Wednesday, March 4, 2009


My mother on castle rock in Edinburgh Scotland in her 20's, circa 1950

Today marks the 12th anniversary of my moms death. It's a day of remembrance and reflection. It's easy to elevate the dead, to canonize them to the level of sainthood. She was not a saint of course but she was a really good mother. The thing I am most grateful to her for is that she was always herself, fiercely so. When I was a kid, parents didn't bend over backwards the way they do today to entertain their kids or offer them greater opportunities than they had themselves. I didn't have swimming lessons, I wasn't a Brownie, I never learned to play the piano.

I am the youngest of 4 children and when I was small before I went to school I just hung out with her as she went about her life. Lucky for me she was a really interesting person. She gardened, and painted, she sewed and skied. She went to Keep Fit class and she was a member of a weavers guild. I went everywhere with her and I saw her as a person, not just my mother. I knew her wittiness, her sadness, and her wickedness. She was strong and fit and beautiful and she protected me. She was a lioness, a goddess, she was vulnerable and unapologetic.

I have modeled myself after her in many ways particularly in my parenting style. I am a no-nonsense mom, firm but fair, I want to share my love for the world with Pearl. I also want her to know me, the good and the bad, the contradictions and the convictions. I want Pearl to know that my love is unconditional and immense but I also want her to understand my limits and my weaknesses. My greatest regret about losing my mom so early is that she did not get to see me be a mother, and that she never got to meet Pearl. I could cry for a week about that. Mostly though, I just feel lucky that I had her in my world for as long as I did and for all the gifts she gave me, the greatest being the purity of her love for me.


Teresa and David said...

Oh, Rowan. That is just a beautiful piece of writing.

fred davis said...

No doubt she would be proud.

Is she parting a loch in that photo?

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