A friend of mine she cries at night
And she calls me on the phone
Sees babies everywhere she goes
And she wants one of her own
She’s waited long enough she says
And still she can’t decide
Pretty soon she’ll have to choose and it tears her up inside
She’s scared, scared she’ll run out of time
I see my folks, they’re getting old
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself
It’s what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take
When they’re staring’ back at you
Scared to run out of time
When did the choices get so hard?
With so much more at stake
Life gets mighty precious
When there’s less of it to waste
Scared to run out of time
Just when I thought I’d had enough
And all my tears were shed
No promise left unbroken
There were no painful words unsaid
You came along and showed me
How to leave it all behind
You opened up my heart again
And then much to my surprise
This may be a stretch but I wrote the following letter on this Mother’s Day morning to all the wonderful Mom’s in my life. It may not be a town or region but I myself have always felt most “at home” when I am immersed into motherhood…where ever I am. It is definitely my favorite place in the world.
Dear Beautiful Mothers:
It is such a beautiful morning. I am sitting outside with my coffee, and I just told James, I feel a little like a Disney heroine this morning…like maybe Snow White? I am surrounded by singing birds, bunnies, squirrels and my favorite crows (who come to my call each day). Surely, the seven dwarfs will show up soon…
I am thinking about what Motherhood has meant to me in my life.
I feel such overwhelming gratitude today, Mother’s Day, 2018, even though I had to start “mothering” at such a young age. I did a lousy, uninformed job of it with my younger sisters. (I did do a great job of it with Fluffy, the Duck and with Moose, my very first dog though.)
But what I got from that experience of early mothering was my life’s “calling”. I have been a mother, in one form or another for my entire life. I have never wondered if it was the right “job” for me. And I continue to be absolutely amazed that, for a large part of my adult life, I actually got paid to be a professional Mom…to hundreds…a few of whom, still honor me with that title today. Amazing! Unexpected! And what a privilege!
I lost my own mother so young but was blessed to have many teachers, mentors, counselors, borrowed Moms, and relatives who all gave me a little mothering along my path. My “adopted” Elaine/Mom took that job on in such a serious and permanent way, she was my mother for more than twice the number of years I got to have my first Mom.
One of my most important and beloved Mentor/Teacher/Auntie/Moms has been Jean Clarke. Lucky for me she taught me very early in our almost 50-year long relationship, that none of us can ever have too many good Mom’s! So, I have tried to live that philosophy…mothering others when I can and accepting that from others when I need it.
When Michael was in his early twenties, I apologized to him for having to be gone so much during his school years. As a single mom, there were years when I worked 3 jobs and was in school full time!! (How did I ever do that??) He said the kindest thing ever. He said “Mom, it’s OK. Don’t you realize what you did for me? I was never alone. You surrounded me with lots of other mothers to take care of me.”
Anyway, I wanted you each to know I think about you on this day.
Those of you who helped me raise Michael…
Those who trusted me to mother you…
Those who mothered me (and those who generously shared your mothers with me) …
Those in my tribe who still mother me today…
Those still mothering younger children with such dedication, creativity and love…
Those who mothered your children so beautifully, they have now become lovely adults…
And those who may still be waiting for the return of that one kid you mothered who has needed to be so very far away from you…I really understand that one…
But the Mom I am most grateful for today is my daughter’s mother, Barbara. I could not raise that beautiful little baby girl and I had to wonder for more than 20 years what mother my daughter had been given to. Now, I know the answer and what a wonderful, kind, loving, open-hearted mother she is. It shows up in her daughter, our daughter…
I am blessed beyond belief to have my daughter’s family in my life.
Happy Mother’s Day and thanks to you all.
I couldn’t really send out enough thank-you bouquets, so I made you all a slide show from my morning walk. I hope you enjoy it.
Love you all,
PS My sweet neighbor, Vasantha, recently gave me an out of the blue, and for no occasion gift, the very best kind! She gave me two pieces of jewelry she said reminded her of me; a ring (blue and silver) and a Two-Cat pin, complete with moving tails. She wrote a lovely card that said “to one who nurtures birds with broken wings, embraces stray cats, and gives shelter to folks wholeheartedly…”
My motherhood recognized…unsolicited. What a gift!
PS Again-And who would have ever thought at this point in my life I would have also earned the title of BUG MOTHER!!!
Final PS, I promise- Don’t even let me get started on Grand-mothering!!!
I love my son…more than anything else…in the way only the single mother of an only child can understand.
He and his sons live with me now. They are here to help me out.
I imagined his moving in with me would enhance our relationship…we are both old enough to be true friends now. He is 45. I am 69. I thought we would talk all the time, every day!
But his life as a single Dad is packed!
So it is loudly silent around here sometimes.
Music has always been a bond for us and one day, when I had almost become dissatisfied with his silence, he sat me down to share a music video with me. He told me the first time through I should be very patient, keep my eyes closed, and wait for it.
By the second run through, we were holding hands and crying, both so f-ing moved by this amazing performance.
You may well have heard it before. I have even posted about it before but if you haven’t, treat yourself to a listen, with an open mind and heart (and your volume cranked up!!!)
Ironic to be posting a song when the theme this week is silence, but how could I not share it?
Here is “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed.
Remember, don’t judge, just wait for it….It is everything BUT Silence!
Oh Helen, what a sensitive subject for me these days, as I am really feeling my age.
I asked James what song he thought of when I said “getting old”. Immediately he said “When I’m 64” by the Beatles. A few years back that would have been my choice also but since that number is behind me, I think I’ll take the opposite approach now.
Personal history of the song I chose. Along with many other therapists, for many years we did a 5-day long immersion-type therapeutic retreat called Experiencing Enough. Originally designed based on the belief that almost every single issue in people’s lives, as well as in the world, can be traced back to the mistaken belief that there just isn’t enough to go around for everyone. Siblings fight over scarcity. Marriages end. Companies fold. Religions compete. And wars are fought over this erroneous idea. (This was back in the 1980’s and 90’s when there still might have been enough. Now I’m not so sure…)
Anyway, one of the main songs we played and sang was Forever Young…to address the idea that there was not enough “time”.
So that is my song choice for this week’s theme. “Forever Young”, written by Bob Dylan.
Now comes the hard choice, whose version of this song?? So many amazing musicians have covered this classic. You can read about it on Wikipedia:
But I have to say, my favorite is still by Joan Baez. Here is an older version (with lyrics)
I encourage you to also check out the 2016 YouTube video of a Joan Baez concert called
All Star 75th Birthday Celebration
Joan and many other famous musicians who join her, put on a show that can change the way you look at aging. I found it so inspirational. The video is set up so you can click at the beginnings of each song (and each new performer that joins her), and skip ahead if you wish. Forever Young is the final song. Not the best quality but so worth watching. (Some night when there is nothing on TV if you must.) She is amazing and many of her guests are similar ages, so they are all models for aging with passion and beauty.