“If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully. . .The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother’s life . . . the stronger the daughter.”
~ Anita Diamant, The Red Tent
After supper I pull out a tattered photograph album and while Makiya eats ice cream (three different kinds in one bowl, thank you very much!) we three take a meandering walk through the past–daughters looking at images of mothers taken long ago.
I am taken back to days that were harsh and yet filled with the blessings that come from mothering small children. It was a different time; I was a different woman and yet, in many ways, the same.
I watch the face of both of my girls as we turn the pages. Makiya is delighted at photos of her mom as a child, and there is much laughter and conversation as we explain situations and answer her questions. I wonder what Laurinda is thinking; I pray that the happy memories outnumber the rest.
This morning as I sit in a few moments of quiet I am overflowing with gratitude for this time with my girls doing simple, everyday things together and enjoying one another’s company. I feel blessed beyond measure.
I’d like to write more but there’s no time now. In the days to come, as I ruminate on these precious times, I’ll put words down to help me sort through it all. For now, I hear movement coming up the stairs. The day is starting.
What a perfect pearl of a post, Linda, proving once again that brevity is the soul of wit — and wisdom.
Beautiful picture of your two girls! How fortunate they are to have you as mother and grandmother, and how fortunate you are to have them. Your posts reflect the love you feel for them.
We’ve had such a wonderful few days of girl time, Ruth. They are my treasures.
What a blessing for all that you can spend this rich time with your girls and fully sink into it as you seem to do. Thanks for sharing it as a reminder and something to strive for. It is a two-way street. Not all moms are willing to talk openly. and not all daughters are willing or able to listen.
Interesting times we’re in with one generation becoming obsessed with writing memoir and life stories and younger ones increasingly busy, perhaps too busy to read. Someone commented on this in a recent life story writing group I lead. “I don’t think my kids would bother to read this stuff…” “They probably will later,” another person said, “hopefully before you’re gone.” “If not them, then your grandchildren,” said another.
My mother died nearly twenty years ago. I think I knew her well, in some respects, maybe better than she knew herself. But oh, the questions that come up. I thought of as many of those questions as I could before my father died a couple of months ago, but of course going through his stuff raised a hundred more.
It is a two way street, isn’t it, Sharon? The mother-daughter relationship seems the most complicated one of all sometimes. I believe we can learn from one another if we’re blessed to have time and a desire to do so. Sadly, I know, that’s not always possible and so writing the stories of our lives becomes all the more important. We learn much from our mothers and even the mothers who are not our own if we are willing.
Thank you for this thoughtful comment that has me ruminating on all manner of things this morning.