Mothers need Mothers…

Mary said,  “Gary called me cute today.”

“Well, you are cute.” said another woman in the locker room.

“At 90 I am not cute. I am H – E  -A – L – T – H – Y .  I will be 91 next month and I am ready to go.”

Most of us in the Sauna Club know that Mary is telling God daily, ”Take me. Please.”

Mary is healthy, spry and won’t be leaving us anytime soon; she is just ready to go on to the next place.

“ I have always been curious. I am done here; seen what I want to see, done what I wanted to do. I am  ready to see what comes next. I have got to go.”

Mary is not angry at God, just irritated.   She understands that it is his Will keeping her here;

She just cant figure out why.

I know why; because we need her here.

Mary is one of the women who is raising me. I learned long ago to raise my self. I have in the process adopted many mothers along the way,  and Mary is one of them.

I see in Mary what is possible; a satisfied,  smart woman who led a full life and continues on. She is witty and bright and optimistic. She is cute and she is healthy.

I want to grow to be like mary

I try to picture my mother as one of my Sauna Club Mothers and I just can not make the leap.  Mommy never was like them and never will be.

I am lucky indeed to have other mothers who are raising me. I have a whole house full of mothers I have collected over the years. Some are women I met at work, some were therapists or friends; and others were women who sat across from me in folding chairs in church basements at Alanon meetings.

I have mothers who I have never met; who have shown me a way to live; poets, writers, musicians and artists.

I may not have the real mother I wanted, but I do have role models all across the globe and beyond the space-time barrier who are helping me become the kind of  Woman I want to be. When I falter I can count on my Sauna Club Mothers to right me. When in doubt I can lean on my spiritual mothers who show me the way back to my faith. When I am confused about some ‘girl’ thing I have my friend Trish who  will take me aside and tell me, “You are NOT wearing THOSE shoes to that funeral. And get a haircut, will you?”

I am Rich in Mothers if I look at things this way.

I only wish my mother had been as wealthy as I am. She deserved to have someone to guide her and right her when she faltered. She needed someone to hold her and pick her up.

My aunt 30 some years ago found a photo of their mother when she was a teen. My aunt thought it was a picture of me taken at a fair at one of those booths where you dress up to look old timey. She sent it to my mother. It is not a picture of me.

It is a picture of my grandmother at about 13 years old.

I am the spitting image of her in the photo. It is uncanny how much alike we look; eerie almost.

I had been using my grandmothers Novena beads for a time before we received the photo. I felt that they were mine. I love the feel of the wooden beads between my fingers and the very sight of them brings the sounds of Gregorian chants and the smell of incense to mind.

My mother lost her mother when she was 5 years old. No one told her.

One day her mother was just gone.

Mommy grew up in an English household; afternoon tea, very proper behavior, no discussion of feelings.

My grandfather in his grief was left with a 5-year-old baby girl and an 18-year-old daughter in college. He did what he could in his grief.

It was literally months before my grandfather told my mother anything about her missing mother.

This is what he said;

“Your mother went to sleep and she will never wake again,”

and that was it.

My mother deserved a mother.

This explains so much.

I wish my mother had her mother.

And I am grateful to all the Women who raise me.

God Bless Them;

And you.

~ by Step On a Crack on October 19, 2011.

23 Responses to “Mothers need Mothers…”

  1. Am I really THAT bossy? Yikes…

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    • You are THAT LOVING! I adore you. So there. xxx Jen

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    • Trish, We are all thankful for you. You picked up when I moved to England. Jenn is brilliant in many ways…. Not so much with shoe choices. You have been able to convince her hair dye and makeup are not always the enemy. Well done, keep up the good work. Of course your importance is far deeper then makeup and dye would imply. Your words and wisdom are a much deeper support. But thank you for your shoe work…

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      • YES! Andrea left for Love and you picked up where she left off. Andrea told me years ago, “Your jeans are dated!” and I thought she meant that a date was somehow written on my jeans. I am NOT good at this stuff. You two keep me up and running.

        Not just shoes and jeans; all of it. Love to you BOTH! Jen

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  2. You are beautiful, and you inspire with your writing. I love your Sauna Friends … they are family. I love your mothers, and i thank God for them.
    I am impressed with your understanding of your mum. Sometimes it’s easier than other times to see their heartache … it had to be there.

    Even in all my cynicism, i believe that they “knew not what they were doing” … and were limited in what they could do. Moms, and more moms … you’re right there should be more moms, who ARE moms.

    love, m

    ps feeling a wee bit weepy i’m so touched. You can write sister!!!!!!!!

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    • My Mel thank you! one of my first mothers, you are! Al K Hall commented some days back that my love for my mom was obvious in my posts. Al gave me pause to ponder… Mommy had a rough road. Compassion: my Mother, Mother Theresa taught me that. I just forget sometimes. I love you Mom! Jen

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  3. Mary sounds incredible! A wonderful read all round so thank you for sharing.

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  4. I feel you are my sister, one who lives a long way from me, and who has gone through many trials. Stay centred sister and keep on sharing your beautiful and wise words.

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  5. You’re so right, Jen – Mothers need Mothers. The world hasn’t ever felt quite right to me since my mom died. I think it took me 3-4 years to stop reaching for the phone to tell her that bananas were on sale or a funny thing I heard that day or what her great grand daughter said that morning.
    Being a mother is such a privilege. I’m so sorry that your mom didn’t have a chance to know that and learn that and give that.
    You are a wise woman to seek out nurturing, wise and ‘bossy’ women to fill a portion of that void that your Mom filled with scotch.
    May your life always be full of Marys.

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  6. I’ve learned an expression I find true: people do better when they know better.

    They can only do what they know and others often suffer at their lack. I have some people in my life that have filled the gaps. They are gifts from God. I love your Sauna Club! I think I would feel so at home there.

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    • My therapist said, “They did the best they could with what they had.” I think that is true and thank you for reminding me.

      YOU would be right at home in the Sauna Club and YOU are a gift from God. Bless you! Jen

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  7. This sounds a lot like understanding and forgiveness to me! Your sympathy for her losses will help in your letting go of the mother she wasn’t. Shows your strength and kind heart, which is what we all love about you and your writing.

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  8. Looks like a breakthrough in forgiveness, to me!

    Write on!

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  9. “I only wish my mother had been as wealthy as I am. She deserved to have someone to guide her and right her when she faltered. She needed someone to hold her and pick her up.”

    “My mother lost her mother when she was 5 years old. No one told her.

    One day her mother was just gone…

    It was literally months before my grandfather told my mother anything about her missing mother.

    This is what he said;

    “Your mother went to sleep and she will never wake again,”

    and that was it.

    My mother deserved a mother.”

    These are the kind of sentiments that show me you do have a deep love for your mother, despite all she put you through. We love our mothers without judgement because they are our mothers. Sure, it’s hard to reconcile the brain that says this person has raised us badly and the childlike soul that loves the mother without question, but i’m not sure they need to be reconciled. i think we just have to accept that we are allowed to feel resentment against someone that we love deeply.

    And maybe with the time your mother has left, you can be the mother that your mother needed. Maybe your Higher Power has put you with your mother in this condition so that you can mother her and work on healing. And maybe if your mother doesn’t realize it in her state, that means the healing is supposed to be for you.

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    • Dear Al,

      Ok. you did it again.

      “i’m not sure they need to be reconciled. i think we just have to accept that we are allowed to feel resentment against someone that we love deeply.”

      wow. OK then. That is some True Truth, spoken with some Heart. I am gonna gnaw on this. Oddly, I have often wondered in my Buddhist self if maybe, just maybe, I am the reincarnation of my grandmother. It feels true when I am in a Buddhist Heart space. I will take my Buddhist heart with me when I see her next.

      Al, you really got some juju. Thank you. Peace, Jen

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  10. There is so much truth here. Wise words shared with friends.

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  11. ” . . . they know not what they do . . . ” –the perfect reason for “Father, forgive them . . .” and, really, the only way out.
    I used to think my mom was so beautiful and so perfect. I learned. Then I thought I would make up for her by being the perfect mom. I learned some more. We, none of us, know what we are doing. But we all need and want understanding and forgiveness.
    This post was a great exploration of all these themes. Love reading it.

    Like

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