Whether you are a daughter, or a son, there was a Mother that birthed you. You may have been adopted, and chosen especially, or perhaps had your origins from a Petri dish. Whatever your beginnings, there was a Mother involved, and I want to celebrate the women in my life who molded and shaped who I am today.
When you are existing as a young girl, you are unaware that the ladies who surround you are constantly teaching you how to be a woman. The way that they love, communicate, dress, and take care of themselves, and those around you, emulate what you are supposed to do and be as you become a “big girl!”
Some of us are fortunate enough to still have our Mothers with us in our lives. There are many who have had to bid farewell to their Mothers within this last year. Many in our lives lost their Mothers to disease way way too young, and had to grow up “Motherless.” For some it was an accident that took their Mother from their lives, others were abandoned by their Mothers. Still many were adopted by their Mothers, and have never known the person that gave them life. Somewhere somehow, a woman carried us in their wombs, inside their bodies. This is a surreal thing, quite a responsibility to carry life.
The blue clear sky invites me into its’ coolness and calm, and the rustling of lime green maple leaves, waving gloriously in the breeze , beckon me to rest…to remember.
My Grandmothers, my Aunts, my friends who departed this earth far too soon. I think on them with nostalgia, and missing. It would be beyond wonderful to be sharing a meal with them, a picnic, an adventure. They are so vacant from my life, and I wonder about them….especially around Mother’s Day.
There seem to be a grouping of women in our lives who have a dramatic effect on how we turn out, either for the better…or not.
Nearly every summer our family would make the pilgrimage out to Nanny and Pappa’s Farm, and my Auntie El, and Uncle Warren’s farmhouse in Saskatchewan.
These women had such a strong impact on me.
My Auntie was an elegant, and beautiful woman who had a lovely laugh, and her eyes crinkled up in a becoming way when she smiled.
She wore big “Jackie O” style sunglasses, and large floppy hats, and often gardened in her floral bikini.
She carried the garden hose from bloom to bloom, and the lawn she looked after reminded me of a smooth emerald green golf course.
I used to watch her, mesmerized by her beauty, and self confidence, and hoped to be like her one day.
She put on lovely dinners for her family, and her bathroom always had the scent of perfume, that was reminiscent of the beauty department in the fancy department stores at the mall.
When I wandered into the bathroom in the farmhouse, the selection of bottles, and containers of cotton balls, and Q tips was ever fascinating to me.
I remember that she celebrated being a woman, and her easy self confidence inspired me.
Today, she is still an important part of my life. She is beautiful, takes good care of herself, and filled with faith, and love. She loves her children, and her family and friends are vital to her life.
My Nanny, my Mother’s, Mother was always a ball of boundless energy, and filled with joy.
She emanated a light that was within, and caring for her children, her husband, and grandchildren was critical to who she was.
She and my Pappa, lived in a one bedroom cottage at the farm…. I loved this spot!
She was always scurrying about cooking and baking buns and bread that still make my mouth water wanting to taste them again.
Her kitchen was simple, and comfortable, and oh so cheery. Her vegetable garden out back was carefully crafted, with nary a weed.
She would be washing dishes, singing contentedly under her breath, and if she caught you sneaking a bit of raw bread dough she would wink, and playfully cross her eyes at you from behind her cat eye spectacles.
Nan sang hymns to us grandkids at bedtime, and would scratch our backs gently until we fell asleep.
Even then I knew how fortunate I was. When the women in your life treat you well, and love you, you are so enriched, and unbelievably blessed.
My Nan was one of my first examples of caregiving. Mostly I can’t recall a time when my Pappa wasn’t disabled. This might sound sad, but the way she cared for, and loved him, was filled with exuberant love and joy…I never saw the sacrifice…just the love and devotion.
Loving her family, her husband, and her relatives, and friends was her priority…oh, and her love for Jesus was contagious.
My other Grandma was the gentlest, and one of the most loving women that I have ever known. She was always so gracious, and incredibly hospitable just like my Nan. I loved seeing them together, how they greeted one another with a kiss, and an embrace. Grandma had a way of making everybody around her to feel special…and I mean everyone.
Whrn you walked up the street, and knocked on her back door, she would clasp your arms look you directly in the eyes, and say,
“oh Jill, I’m so glad to see you.”
This was just the best.. She did this to all of us. How great is that?
Her prayers…were constant, and she spoke of the “Lords’ provisions,” to us constantly. She lived her life by example, and with incredible love and grace.
How important this was.
Grandma was like a delicate and rare flower, and yet her strength and resilience was just understood, and respected. She loved us all, and we knew it…we counted on it.
My Aunt Evelyn lived with her, and she reminded me so much of Grandma. I think she was one of the most selfless women I still have yet to know. She was always so happy to see you, and when she would bring Grandma down to the house to visit my Dad, I knew it hurt her so much to see her big capable brother ailing with his Parkinson’s disease.
She cared….so much….for everyone. She was a nurse, but it overflowed through everything that she did. Aunt Ev was such a glorious caregiver. She loved with abandon, and was filled with an inner vibrance that would not be contained. Her life had not been easy, but she was an overcomer.
Such a legacy of women that I have been surrounded by…I could go on and on with the life lessons that they have taught me…the grace that they have instilled me with, came from them. I am grateful.
Of course I can’t forget the woman who gave me life…my own Mum. I still find ways to make her laugh by saying inappropriate things to her. Both her and my Nanny always throw their heads back and giggle in the same way…I love that similarity about them.
My Mum loved all of us kids, and her beloved husband with her whole heart.
I still tease her about the deep freezer filled with “tv dinners” which I thought were so cool. It was like we were flying on a plane, while sitting at the kitchen table eating…cuz you know tv dinners and airplane trays filled with food always meant to me, that I was going on an adventure!
Times up at the cottage with Mum looking after us crazy kids, she did with confidence and love. She took great care of us…it can’t have been easy….because we were a handful, and there was the big body of water that she had to keep us from falling into….
My Mum built things, like a diving tower, a huge bird house, a miniature water wheel mill for her garden, amongst many other inventions.
I can’t forget to mention that she can concoct many helpful gadgets with a wire coat hanger. Seriously, I told her she needs to write a book entitled “101 things to do with a coat hanger.”
My Mum is an inventer and fixer at heart. She owned “The Olde Teddy Bear Shoppe,” for over 10 years. This was a creative outlet for her, and I so believe it was a good way for her to cope with my Dad’s illness.
I admire her for showing me healthy coping skills when caregiving for somebody that you love. This is imperative. This prevents burn out..I think…
Thank you to these lovely women who have graced my life with love. You have shown me , by your example how to love courageously, and selflessly. Your resilience when life gave you challenges, and when hopes were crushed, and loved ones were buried, has been crucial in showing me…that life goes on… even when at times, you don’t want it to.
My girlfriends have enriched my life to the overflowing department, and my neices, and other daughters, and girl cousins have “filled me with greater joy.”
Blessings abound……Many thanx to the Giver of these women…