Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day evokes memories from so many different perspectives, and for many of us, primarily memories of our own mothers.  For women, whether we are or aren't mothers provides additional meaning.  How we first came to be mothers, or whether we never did adds significance.  Dreams, hopes, and choices along the way add to the weight of such significance.  My entry into motherhood was not something I had planned, and at first filled me with fear and apprehension.  Too young to handle the responsibility, I was not able to raise my first child, and for his growing-up life, another woman had that honor until Jeffrey lost her, sadly, much too soon.  For the past eight years, I have happily joined his life and am, what I lovingly refer to as, "Mom - second shift."  Every Mother's Day my thoughts turn to Rosemary and to my love and appreciation for her as Jeffrey's first Mom.  I wrote a little bit about this before, in the post linked here.

Being a mother is not a matter of biology.  It is a matter of commitment, of relationship, nurturing, providing for, and being there.  Being a mother is defined by the responsibility for another human being, making sure that child is loved and protected, and seeing that resonsibility through.  It's not easy; it is often impossibly difficult, but we take it on with faith, optimism, and high, high hopes.

For those of us who are "seasoned" mothers, today is an opportunity to reflect on the job we've done, taking note of the joys and successes, and acknowledging, but not dwelling on,  the situations we'd rather "do over."  Rather than focus on the inevitable wrong turns we may have taken along the way, let's look at the successes.  Let's focus on the incredible individuals we've mothered from point A to point Z, whether they followed our recommended path or chose their own, perhaps bumpy, route.  Let's take joy in the fact that we had a part in changing the world, even the littlest bit. 

I can not evaluate my own contribution as a mother without considering the guidance and wisdom I've gleaned from my own mother, Virginia McGeehan O'Farrell, and mother-in-law Mary Lou Cogan Eddy.  My experience of motherhood has been enhanced by memories of my grandmothers, Anna O'Farrell and Loretta McGeehan, and my Aunt Jeanne, and by witnessing my sisters, sisters-in-law, and friends as we raised our children together. 

Most personally, to me, motherhood is Jeffrey, Joe, Katie, Meghan, and Tricia.  It now means being Granny O to Henry and  soon, Henry's little brother or sister. 

Happy Mother's Day to all moms and grandmothers, and to every one who is remembering their own mother on this special day.

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