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