Saturday, May 8, 2010

Non-Mothers on Mother's Day

Today I realized that the four strongest women I have known in my life are now gone, deceased. Two were not mothers, one was the mother of three (my mom), and the other, the mother of one (a dear, dear old friend).

One of the childless women was my beloved great-great Aunt Kate. She was the sister of my mother's mother. She and my beloved Uncle Joe were the most nurturing non-parents I met while growing up. She gave totally unconditional love. She was already old, it seemed to me, at my earliest remembrance of her. If I had gone to her and said I had murdered someone, she would have cried with me, hugged me, told me she was sure I didn't mean to do it. Then, after we dried our tears, she'd have tried to talk me into doing the right thing. She raised half the kids in our extended families if their parents were too tired or overwrought to do it themselves, or nobody seemed to favor a particular child, or whatever tossed the kids into her path. She spoiled us rotten but made us do chores. I wish I had told her how much she meant to me. She passed on when I was in my 30s, during my rather selfish alcoholic days.

The other childless woman was my younger sister, by 11 months, Betty. Betty did not want kids. She was afraid she might accidentally hurt them. She was bi-polar and it saddened her when she could not control her emotional outbursts on her own, without meds. But she "mothered" every adult who came her way, including her big sister. Again, if I had gone to her with the same situation as with my aunt, saying I had done harm to someone, she would have told me she was sure I did not mean it. She was filled, as was Aunt Kate, with unconditional love. Having gone through AA, she freely shared her experience with anyone who came her way - I saw God put perfect strangers in her path in a grocery checkout line, my sis somehow mentioning AA, the customer mentioning a family member, both of them sharing contact info, and then becoming friends, with my sis worrying about her new friend's loved one. She had nothing, financially, living on disability from her 40s onward, but she'd give her last dollar to anyone who needed it. She just passed on in December, but I did at least manage to tell her, as often as possible, how much I loved her and valued her love.

Neither woman had money. My aunt worked as a domestic for wealthy families in Philly; my sis was on early disability due to her bi-polar issues and short term memory loss due to a brain aneurysm.

So, this Mother's Day, my heart is filled with warm, happy loving memories of two beloved non-mothers who blessed my life. I am grateful for them, and for the fact that they were born before parents had a chance to abort babies - I might never have known their love.

Father in heaven, thank you with all my heart for the blessing of these two wonderful women in my life; I will be eternally grateful for their love.

1 comment:

Peach Rainbow said...

That's true.
Sometimes, Just because someone gave birth, they cannot be a good mother, but someone who has never given birth can.