Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saluting Mothers! -- Anne McAllister

This blog is a little late in the day because we've been celebrating Mother's Day (and yesterday I wasn't anywhere that the computer could get a signal).

Things have been a little fraught here lately.  Changes are coming, and thinking about that in conjunction with Mother's Day has made me think of a lot of the changes in the lives of mothers I know -- and how they handled them.

My maternal great-grandmother picked up her life and moved to Butte, Montana from England to follow her miner husband, bringing with her two little girls.  She liked civilization. She didn't get a lot of it in late nineteenth-century Butte.  She coped. With grace.

My maternal grandmother grew up in Butte.  She didn't have a lot of expectations. Good thing, too, as she was never disappointed.  She was strong, resilient, worked like a horse, and gave her daughters a role model they revered.
She gave her grandchildren her time, her interest, her unwavering support, and her unswerving faith.  We couldn't have asked for better.

My mother had high expectations. Some of them were disappointed.  She learned how to deal with them, how to be kind in the face of adversity, how to take the higher road,
and do what needed to be done.

Another great-grandmother left Germany with two little girls to marry a man in Iowa with three little children.  I suspect her brother suggested the marriage.  She and her prospective husband had never met.  It took a leap of faith and real desperation to make that kind of move.

Another made a home in the literal wilds of west Texas for her husband, children and an increasing number of grandchildren who came to 'visit' and whom she ended up raising.

All of them met challenges with determination and inner strength.  They gave me lots of family values on which to build my own life.

I see my daughter meeting challenges every day that I never had to face. She does so with fortitude and grace and a wry wit that makes me terribly proud of her.  Earlier this month I watched my daughters-in-law, each in her own way, do wonderful things which will make their own children stronger as they grow up.

These women all embody the sorts of women I write as heroines in my books.  They are the sorts of women I admire --- independent yet nurturing, resilient yet flexible, strong and capable, understanding and at the same time challenging.  They are supportive, but they are never doormats. They have individual goals, but they also share goals with their husbands and families -- and they bring out the best in all of them.

So, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers.  May you all feel about your own mother the way I feel, the way my six year old grandson, Henk, feels.  He wrote to his mother this morning, "Of all the moms in the world, I got the best!"

What's your most special memory about your mom?  Please share with us.


dstoutholcomb said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Anne McAllister said...

A very happy mother's day to you, too!