“A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.”
― Amy Tan, The Bonesetter’s Daughter
It’s Mother’s Day today, at least in North America. My mom has had played a lot of different mothering roles over the past few decades – mom, grandmother, aunt, mother-in-law, caregiver – but her most recent role has included that of widow. It’s a different and still evolving position for her; while it doesn’t change the fact that she is our mother, we are all acutely aware of our roles as her children.
My mother’s relationship with our grandmother was probably best described as tumultuous, and it resulting in Mom accepting many adult responsibilities at an early age. She had an eventful childhood, moving provinces and leaving family support behind as a young girl when my grandparents moved everyone to Nova Scotia, and then reversing the journey to return to Ontario once she met my father. Despite that unevenness in her own background – or perhaps because of it – she consistently gave us stability and guidance, provided us with comfort, and demonstrated strength and determination in the face of adversity.
Between my mother and father, we quickly learned that family responsibility was not defined by gender, but rather by respect for each other. Growing up, we knew many families did not have parents like ours, but it wasn’t until we were older that we would really appreciate just how important it was to have a Mom who insisted on sitting down together as a family for at least one meal a day. That time together meant that we connected as a family and shared our news, and that we demonstrated interest and support for each other.
We have always felt her love and support, and grew up knowing that she would support every opportunity to go out to explore the world. My mother was determined that we would experience live theatre, music and art as often as a teacher’s salary would allow. We always felt her love and support, and grew up knowing that she would support every opportunity to go out to explore the world.
Here’s to you, Mom on Mother’s Day. Know that we love you – children and grandchildren alike. Enjoy your day!
“Gilbert put his arm about them. ‘Oh, you mothers!’ he said. ‘You mothers! God knew what He was about when He made you.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams