© TBP Publishing 2011, The Bold Pursuit sm. All Rights Reserved
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
by Cynthia Toney
A woman whom I admired and grew to love now suffers from Alzheimer’s.
I met her when my future husband and I were only coworkers and new friends. She was pretty, with close-cropped silver hair and a trim figure. Quick-witted with a no-nonsense attitude, she appraised me, unsmiling, where I stood during our introduction.
During the course of dating my future husband, I learned about her career, which was quite impressive. She rose quickly in the ranks where she worked – first at a bank and then in state government. Commanding and detail-oriented, she managed a tight ship at home, too.
I am not inclined to seek the approval of others; but, for some reason, it was important for me to have hers – along with her love.
As we became better acquainted, she seemed to like me more, offering to do little things for me like picking up an item she knew that I needed while she was shopping. At first, she expected me to repay her, which I was happy to do.
We learned that we had much in common – gardening, a love for animals and sound financial management. As our relationship evolved, we became friends, and soon, in-laws.
She was one of the most intelligent women I had ever known. There was always something interesting to discuss when we were together. We laughed a lot, too. Each time we parted, we said, “I love you.”
After she retired and my father-in-law passed away, I began to notice that conversations between us became increasingly one-sided. She would often change the direction of our conversation and ramble about something unrelated to the subject that we were discussing.
After a series of more serious episodes, Alzheimer’s was suspected. She was tested and diagnosed. Her sons began managing her life; monitoring her medications, making sure she was eating properly and paying her bills. They continued to care for their mother until she required 24-hour assisted living in a retirement home.
It was difficult to watch her mind deteriorate so quickly over a few years and to accept this condition as her fate. Each time I’d visit her, I would try to help her elicit some memory of our past together. My efforts were not always successful.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to decorate a particular spot in my kitchen with a houseplant. I’m usually not a fan of houseplants – I consider them a nuisance. I knew that the plant known as a mother-in-law’s tongue would require little attention. My husband purchased one for me.
I yearn to tell my mother-in-law about my plant. I want to tease her about her own tongue, which was sometimes as sharp and pointed as these leaves, but I don’t think she would understand my affectionate jest.
Unlike my plant, it is not easy caring for my mother-in-law because of this life and memory-depriving disease. However, she deserves the best care we can give her.
Cynthia Toney is a Contributing Writer and Editor, The Bold Pursuit
© 2011, The Bold Pursuit sm, All Rights Reserved
Eighteen years have passed since I lost my Mother. It is incredible that I still embrace the precious moments that I shared with this marvelous woman. She was my best friend, confidante and source of strength when I felt unable to cope with life.
As an incorrigible child, I was fortunate that she believed in me and loved me unconditionally. Without her understanding and guidance, I would not have developed into the compassionate, caring person that I have become. Mom was the example of everything I hoped to be, but didn’t know how to achieve my aspirations. I asked her how I could be more like her – poised, empathetic and kind. She responded, without hesitation, that she was just like me when she was a child. What an unexpected revelation.
Mom was inspirational and giving. She taught me how to treat others with respect and dignity. She encouraged me when self-doubt and low self-esteem hindered my personal goals.
The center of my Mother’s life was her belief in God. She instilled the faith and conviction in me that anything is possible with God’s reinforcement and guidance. Her devotion never wavered even when life posed the most difficult challenges.
The memories inspired each Mother’s Day deepen my respect and admiration for my Mother – my companion, teacher and friend.
It will soon be twelve years since you passed away – twelve years since your last and final Mother’s Day here on earth. Twelve years later, and still I miss you. Every once in awhile I see or hear something that I know would amuse you, and I think to myself, I have to remember to tell Mom about that. Every once in awhile when I am driving on a certain road, I think, let me stop in for a quick visit with Mom and Dad. But both of you have a different address now.
On one of my last visits with you, as you were making your final preparations to meet Our Lord, you had an urgent request for me. It was to make sure that Dad would be okay. Even then, you were thinking of others. And I am happy to report that Dad lived out his days well taken care of. Of course you know that by now.
Although I am 63 years old, I still remember snippets of my very early childhood. I remember how I was your pride and joy, a kind of love that I would not fully understand until I, too, had a child of my own.
And although you were never harsh with me, although you never lectured me, you still found ways to impart to me your values, in ways that made a deep and lifelong impression. I still remember that pretty girl I met, and thought I might date, until it crossed my mind that she was not the sort that I could bring home to you. My life could have taken a very wrong turn without your invisible guidance.
One day there was a message on my phone. It was from your doctor. The news was bad. So began a few weeks that would turn my life upside down. Through it all, you were the courageous one. Knowing that your condition was incurable, knowing that the end would come soon, you demonstrated a faith that few others could keep under such circumstance. Yours was the bravery that does not deny fear, but rather conquers it. Yours was the serenity that is not untroubled, but which puts troubles in their proper perspective.
Mom, I cannot count the many ways in which you were an inspiration in this life. And the counting did not stop when you left this life. It goes on. True, I forge my own path now, but it is a path that would even now go very wrong were I never to pause and remember you.
When will we meet again? Perhaps soon, perhaps years from now, I do not know. But I look forward to it. And when next you greet me at heaven’s door, I know that you will greet me, and seat me at the kitchen table.
Gosh, Mom, how I do miss your cooking!
Robert Arvay is a regular contributor to The Patriot’s Notepad.
Governor Palin posted the following on Monday, May 2, 2011 on Facebook:
Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.
This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda’s other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.
May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!
– Sarah Palin
Retrieved from: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150170174408435.
(We thank our channel partner, US4Palin.com , for providing Governor Palin’s Facebook post)