Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beyond FINDS: Carleen at Pajama Gardener and Jodi at Reimer Reason

I spent half an hour earlier this morning surfing favorite blogs despite the little voice that kept telling me to clean the kitchen, start the laundry, figure out what I’m going to do with my (very long straight) hair when I finally get it cut later today, finish the vacuuming I started yesterday, pull some more weeds before it pours again this afternoon, etc. etc. Oh yes, and get back to the various WsIP waiting in the wings. Funny thing about procrastinating with me, though: I always know when I’m doing it that there’s a reason. And right now I’m very glad I “wasted” half an hour reading blogs because I discovered two Mother’s Day columns that not only deserve to be read but deserve to be featured.

Once again Carleen Brice over at Pajama Gardener amazed me with an insightful column, this one about “the motherless.” While I enjoyed yet another wonderful phone conversation on Mother’s Day with my mom who’s in her seventies and lives with my dad in the house I grew up in, I suspect this holiday has been challenging for her since her own mother died 60 years ago. Though you’d never guess it. Growing up, my siblings and I simply regaled her with our own Mother’s Day wishes and hand-made cards and school projects and assumed that was enough. As an adult, however, I began to wonder.

Mom has a 5x7 black-and-white photograph of her mother on her dresser, and when I wrote her a poem about being a mother and a daughter after my first child was born, she placed the poem with the photo. That simple placement made me realize how much she missed her mother and how much she’d still like to tell her. The gist of the poem centers on gratitude and understanding. It begins “While I’ve always known you loved me, I never realized the strength of the ties that bind a mother to her child” and finishes “I know how much you love me, Mom, now that I’m a mother, too.” Carleen’s column pays tribute to my mom and to each “motherless child” who mothered themselves—and others—for so many years, who still wonder “what if” or think “if only” when thoughts of a missing mother come to mind.

My second find thanks to this morning’s procrastination: Kristen at From Here to There and Back directed me to Jodi at Reimer Reason, who reprinted a stunning tribute to fellow moms with children with special needs. For a glimmer of what these very special moms endure and share and overcome on a daily basis, read this piece by Maureen K. Higgins. (If anyone can direct me to a website by or about Maureen, I’d appreciate it.) My favorite line: “You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world.” Despite the fact that so many mothers, as Maureen puts it, get up every morning wondering how they’ll make it through another day and go to bed every evening not sure how they did it, such women show us over and over again the strength and power each of us possesses. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to read and write about them, maybe that’s why I continue to seek out their unique, hard-won perspectives. We’re all just passing through this world, as Maureen again so eloquently puts it. Despite constant and immense demands on their time, energy, and sanity, many fellow travelers like moms with children with special needs generously share what they’re going through along the way, inspiring us all to keep plugging despite the life challenges we’re destined to face.


Blogger Carleen Brice said...

Aw thanks, K. Now get back to work! (said the girl surfing the net instead of finishing a freelance article due today!)

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen, I loved the Higgins piece too and did some half-hearted googling on her after I read it, which turned up not much.

I was actually surprised that I had not come across that piece prior to reading it on Jodi's site.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jeeze, now you have me fumbling for the Kleenex again!

5:42 PM  
Blogger Niksmom said...

Thanks for the link to Carleen's blog. The Higgins piece made me bawl...but it was good. Cleansing and validating all at once.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

From what I could find out, Maureen lives in New Jersey and has a son, Patrick, with spinal muscular atrophy.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Thanks, ladies! I agree both colums were well worth highlighting. TODAY is back to work day for me. Onward! K.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Amber Lough said...

Nice post--I can't imagine what the world would be like without my mother. I find myself needing her again and again...and I don't think it'll ever stop.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

I hope you get to see her soon, Amber! I'm sure you both wish CO and MD were a lot closer together. K.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

Thank you for linking to Carleen's posting. I'd been out of town and missed seeing it. Now I've got to check out the other link too.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

My pleasure, Mary Ann! K.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Barrie said...

The same little voice was here too!

Thank you for the links. I'm off to check them out.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Sherry/Cherie said...

Great thoughts Karen and these two bloggers remind us about special mothers and "orphans" who miss their mothers all the time, more so on Mother's Day. As an "orphan" myself, I really understand this.

2:34 PM  

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