Mothers Mine

If you read this earlier, i somehow managed to delete several mothers of mine in my last edit. i am older now and it was later then. It was a good idea last night, but i should have waited for a final edit this morning. Here was what was intended:

i am up way too late. But i have a mission.

It’s a mission i’m not too thrilled about but feel it needs to be done. You see, i don’t particularly like honoring folks because it’s some mandated special day. i’m fine with Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving, but the rest of them seem a little contrived, like you’re sending stuff or writing stuff or sharing photos of whomever is to be honored. And those silly things like Valentine’s and even Halloween seem more like marketing opportunities that we all buy into because we like to celebrate something and take time off from other things.

Just not into it.

But tomorrow’s another thing.

It’s Mother’s Day. i might send something to some of the mothers i know, but it will be as much because i don’t want them to think i don’t honor, respect, and love them as it will be because i want to do it on the second Sunday in May. It’s nice and all, but i’m over it. i would much rather take a day on my own and call or write or send something special from me…or maybe a dinner. But from me, not dictated from on high.

Still, they are something special, these mothers. Not anything like them. Certainly not dads. That’s another category of special.

i would like to write something elegant and respectful, but i think it will just get lost in the wash of loving sentiments about moms that will fill up most media and communications tomorrow.

So i just wanted you to know that i’ve been very lucky with this mom thing. i’ve had a number more than the immediate ones shown here. Their ability to be good moms is a special, wonderful, and very difficult thing. i know about the latter because i tried to do it for about a half-dozen years or more with Sarah…and came up way short of real moms.

So here they are with a few comments:

Aunt Bettye Kate Hall, my mother’s sister. She was a second mom to all her nieces, nephews, and any child who happened to cross her path. She is here with Tommy Duff a couple of years ago.
Carla Neggers, wife of my brother. She’s an incredible novelist, but her love and attention to Kate (i stole this one from Kate’s website), Zachary, and her grandchildren is beautiful to behold.
My sister Martha Duff with one of her twin grandsons (i think this is Culley). There has never been a mom with more love and strength than Martha. She is like a second mother to Sarah as Aunt Bettye Kate was to me.
A troika of moms with theirs in the center. Granny was a phenomenal woman, who survived hardships, hard work to give great love to all of her children and grandchildren. An amazing woman. Here she is surrounded by Aunt Bettye Kate, my second mom; Aunt Evelyn Orr, my third mom and a wonderful caring mother to Nancy and Jon; and my mother.
Aunt Colleen, married to my Uncle Bill Prichard, was a special one. She raised six children, but she adopted all of the children in the family. Nancy and Jon Orr, shown here were the first two. Strong willed, religious, funny, and beautiful.
Mama Jewell, my paternal grandmother. She died in 1951, way too soon for me. But her sweetness and love for her seven children and innumerable grand children was palpable. Although i was only seven when she passed away, i clearly remember how much love and protection she gave me.
In addition to Mama Jewell, there are six of my mothers here. Myrtle, Joann, and Shirley Jewell were frequently my baby sitters, especially Shirley (middle front; the goofy one is on Uncle Jesse’s shoulder). Their mother Alice (second from right) watched over them to make sure they were taking care of me. i can remember sitting in her lap with a warm, comfortable feeling. Aunt Louise (standing with Uncle Huffman) was also a mother of mine when growing up, and we have grown closer over the years — one of my greater disappointments in not going back home recently was i did not get to spend some time with her. Then, there was Aunt Naomi Martin, Daddy’s oldest sister. She was elegant. She raised Maxwell with love and affection while working from when she finished high school, and oh did i love to stay with her. Her stories were simply knee-slapping fun.
Yep, this mother is mine. i included him here because they went together. Always. She and Sarah had a special bond from the start, but Estelle Jewell had that equally with Blythe and with all of her children and grandchildren. She was strict when required, but everything she did was driven by her love for that man, her children, and her great grandchildren.
Kathie is Blythe’s mom (i stole this one off of Blythe’s Facebook page). We have had our problems but i always trusted Kathie with our daughter because i knew how much she loves her. For that i am grateful. She is a special mother and grandmother.
There is this double-whammy who is most special to me. Blythe is a successful businesswoman, a wonderful and entertaining writer, the best editor i’ve ever run across, and she is my first daughter. Over and above that, she is one of the best mothers i’ve ever observed. She has unending love for her son, my grandson Sam. She nurtures him, challenges him, she disciplines him with the goal of making him a success in life. It is rather incredible to watch these two together. i am truly in love with both of them.


And then there is this one, probably the most special because she lives with me, and in some…no, many ways takes care of me like a mother would. She is here with Sarah at high school graduation, but she embraces Blythe as her own.

And there you have it. Not very majestic and because it’s late, probably not such a wonderful tribute. But i love them all for being mothers for me, if not to me. i have been extremely lucky in that category, but i suspect most offspring have such feelings today and tomorrow about their mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.

and good night.

i think i got it right this morning.

1 thought on “Mothers Mine

  1. That was a beautiful tribute to the women in your life. You’ve obviously had the love and nurturing of very strong, yet gentle women. And just an aside, Michael feels the same way about ‘special’ days. He chooses to give just ‘because’.

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