I peeked out of the bedroom window to the silver waters of the Puget Sound. The sky tinged with pink, the water cold silver. Mother's Day is tomorrow and my mind turns to all the women that have influenced me, loved me, supported me, helped me, encouraged me ... I have to say, there are many of those women. Some long gone and some here to support me now.
But my thoughts particularly turned to my Aunt Judy. Who, early in her life, decided to end that life. The day we were delivered the news. The day of the funeral with her two young sons sitting in the first pew, not quite understanding what had happened. My mother and her mom in complete shock of the event taking place.
My loving, lovely, Aunt Judy. Gone. With two sons left in the emotional wake of her suicide. Not that I haven't thought of suicide in my life. But now being a mother myself, I wonder what kind of hell she was living to have taken that drastic measure to put her children in so much pain. Mental illness is never easy to understand. My family lives with the burden of that loss. My mom never forgiving herself. Her sons, now grown men. Happy, married, having their own children, to my astonishment say they hardly remember their mother. Maybe that is best for them. A coping mechanism. But I remember her. My mother remembers her and we lovingly talk about her often.
I have been blessed with many wonderfully strong women in my life. Who shaped me through watching them cope with adversity, their hard work, figuring out how to live in a world dominated by men (and in my life, mostly crazy men). Maintaining courage, spirit and love for each other and their children and wanting to make the world a better place.
Me, my mom, my grandmother, Nanny, circa, 1967.
My mother. My Rock. My mirror. My love. My conscience. Taught me all the goodness I know. Hard work. Keep your focus.
My grandmother, "Nanny". Watched over me, was my shoulder to lean on when I was a sad. Taught me how to sew and made me Barbie clothes, while I looked over her shoulder, asking when it would be finished.
My grandmother, "Big Momma". Is with me every second of everyday in her endearing love for the world, for people, for her family. Always saw the good in life. I dream of her constantly, and hope it is always that way.
My stepmother, Judy, my debate partner in every walk of life. Encourages me to see the other side of all I believe. I might not agree, but at least I got the other view. My second mom in every sense most of my life.
My aunt Lucy. If I could just possess half her energy and craftiness and ability to accomplish something ... I would feel well, accomplished!
My mother-in-law, Peggy. Smart, witty, generous, enduring strength and very much a force in all things she chooses to conquer. A loving Pisces.
Mrs. Hunt, my 8th grade English teacher. I loved her and she loved me. I think we were "kindred spirits" in another life. She chose me out of her class for reasons I don't really understand. When my stepfather was drinking heavily, acting badly and making life a chaotic mess. She chose me. And I am thankful for that. I think of her daily.
Flo. Friend from Dallas Time Herald. When she died, a piece of me died with her. I have books on peonies, on fashion and art, notes she scribbled out to me, all over my house.
Ruth: More like a twin sister who mothers me ;)
Mother's Day would be special, but not as special if not for my own son. I never thought of being a mom. Never thought that was mapped out for my life. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a mom to you! My life, as I looked back, was meaningless until I had you as my son. You are funny when I am too serious. You are giving, logical, talented, focused, and stable; you complete me! I love you M, thank you for letting me know the joys of Mother's Day through being your mom!
So many more women that I love and admire. Happy Mother's Day to all of you!