy. My mother was by my side every step of the way as I fumbled into motherhood, always encouraging me and teaching again by example. She was just as wonderful in her role as a grandmother as she had been as a mother. I quickly learned that becoming a mother had shown me a love that I never knew I was capable of feeling. I had been lucky enough to receive that love from my own mother but I now knew what that love felt like to give. My two little daughters provided me the opportunity to love someone more than myself. They have grown into wonderful young women and my best friends. I thank my mother for being my example and my daughters for making me a mother.