On Mother’s Day I was thinking about the women who have influenced my life over the years, of course my own Mom, and also other Mothers, Aunties, Granma’s, friends and mentors along my journey. There are a few who helped bring huge changes to my life, and I would like to share a few stories in honour of the Divine Feminine that touches every person.
My Mom was gracious and married late in life, my parents adopted a toddler and decided to take on another baby boy and went to a different orphanage in Scotland. I was 6 weeks old and had arrived the day before their visit, I’d been 4lbs 2oz at birth and was up to 7lbs by then, though I must have been tiny because my Mom to be thought I was a doll at first. She was horrified that such a “wee babe” was in the children’s home, and felt compelled to see me properly, that was the beginning of our relationship in this life. My parents immigrated to Canada when I was 4, my Dad got work but Mom didn’t even though she had a doctorate degree. She ended up assisting my father who was also a professor, transforming his research notes into papers for scientific journals, meticulously drawing all the strange microscopic creatures, I marvelled at her skill. Mom had been one of the first female Professors at Berkley University in the 1940’s, then returned to Scotland to be with her family and began doing research on animal pathogens at Edinburgh University before she married. My Mother had been financially independent before we immigrated, she never made a cent from the work she did to support my father, and it was something that wasn’t talked about.
I was around 7 when we were in a car accident that left her permanently injured, somehow I fell into the floor space behind the front seats and the car crumpled around me, Mom wasn’t so lucky. Her life became filled with pain, Dr’s appointments, procedures, physio, endless meds etc. she changed from a social person to a shut in. I took on the house chores and began to resent that I was expected to, Mom and I always seemed to be bickering and arguing, there was more disapproval than support, we didn’t do activities together anymore, and I missed the Mother I had before the accident. As the years passed our conflicts grew more serious, by the time I was 12 the whole family unit was in crisis and falling apart. I left home at the first opportunity that presented itself and dissolved all ties; it took me until my mid 20’s to connect again.
My Mom and I sat down and had a very honest, difficult and painful conversation, we both cried and apologized for our hurtful words and behaviour towards each other in the past. I understood that she had also been hurting, scared and frustrated, and we were able to mend our relationship. My Mom passed when I was 27; we had a lengthy phone call the day before, sharing our life experiences, laughing and appreciating our connection. I love you.
When I was a girl women from our church would show up and whisk me away for an afternoon or weekend, they brought meals and baking for my family. I learned to knit bandages to hymns, a kind of magic in itself, we made old cards into baskets, I discovered the mystery of suspending fruit in gelatine, that washing machines were useful for cleaning baby dills before pickling and how baking soda and lemon juice cleaned just about everything. Daisy, Edna, Beda, Cathy, Granma Taylor thank you!
Kate and I sat outside the office of the women’s transition house one stormy night. Her first words were “Do I look as bad as you?” I replied “I hope it looks better that it feels!” we grinned and became allies. Our friendship grew, we talked about our dreams, how next time we would break the cycle, we knew we didn’t deserve abuse. That was so long ago, we have both learned the difference between love and cruelty, and discovered self love in the reflection of each other. Kate you are precious!
Sheila and I met at a women activists group, and we were tired of marching and holding signs in the sun, wind and rain! We mimicked the parody of politics and transformed it into street theatre; we were fabulous together and even got on the news. Your hug is as big as the Universe my beloved Auntie, Wise One, Mother all wrapped in one. When I am an old woman may I be as spry and have a sense of humor like you, you are the beautiful sound of laughter.
My birth mother Valerie, there was no mistaking I am your child; I saw my face reflected in yours for the first time and knew my beginnings. We walked together for a time, you told me of my ancestors, how they once served the Lady, the gifts of our blood. Your love touched me, thank you for carrying me into this life.
Today I am surrounded with beautiful, strong, creative women, I love my HPS and her family as if they were blood kin, and we are a family of choice. I have bonded with my inner circle and we are only one tree in a grove of many others, and we are all connected. The Goddess touches us through our mothers, grandmas, sisters, aunties, female friends and she is also found within every man and boy, her reflection is found within you and in eyes of others. Did you realize the Lady blesses the world through you? Just something to think about