Gratitude Sunday: Mama, Mama

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. [Being a mom] is the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.” Barbara Kingsolver

Sunday Haiku
Rosy twirly-gigs
float on spring winds, golden seeds
cast afar in flight.

Sunday Musings
Happy Mother’s Day.

This is the day we are supposed to honor our mothers. My mom’s been gone for almost six years now and I miss her every day. If I have one regret in this life, it is the missed opportunity of more time spent with her while she was here.

I made an effort. Hindsight is so perfect, but the effort just wasn’t enough. Of course, there are no re-dos. It is what it is. If you still have your mom and have a good relationship with her or even an iffy relationship, spend more time with her. As we age sometimes those differences lessen.

Often times we don’t know our mother’s stories, what they went through before we arrived on the scene. Other times the evidence is right out there. Relationships of any kind can be fraught, but the relationship with mother is especially intense. If your mom is/was damaged emotionally or physically she might have a harder time being a mom. And if the damage is severe, she might seem plain evil. The simple truth is she may very well be toxic. It might not be her fault; she might be doing the best she can with what she was dealt. Or not.

Relationships (and life) aren’t all hearts and flowers even in the best of them. That’s being human. We have thoughts, and opinions, and emotions, and often have no training either through family or otherwise on how to deal with thoughts, opinions, and emotions in relationship to other people. What do we do when the most important person in our lives rejects us or abuses us or abandons us?

I don’t have an answer to that question. I can empathize with people whose relationship with their mom is challenged. I can be grateful my relationship with my mom was as successful as it was while mourning what it might have been. Both of us were damaged. She did not share the full story of what happened to her in her youth; I suspect she knew it would be too much for my sensitivities to hear her abuse at the hands of the men in her family or it was just too painful for her to say. I did, however, see her abuse at the hands of the con-man she married after her divorce from my father. It’s not my proudest moment, but when I saw her upper body covered in bruises and her beautiful thick hair pulled out in quarter-sized clumps, I not only told her I couldn’t see her until she left him, I threatened to kill the bastard if he ever came near my home, or came to her home while I was there after she escaped him. I was so angry at him I could have torn out his jugular with my teeth. I am grateful she disentangled herself from this abuser, and I cried that her need for love led her to trust someone who would treat her so badly.

I am grateful my damage was not at the hands of my mother or father. They were always there for me, they merely didn’t know what to do with me, how to deal with my insatiable curiosity and heart-exposed empathy.

Mom’s method was to encourage me to read and think for myself. Because of her I had my first library card at age 12. I read an entire shelf of books about religions and spirituality that year on top of my regular school work. My auto-didact approach made my school work suffer as I thought my personal studies were much more fascinating than prescribed educational curriculum.

I am grateful to have developed a respectful, open relationship with my mom as I became an adult. We were able to have intellectual conversations with differing opinions without alienating from each other. We were still able to learn from each other as we aged.

With all my mom had been through she was quite an amazing woman. She raised four children who always worked, with two boys who earned Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. She opened her heart and her home to everyone we brought home, and many she found along the way. She fed everybody; no matter the time of day or day of the month she could always whip up a meal. She gave me cars and food and toilet paper when I went back to college as an adult, not letting me just flounder through that tough time, but providing real support while I earned my degree with magna cum laude honors. She was a skilled artist and craftsperson; she painted, made collage and decoupage, and in her later years created garden art from recycled garden tools like shovels with broken handles and then sold those items at farmers markets and other outdoor art venues. She was a master quilter and could custom sew everything from bikinis to wedding gowns. She had an insatiable curiosity (where did I learn that from) and always had a book by her side for any spare moment. She was so damned intelligent I could hardly keep up.

In her later years she became adventurous, wanting new experiences, to see places and do things she hadn’t done before. She budgeted and traveled. She took me to the Bahamas, the most exotic place I’ve visited. And she had a knack for showing up when you needed her most.

When I was pregnant at 38, Mom lived a hundred miles from me. I’d had an argument with the hubster on the way to the grocery store and kicked him out of the car, then drove to the store parking lot and cried my heart out. Suddenly there was a knock on the window and there she was, didn’t say a word, just got into the car and held me, no judgments, no criticism, which she usually had plenty of. She’d come to my town for a quilt show with a friend and hadn’t bothered to tell me. She had planned on surprising me by stopping by, but she found the hubster walking down the street and he told her what had happened. For me it will always be the miracle of Mom showing up out of the blue when I needed her.

I couldn’t wait to get away from her when I was a young adult, yet as I matured I couldn’t get enough time with her. You know that question, if you could have time with anybody in the world who would you spend it with? She might not be of this world any more, but I choose her. I choose her every time.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I love the little rose and gold twirly-gig seeds from a neighbor’s tree. Golden rosy-nesses on the tree. A neighbor caught some pretty flowers at our local wetland area. Some purple lupine.

Photo by Sherri Mead

Peachy pink azalea.

Photo by Sherri Mead

I don’t know the name of this pink strawberry bloom on a stalk.

Photo by Sherri Mead

It’s iris week, so many colors and varieties; here’s a couple yellow and white varieties.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (2019, not rated) a documentary of the May 2007 event of a British family vacationing in Portugal when their three year old daughter disappears and the media storm that followed. She’s never been found and questions still abound. * The Party (2017, rated R) touted as a black comedy, though I did not find anything funny or amusing in this movie. Indeed, it was one very twisted tale with relationships falling apart at every turn. Points for quirky.

Currently ReadingJust Give Money to the Poor: The Development Revolution from the Global South (2010, world social development) by Armando Barrientos, David Hulme, and Joseph Hanlon. Dry, dry, dull, boring statistics, like many studies of economics. The consensus seems to be even the poorest of countries benefit when they spend some of their capital on the poorest people in their populations. It includes information on the two perspectives: the poor need help versus the poor are responsible for their own poverty. In America, we punish the poor as if it is a character flaw rather than a rigged economy, and by rigged economy I mean limiting wage levels while increasing costs on everything else consumers need like food and housing. * Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (2018, sociology) by Rebecca Traister (American author). Ms Traister explores a bit about why men feel threatened by women rather than welcoming equity between sexes.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • All the women I know who didn’t have biological children of their own but nonetheless mothered other people’s children: teachers, nurses, day care workers, church assistants, social workers and counselors, aunties, cousins, foster parents, among others.
  • My neighbors who have such beautiful flowers.
  • The windy day that made my street look like a whirlwind of twirly-gigs.
  • Not having a work schedule on warmer days, as my abilities are compromised with the heat.
  • The son helping me with some tough decisions.
  • Video options when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night.
  • My neighbor coming over to inform me he is going to take down his tree that hangs over my house in the next two weeks. I’ve been trying to get the tree removed for twenty years since I moved into this house, through four different owners.
  • Patience, grasshopper.
  • An easy exchange at the local food store when an item I got tasted weird/sour.
  • Sugar snap peas.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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3 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Mama, Mama

  1. piratesorka says:

    I had no idea that your mom married a second man who treated her poorly. She always ALWAYS struck me as such a strong independent woman….. but then she and my mother were from the same generation where women were expected to act second class to the men . I loved your mom so much. She was such an interesting and creative soul.. The story of her “just appearing” when you needed her so much was amazing beyond anything I could think to say. Life never fails to surprise us does it? We both got lucky in the fact we had wonderful mothers.

    Like

    • sassy kas says:

      Amazing what people do for love. She was certainly embarrassed that she’ been caught in his trap and did remove herself from his clutches, strength there. She didn’t speak of it to anyone after. We did have wonderful mothers, and I loved yours as well, though I didn’t know her very well. xoxo

      Like

  2. piratesorka says:

    Charlotte loved you because you were such a close friend of mine and she knew your Mom too.

    Liked by 1 person

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