This weekend is Mother’s Day. What began as one woman’s public expression of love for the woman that gave her life in 1905, it became an official national holiday in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday of May the official day to honor Mothers. There are traditions that go on during the coarse of that day. Corsages worn to church and to brunch, lunch or dinner speak a silent message of their own with the central rose being red or white it indicate if Mom is amongst the living or not. All the things that you could imagine are wrapped in special paper to be a token of our love to her. Bottles of perfume, bath items, jewelry, cards, bouquets, gift certificates for personal treatments for nails and sore muscles – all our outward expressions of gratitude and thankfulness for the one who was and is the most important person in our lives.

Being a mother, and the head of the family tree, I am acutely aware of my role in guidance and setting example for the generations coming up to replace me in the future. I follow a line of history of women who were trailblazers in their time and the ancestor crown can be a little heavy sometimes. It is not about out doing the last Mother, is about taking those lessons and adapting them to the times, and then passing on the lesson. Each relationship I have with my 5 children and my 8 living grandchildren are unique to itself; some I talk to daily and some the calls are two-three times a year. Does the love and care of a Mother and Grandmother sway different for each? No, because my DNA runs in each of their veins. They just might not like the TRUTH that Mom/Grandma (aka Ms. Jacki or Tarot by Jacqueline) might say. They take what learnin’ from me and apply it accordingly as it fits in their own life and living situations.

Oh the ancestor Grandmother’s voice circles in my head sometimes – many times out of the blue.  Whether it is the Thanksgiving morning that I smelled celery and green onions sautéing in butter in the air at 7 am (I told her that I don’t have to eat the Thanksgiving meal at 2 pm) or the speaking (yelling?) of my name in the middle of a deep sleep to wake me to check to make sure that the teens were in from a night out, the job of motherhood never ends and reaches from the grave. Both of the above incidences happened after my own Mother had passed, and her Spirit was making sure her granddaughters were safe (at least from Saturday night dancing). Obediently I crawled out of bed to see that the girls did come home, and on the other occasion, I rolled over for another 45 minutes of sleep before wrestling with a turkey right after some coffee.

And yet, the traditions go one and on. My son-in-law asks my daughter why does she cut the stem part out a tomato like a strawberry and she tells him that’s the way her Mom did it. Like the way MY Mom did it. I school the girls on the old-fashioned way to getting grease and food stains out with a bar of Fels-Naptha. Like the way MY Mom schooled me when other stain-releasing products would only do half the job. My eldest daughter has created new traditions that probably her twins will inherit, like setting up the coffeemaker the night before so it can be created with a push of a button the next morning. You too, have ‘life lessons’ that Mom taught you which shapes you more than you know, like the way you brush your teeth, hold your knife, pour a glass of milk, and more. It becomes natural to do those things that your Mom did with you – and may seem foreign to your significant partners at the same time.

So on Sunday, if you have a chance, ask about the female lineage in your family tree. Perhaps there will be a Great Aunt or Grandmother in the gathering, and ask them to recount stories about your family line in order to better understand the struggles and joys, heartache and surprises that Motherhood brought them. When you listen to these memories, you will learn how to live in accordance to family traditions.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

 

 

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