Mother and Me, Age 48 — October Memoir Challenge — 14 Comments

  1. Joy!

    This is deeply moving and an intimate mother-daughter connection. I can see your mother, in a time not like our’s, sitting at a desk, pen in hand, etching out hopes that may never be realized in her lifetime. She would be very proud of you and the energy of the pen in your hands. You have breathed life and possibility into those long ago hopes and dreams. You have also reminded us all that mid-life is not mid-done.

    I will be 50 next May and yes, my parents loom large in my life. Long gone, I was 4 when my mother passed and 35 when my father passed. I wonder what they would think of the gifts they have given me?

    Keep sharing, your memoir is beautiful.

  2. This sentence, “It’s just painful to read how much she blamed herself instead of questioning whether the practice was right for her.” That’s a powerful observation. I don’t think I’ve ever had the presence of mind to actually acknowledge that something isn’t working because it’s simply not a good fit for me. Thank you. Truly. I think you just freed me from some unnecessary guilt.

  3. So many of the things I have and the way I live are a result of my parents’ influence. I’m so grateful for the lessons they taught me and for what I learned from them…and am still learning. Great post!

  4. I finally had a chance to go through your posts this morning. Thanks for sharing, as always! I especially like the pics of you and Dale as youngsters. (I hope he hasn’t given you any flak for those, haha!) The information about a kind of lack of a birthday cake tradition in your family kind of surprised me, but made me realize again that everybody grows up with different traditions. I might well have traded my birthday cake for a Cards game from about the age of 10, lol.

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  6. Great post. I really enjoyed this series. It made me think of my mother. She was a quiet but very independent thinker, who never subscribed to the role restrictions for women, and led a fulfilled life. I therefore, never had to overcome them, unlike so many of my friends.
    Congrats on your weight loss. You look great! I am currently struggling, with only minor success, to lose weight which I put on after a series of surgeries that changed my metabolism even beyond the changes on middle age. Sigh.

  7. Also, I have always interpreted “Be still and know that I am God” NOT as “Do nothing, accept your place, submit to the role same male-oriented society gave you” but as “Be still, let go of your fears and anxieties and worries about the future, and trust in me. Everything will be all right.” And usually, when I just relax and do what needs to be done, everything turns out okay. Sounds to me like some chauvinist male preacher misinterpreted that passage for your mother to keep her in her place.(maybe with the good intention of making your mother less dissatisfied when he should have been encouraging her to make healthy changes.)

  8. I like the comparison of your lives side by side like this. I find myself wondering what you think might have happened if you mom had made the choice to fulfill her dream. Your question about whether or not I consider my parents role models at this age caught me sideways. “Did I ever think of them as role models?” I wondered for a moment, then think back that there have been periods of time when I did, but most of my role models were outside my family. That’s not to say my parents haven’t had significant and positive impact in my life. Just…I don’t think of them as role models.

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  10. I really liked what you said about making sure the practice works for us — as women, we tend to blame ourselves. We need to turn that around. It can be threatening to blame others, but asking “is this the best choice for me?” is a great, non-confrontational way to take control.

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