“Generations of Love”

by Clio

As the publisher of The Bold Pursuit, I spend hours almost every day, editing and reviewing articles and columns about current events and political commentary. We have so many talented guest writers on The Bold Pursuit that I find I have little time to actually write my own articles; instead, I prepare and format the words of our authors.

With so much turmoil in our country, as well as around the world, there is rarely a slow news day when one needs to search for a topic about which to write. 

Trillion dollar deficits and vitriolic battles over budget plans, global riots and regime changes, capturing and killing America’s most wanted criminal, wars on foreign battlefields, soaring gas prices and oil drilling bans, unemployment, deep recession, inflation and conflagration in Congress over the controversial health care bill and other legislation … and those are just a few of this week’s headlines. It’s a writer/publisher’s dream or nightmare – so many stories, so little time.

Today is Mother’s Day and it seems like a good time to take a break from the turmoil in the world in consideration of a parent who raised, nurtured and guided our lives. We learn from our parents’ advice and example; they prepare the foundation for our moral and ethical ideologies. I think it’s very appropriate to honor our Mothers on this political commentary and news site – these special women helped shape our views of the world and the way we interact within it.

My great-grandmother (“Granny”) was born in Texas at the turn of the century. Granny amused us with stories recounting her first, frightening ride in an automobile and her fascination with a new form of entertainment: the radio.

I was very blessed to have my great-grandmother in my life through my early adult years. Granny was very involved with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and often babysat me and my brother.

When my great-grandmother was young, before everyone had a radio, story-telling was a primary form of entertainment in her family. Later, she developed her own gift for captivating an attentive audience of her descendants; many of us remember sitting at her feet, listening to her broad repertoire of scary and humorous tales. We loved her stories and her presence in our lives. She had a heart as big as her native Texas and a gentle, humble spirit that invited the affection and admiration of everyone she encountered. She passed away in 1994 and we miss her every day.

My paternal grandmother, Grandma Ruth, left me very early in my life (and hers – she was only 44) due to a fatal bout with pneumonia. 

While my Dad finished his tour in the Navy, my mother continued to work after I was born. My grandparent’s house was my own personal daycare center where I was safe, loved and bit over-indulged. I have few memories of Grandma Ruth, but most of my recollections were augmented by other family members who often reminded me of how much she loved me. I didn’t need their reassurances because my heart could always feel the gift of that warm, wonderful love and continues to feel it throughout my life.

When I was ready to make my debut in this world, my great-grandmother stayed with my mother (Dad was still away). I know my mother felt more secure and comforted by the company of her beloved grandma as she prepared to give birth to her first child.

Maternal bonding is believed to begin in the womb, aided by a hormone, ocytocin which increases after birth. Chemically-induced or not, there is no doubt that the mother/child relationship is one of the most intense and important links in our lives.

My mother was the “mama grizzly” type of parent (nod to Sarah Palin); she was fiercely protective of her children and always there whenever we needed her – regardless of whether we were infants or middle-aged adults.

I have several poignant memories of my mother from childhood, but one that truly impresses me happened one morning when I was in our backyard, walking barefoot through the grass (I was four or five years old at the time). My mother was visiting next door and keeping an eye on me from our neighbor’s backyard. I stepped on a bee and started screaming (I was allergic to bee stings). As I cried, I looked up to see my mother, in a sleeveless blouse and shorts, vaulting over the neighbor’s cyclone fence and rushing to sweep me up in her arms. I doubt if any steroid-fueled athlete could have made such an elegant leap – in my estimation, she earned a score of “10.”

My mother raised, without knowing it, an independent daydreamer with ambitions she rarely shared with others. As I left for college, I remember looking back to see Mom in the doorway, on the brink of tears. 

When I bought a one-way plane ticket to Los Angeles after my college graduation (without a job or place to live at my destination), Mom drove me to the airport. I can’t imagine her anxiety on that sunny, cloudless morning.

A few years ago, an undiagnosed illness brought me back to my hometown and to my parents’ home. I remember well the night that my sixty-ish parents sat with me in the emergency room, refusing to leave until my condition was stable and I was ready to be moved to a hospital room. It was after 4am before I convinced them to go home. I don’t know if my mother slept at all, but she returned to my hospital room a few hours later. 

Sometimes, even a grown-up, college-educated corporate executive needs her Mama… and Mama is always there…

Cheers to our devoted, loving, self-sacrificing mothers – we know we’ve made your hair gray (although, in my family, it never shows : ) and, yet, we hope we’ve made you proud.

Dedicated to the strong and loving women who raised me: Granny, Grandma Ruth and Veneita, and, of course, Mama.

 

© 2011, The Bold Pursuit sm, All Rights Reserved

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8 thoughts on ““Generations of Love”

  1. Clio – Your are perhaps the most creative author that I have ever had the opportunity to connect with. Your communication skills are limitless and finessed with artistry and imagination. Whether writing political commentary or a personal tribute to the generations of love in your family, your choice of words and expressions give spirit and entusiasm to your composition. The portrait that you have painted here has the energy of its author bringing life to a blank page. Your family must surely be honored by your message of praise and proud of the woman that you have become through their influence, guidance and affection. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you so much for such high praise, Genevieve. This tribute was the easiest essay I've ever written — perhaps because the words, feelings and memories were always in my heart.

  3. Thanks for sharing with us the women of your family who helped shape the Clio that we know and respect.

  4. Great story Clio. I remember my great grandparents too, but only because I can remember all the way back to my first year of life. You were fortunate to have them for so long. Great story, great author, and great parents. You have been blessed.

  5. I've never met anyone, John, who could remember back to their first year — amazing! Thank you for the lovely compliment. Yes, I was very blessed to have strong, opinionated, hard-working and loving women in my family tree. I hope I inherited some of their better attributes : )

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