Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day - the big picture

I grew up with a great mother. She was a person everyone loved. "You're so lucky to have her as a mother." was a common comment. I'd answer back something about she was great but living with her could be a challenge. Mom didn't make decisions well, she was always cared for by Grandpa or Dad and never lived independently. That was one of the reasons she would tell me the story about Grandma warning her not to let me lose my spunk. Mostly I didn't.

What Mom didn't have, she tried to cultivate in me like "spunk". But there were things Mom did have that I learned from her. Things like caring for others, a solid belief in God, the importance of family and so much more. She started me young in being creative and saw that was something built into me and something that I needed. I made my first machine sewn thing (a nightgown) when I was about 8 years old but I was already hand sewing and knitting before that with the help of Grandma and Mom.

My creativity came from more than just Mom getting me started on things. I had a second mother. The one that gave me life. In a time when being an unwed mother was looked down on, she gave me life and then gave me a chance at a good life by giving me up for adoption. I thank her frequently in my thoughts for not finding some back alley doctor  so she wouldn't have to go through 9 months of people staring at her. I thank her for believing in giving me my life that I've enjoyed.

I met my birth mother when I was 25 years old. It was not one of the meetings like you see on TV where everyone hugs and becomes instant family or where the child cries and wonders why they were given up. It was a one time meeting where we talked for a few hours and never met again. I learned she was a creative person, had a son 18 months older than me, married and had a good life. We just didn't make a connection that needed meeting anymore. We both got what we needed: I saw who I came from and she saw I had a good life. It was enough for us.

There have been other mother's in my life including my godmother/aunt, my other aunt, my knitting mother (friend of family who owned the first yarn shop I worked in), my best friend's mother and so many more. Each mother has given me lessons in life and helped to make me the person I am today.

I looked up the meaning of mother in the dictionary and found it to be more than just the lady we usually call Mom. It includes:

to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.
So, today I celebrate not only Mom but all the other's in my life who have given their time, love and wisdom. I also celebrate the people in my life who have cared for or protected me, the people who have given rise to my creativity - my teachers, mentors and life guides.
Thank you all and Happy Mother's Day!