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Mary's Moments Blog Post

Legacy of Love

As Mother's Day approaches, it's impossible not to reflect on what has shaped my understanding of motherhood. From my grandmother, who epitomized love and nurturing, to my mother, to my own journey through motherhood and now watching my daughter embrace this new role, the journey is unique as much as it is universal.




A Grandmother's Embrace:



Growing up, my grandmother's home was a sanctuary. The whirlwind of changes that happened in our lives, felt distant when I was under her care. She was the embodiment of love and patience, a testament to the nurturing power of grandmothers. Her home was not just a place; it was a time capsule of comfort and unconditional love.  Even through turbulent adolescence years, the essence of her home remained unchanged. Her wisdom, stories, and the warmth of her heart are memories that are etched into my being. She lived well into her 90's and was an integral part of my life. I miss her very much. Daily phone calls and monthly visits with my children allowed her legacy of love to extend to another generation, creating bonds that are as timeless as they are deep.




A Mother's Sacrifice:


My mother's path was marked by resilience and sacrifice. When my parents divorced, it was a challenging time for us. We lived with my grandparents for awhile which provided stability while my mom got on her feet.  From there, we lived in subsidized housing as she navigated the complexities of being a single mom. Despite the hurdles, she worked tirelessly to provide for my brother and I.  This didn’t take away from the love she had for us in the least.  Life can be complicated, and for reasons that aren't always visible to others might make it hard for a mom to be there for everything. It's all about understanding, recognizing that everyone is doing their best with the circumstances they have.  I saw and appreciated the love she put into being a mom, even when it was really tough.


There was a sense of new beginnings when she met and married my step father, but the scars of those early sacrifices lingered.  She did not have an easy life.  After having my own children, we were together as often as we could be given she continued to work full time.  When we were together, there was much love and many fond memories made. We have lots of photos of them together with the kids and you can see the love and deep affections radiating from those. After her retirement and the passing of my step father, she moved in with us.  These past years have allowed her to further nurture those special bonds with her grandchildren.

 

Embracing Motherhood


In the 1990s it was my turn.  Definitely a journey filled with its own set of challenges and triumphs. Being a hands-on mom to two girls was my priority. Whether it was volunteering at their schools, cheering them on at dance recitals, gymnastics, softball, soccer or horseback riding lessons, I was there. My approach to motherhood was shaped by the women who came before me—their sacrifices, their love, and their resilience.


Mothering a neurodiverse daughter added another layer to my understanding of motherhood. It has been and continues to be a journey of learning, of advocating for her needs, and above all, loving unconditionally. In these moments, lessons from my grandmother and mother shine through.  Their legacy of strength, perseverance, and boundless love guide me through the complexities of raising a neurodiverse child.


A New Generation:


Watching my daughter navigate her first 11 months in this role has been a profound experience. The challenges she faces are both familiar and entirely new for the world we live in today. Her journey is her own, yet it is intertwined with the wisdom passed down through generations. As a grandmother, my role is to support, to love, and to share the stories of the women who came before her. It's a role I embrace with all my heart, understanding now more than ever the importance of this matriarchal lineage.



Motherhood is a big ball of sacrifice, love, resilience, and joy all rolled up together. Each generation adds its own colors and patterns, shaped by the times they live in and the challenges they face. From my grandmother's loving care to my mother's sacrifices and my own journey, motherhood remains unchanged. It is about loving unconditionally, being present in the moments that matter, encouraging and providing strength that comes from navigating the complexities of life.  As each generation learns from the one before, they add their own chapter to this ongoing story of love and resilience.


A story from days gone by:


The History of Aprons


“I believe that most children today are unaware of what an apron is.  The primary purpose of a Mom’s or Grandma’s apron was to safeguard the dress beneath since they only had a few.  Additionally, aprons were easier to clean than dresses and used less material.  However, they also served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.


It was wonderful for drying children’s tears and on occasion, was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.  From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs and fussy chicks. 


When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.  And when the weather was cold, she wrapped it around her arms.


Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow bent over the hot stove.  Chips and kindling were brought into the kitchen in that apron.  From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.


In the Fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.  When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that apron could dust in a matter of seconds.


When dinner was ready, she walked out onto the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner.


It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.


In the past, mothers and grandmothers would place freshly baked apple pies on the windowsill to cool.  Nowadays, their granddaughters set them on the windowsill to defrost.


They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. 

But..... I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – except for love.”


Moms do a lot of amazing things every day that often go unnoticed. They make sure there's food on the table, clean clothes to wear, and that everyone gets where they need to be on time. They're often the ones who remember to sign the permission slips, pack the lunches, put the band-aids on scraped knees and attend appointments. Some work outside the home and still manage the day to day needs of the family. 


Moms are there to listen when we have a bad day, even if they're having one too. They do all these things without expecting a thank you because they love their children and want what’s best for them. It’s absolutely impossible to list all things day in and day out but they add up to a lot of love and care that makes every day better for their families.


The circle of love, unbroken and ever-expanding. Each of us has navigated our own path, faced our own challenges, and celebrated our own joys. Yet, at the heart of it all is a love that transcends time—a love that nurtures, sacrifices, and endures. It's a love that speaks to the strength of women, to the bonds that connect us across generations, and the legacy we pass on.


Another very important journey worth mentioning is that of adoptive mothers. They choose to open their hearts and homes to children, offering them love, security, and the warmth of a family. These amazing moms show us that the bond of motherhood isn't just formed by birth. It's made from the countless moments of care, understanding, and unconditional love they share with their children every day. They remind us that families come in all shapes and sizes, but the love that holds them together is always the same.


Mother-in-laws and other wonderful women who step into mothering roles also deserve recognition. They might not be moms by birth, but they choose to love and support just the same. Whether it’s the wise advice from a mother-in-law, the nurturing care of a stepmom, or the supportive hug of an aunt or family friend, these women enrich our lives in countless ways. They prove that mothering is not just about biology; it’s about caring, guiding, and loving someone else more than yourself.


Each are heroes, teaching the true meaning of family and love.





We need to celebrate today and every day for the warmth, wisdom, and joy they bring into our lives.


To all the motherly figures making the world a better place. 

 

Happy Mother’s Day! 🩷

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