What can Generations of Mothering teach us?

My mother is about to turn 91 on the 4th of July.  My memories of my mom and her mother, Nana and my Dad’s mother, Gammie are very vivid to me.  You see even though my mom celebrates her 91st B-day she has been ‘gone’ for over a decade as she has Alzheimer’s disease. So, when I say memories it’s the conversations and experiences with my mom and grandmothers I am referring to.

My mom’s mom, Nana, was of German decent and she was very stereotypical of her heritage.  Strict was her nature with everything, but the love I felt from her was never rigid. Even though we had to eat with the proper fork, come up from the beach at noon for lunch; taking off our wet swim suits & putting on clothes, if only for that hour and getting a big bear hug from her whether we liked it or not, I never questioned whether she loved me!

She gave me who she was…

My Dad’s mom, Gammie, was a slight woman, who we always thought if the wind blew too hard one day she’d fly away.  She never flew in an airplane or drove a car or took care of her household but she always showed her love to her family and the birds she adored who actually remind us all of her; fragile, but beautifully lovable.

She gave me who she was…

Both my grandmothers, Gammie and Nana had one thing in common that I loved, filled candy dishes. Nana with chocolate non-pareils and Gammie with jelly beans.  To this day I barely get through a day without a non-pareil!  They both showed their love by being exactly who they were and giving me the best of themselves.

My Mom still remains lovable with all she has left of who she is!  I can only hope when I become a grandmother myself I’ll give the best parts of me to my grandchildren as I have to my children, so the tradition of who we are and what we can give as mothers will pass on to the next generation.

Mother’s Day is a reminder to me to be thankful for the time and presence these women gave to me in the only way they knew how and try to duplicate that for my kid’s children in the next generation.

Cherish your mom, grandmothers and all mothers for giving life to you and all they could give to you,

Dr. Ann