Friday, May 8, 2009

Memories and Mothers

I was thinking about the women who helped shape my life for Mother’s Day and how I might honor them. I thought going through the family photo album might give me an idea and then it came to me: photos of photos. Some of the photos, though old and faded give off some of the dynamism of these women and it made sense to share it with you. as always click each photo for a better view.

First there is my mother's iron will

I have several photos of her but this is the one I love. I say that because we rarely think of our parents being young. This picture shows a young, carefree, country girl who has come to the city. It has none of the iron will she exhibited after getting married to find a job and make a living during the depression or later keep track of six children.

I remember her as always reassuring in that if she promised you something you could be certain she would move heaven and earth to keep that promise. It was only later in my own life that I realized this part of her character was her glory but also a huge burden once I followed the behavior.

As I look at this photo I recognize my smile and get a sense of her being very young and carefree…

Followed by my namesake

My grandmother, Mama Cherrie, was a woman among women. Whenever I think of her I always hear her high pitched sing song voice and remember her standing at the door to her house welcoming me with “Come on in… I’m so glad to see you!” and she always was.

She was Grandmother to the entire neighborhood. She knew everyone’s birthday and you did not have to be a relative. I remember as a kid living for two things during the year, my birthday and the Easter egg hunt because she orchestrated both.

She loved children but also had standards. If you were invited to dinner, despite being a child, you were expected to sit up straight at the table and provide conversation if spoken to by an adult. I remember it as a trial by fire that I always aspired to.

And finally my sense of adventure

My Godmother was the adventurous sort who inspired my desire to do the unexpected. I say that because she was a character full of contradictions. For example, she never learned to drive but could give driving directions to anywhere including the shortcuts.

I was jealous of the fact my sister had a Godmother and I did not. So, when she came to visit my mother one day I told her “You are going to be my Godmother!” And she agreed.

She made her world large by being willing to try anything and I loved her for it.

They are are all dead now but each lives on somehow in me. And this Mother's Day I will think about them and smile...


  1. What a great tribute to the women who shaped you... I was very tight w/my maternal grandma... She would share secrets, also let me do the things my own mother wouldn't let me do... She also enlightened me about my mother when she was a child .... The things that my mother would do that irritated me and my Grandma brought us closer... Little quirks...I still remember reciting the Lord's Prayer w/her when I would spend the night w/her... She said that prayer every night....I miss her so and wished she had seen how her grandchildren had grown and also meet Eric... LOL I am sure she would give me an earful..

  2. Chrissy,

    I had to smile when I read how your grandma would let you do things your mother would not. I can remember that as well and carry on the tradition with my little niece. I'm also reminded of the quote "No one ever dies, as long as they live on in the memory of others..." Enjoy your day!

  3. Oh, what a sweet memory of your pictures !

  4. This is indeed a lovely and moving tribute to your "Moms" ! One of my favorite writers (and philosopher, Gabriel Marcel) once said : "To love someone is to say : You, you'll never die". And I would (humbly, as usual :) would add : Grand mothers should never die. God bless you Cherrie !

  5. Nomore and JLBO,

    This post was a labor of love and happy tears as I remembered all the good times I shared with them. Each of us I'm sure has a memory of someone who gave support and direction.