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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Writing Life, Merci to My Four Mothers


I'd love to hear your mother stories. For is it inherently "weird" to think of so many women as your mother? I've had four, in my growing up family alone, but honestly I have to say there were other "mentor mothers" along the way. I am grateful to all for their guidance!

So, you dear readers ~ have you also had more than one mother. Do I see some hands? 

The truth is families have always been in transiton. I have recently read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail.


Thank you, my four mothers, on this day of mothers. The map I began, to figure out exactly who and where you were in my life led to a path, perhaps on a different direction, then the one you may have foreseen so long ago.  

I suppose it could have been be a loss (couldn't it?) to have had four mothers, but it is a bounty to celebrate you. Four mothers, certainly adds up to a lot of introspection, and toasting!

And I am thankful to these four, tres magnifique, ladies whom I grew up with, and their favorite dish!


Nana, the Grandest Grandmother of all. Lady of AP cakes, a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty.

 Nana with my brother, Jeremy, one  Christmas.

Nana smoothing my hair on June 24, 1978.


Aileen, my adoptive mother. Lady of rare steak.
With Nana and Mom Aileen, on high school graduation day, 1974.



Two hand-written favorite quotes of Mom, Aileen.
 
 
 
Aileen, before she graduated from Women's Medical College in Philadephia.



Jackie, my step-mother. Lady of Spaghetti and Meatballs.
My stepmother, Jackie with my Dad, Bud, on June 24, 1978.
And Gail, my birth mother. Lady of Pizza.
Gail, as she graduated high school. She loved pizza.


These ladies are why I grew to love myths of epic proportion, like Homer.
And tales, like Grimms Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Anderson.
And to revere the spiritual sacredness of kitchen fires; and to write my novel, City of Ladies, The Story of Lost Bread, Pain Perdue. 

So who do you count as your mother? Your birth mother? Maybe it's your mother-in-law? Step-mother? Adoptive mother. Mother figure. And Grandmother. Who have I missed?

Happy Mother's Day!

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