Experience the Wisdom

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Consider the Journey

 

I struggled with not having opinions and with confidence to speak, from childhood through my young adult years. Then–surprise, surprise–this deficit trailed along through my midlife adult years!

Only when my life fell apart and I had to sort through to make sense of it all, did I turn to writing. The measured searching for perfect meter and phrasing began to crystallize my thoughts and deliver wisdom. I share…

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It’s Time to Be Real

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Mother’s Day 2015

You were my mother first — a petite, beautiful (and frightened) nineteen-year-old totally separated from your family and all that was familiar, including what to do with a baby. So I let you practice on me…how to deal with those sleepless nights and unrelenting colic, meal preparation and household duties (and unrelenting colic). And there was that new relationship of being wife to a charming, but demanding and opinionated husband (and unrelenting colicky baby). Okay, enough with the colic — it finally went away years later after Marilyn, your fifth baby, was a few months old.

What patience you had with me, reading books till I could recite them to you, paper dolls and tea parties, games, and answering my unending stream of questions — more than any three-year-old ever, you once said. Then you gifted me with a baby sister Linda, and I thought that was great, even better than the puppy Jesus I had earlier! You now got to practice your time management and prioritization with Daddy-plus-two. And as Linda grew into her own, you were exposed to a new challenge of sibling intervention and mediation. I thought I excelled at the role of surrogate “grown up”, but Linda was not so good at playing opposite my lead (even today she rejects that role)!

Then Billy (finally a boy!) entered the scene. Linda had a real sibling now who liked to have adventures, and I was free to go back to management. Daddy’s posterity was assured now, and life could just evolve for a while. Huge vistas opened when you learned to drive Daddy’s pickup truck in your mid-twenties. You could now have freedom…freedom to go to Springhill to the grocery store, to run errands for Daddy — picking up supplies for him, taking care of business for him — oh, and have chores done and supper ready. Then you could check on homework and get us to bed. But there were pole-fishing trips and country picnics to Nowhere in Particular and neighborhood visits where you took us and helped us to create memories as you mentored us to play and enjoy our kids.

Five years passed and you were getting pretty comfortable being a wife, and were a nurturing and capable mother, and you were good at playing the in-law role. Life was good, but we kids were getting so big…hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a baby?

And it was. Connie was so adorable and angelic, and she filled those long empty days while Linda, Billy, and I were gone to school. Life settled in, and we adjusted well to our new family of five.

Was it that Mother was going to run out of chances to learn and practice mothering? Was there a bulletin or a memo that went out into the ethers that the Swain family was complete and this was the final “casting call”? “Hold up! Wait for me!” and here came precious Marilyn, the perfect near-twin for Connie. Now with Daddy-plus-five, life was in high gear (it’s a good thing Daddy had all the answers to help you with all of the problems).

No non-parent can anticipate the lessons you learn from one child, so with five you were playing the lottery. You have played the parent role beautifully, and faithfully (no major time-outs, only short naps here and there along the way). You may be only four-feet-something tall on the outside, but there is an incredible eight-feet-something tall wise and beautiful spirit that emerges from the inside, occasionally tinged with fire and most often with laughter. I’m a better person because you’re my mom — The world is a better place because you’re here!

Nutsrok

1st row Kathleen Holdaway, Ellie Blizzard,Johnny Bell2nd John a0002        Kathleen Holdaway in flowered dress0002 parents wedding pic

mother  Mother in her yard

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As a Mother’s Day tribute, I am printing pictures made over the course of Mother’s life.  She is the tiny blonde child in the oldest picture and the lovely woman easily identifiable in the rest.  I can only say she is the finest woman and the best mother I have ever known.  I love you Mother.

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Consider the Journey

Einstein quote                     

                    Consider the Journey

    Ancient One:   The Journey is very important!

    Child:                As important as the Destination?

    Ancient One:   Oh I tell you from wisdom – far more.

                               On the Journey,  you create who you are.

   Child:                 But I know who I am!    

  Ancient One:     We can change our minds about where we’re going,               

                               But we can’t un-know what we know.

                                                                                  — Phyllis Barrington

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