I wrote this post on what would have been my mom’s 80th birthday in 2013. She had died in 1970 at age 37, more than half of an 80-year life span earlier. As the date approached, I found myself wanting to mark it somehow but lacking any specific ideas. Finally, I realized that my desire was to claim her and give her back her place in the chain; she had been erased and needed to be put back. I updated it in 2020 to consciously mark motherless mother’s day for myself.
My mother’s life was far too short but her presence continues, as does the chain of life. For Motherless Mother’s Day 2020, I updated the Chain to include our newly born first grandchild.
The title and format of the poem below comes from a reflection by the same name in Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s collection Motherprayer, in which she suggests creating “a genealogical chain celebrating the handing over of motherhood from generation to generation.”
Chain of Me
I am Peg,
writer, healer, wife of Joe
mother of Michael, mother in law of Kathryn
grandmother of Eliza Christine
mother of Kieran
mother of Christian
daughter of Mary Lee, who is
nurse, breast cancer victim, wife of Al
mother of Mike, Kate, Peg and Tim (and two lost baby girls)
grandmother of Katie, Megan, Kelly, Michael, Kevin, Michael, Kieran, Christian, Zak,Bridget
granddaughter of Julia, who is
wife of Lee
mother of Mary Lee, mother in law of Al
granddaughter of Alice, who is
wife of Al
mother of Al, mother in law of Mary Lee
(Click on the photos to enlarge and view captions.)
So today is Mary’s 80th birthday! As you know, I “see” her often at Gate of Heaven. Happiest of birthdays, Mary! Today is also the birthday of my niece-goddaughter, who is pregnant. I’ll be sending “Motherprayer” to her. Thank you for the recommendation.
Thanks, Cabrini!! Hope you’ll consider sending your niece my book on spiritual birth preparation as well.
As you see, Peg, my goddaughter’s mother is sending her your book. I’ll add “Motherprayer.”
Yes! I have processed the order.
the sister of Cabrini, and mother of the niece-goddaughter, weighing in here. I am so delighted by this column and by the time of its arrival. All the way through reading it, I was thinking “Yes, Yes” and then to see my own birth-life family appear!
My mother and her mother (whom I barely knew) are the strongest possible, and most happily profound spiritual mothers as well. They, by humor, faith, determination, good sense, have put their feet upon a path of motherhood that has left for me a way to follow that was/is clear, and easy walking. May I order a copy, signed, of your book? Send me an email off site and we’ll get this going.
Hi Sheila! Love how our “chains” connect! Will get on the book order right away. Will this be your first grandchild?
Ah, Peg, wanted you to know that the book arrived safe in Lael’s hands today. When we spoke she had already read the intro. Thanks for the prompt dispatch. This is her third, our sixth. Blessings all over the place.
[…] in 2013 I have marked on this blog the day my mother would have been 80, the day I turned 50, and now today we celebrate our daughter’s 20th birthday. I rather like […]