The title of this post 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.” Although her book is for pregnant women, I find the exercise relevant to my personal situation in midlife.
If my mother were alive, she would be 80 years old today (and her twin brother is celebrating!), but she died in 1970 at age 37, more than half of an 80-year life span ago. As this date approached, I found myself wanting to mark it somehow but lacking any specific ideas. Finally I realized that my desire is to claim her and give her back her place in the chain; she had been erased and needs to be put back. The written “chain” below follows Frymer-Kensky’s template, and the photo gallery adds a few visuals. My mother’s life was far too short but I know her love is eternal.
I am Peg,
writer, leader, wife of Joe
mother of Michael, Kieran and Christian
daughter of Mary Lee, who is
wife of Al, nurse, breast cancer victim
mother of Mike, Kate, Peg and Tim (and two lost baby girls)
daughter of Julia and Lee
sister of Jim, Bill, Judy and Jeanne
(Click on the photos to enlarge and view captions.)