“The Chain of Me”

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.)

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9 Responses to “The Chain of Me”

  1. Mary-Cabrini Durkin says:

    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.

  2. Peg Conway says:

    Thanks, Cabrini!! Hope you’ll consider sending your niece my book on spiritual birth preparation as well.

  3. Sheila Durkin Dierks says:

    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.
    Thank you.

  4. Peg Conway says:

    Hi Sheila! Love how our “chains” connect! Will get on the book order right away. Will this be your first grandchild?

  5. Sheila Durkin Dierks says:

    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.

  6. Pingback: A Daughter Turns 20 | Sense of the Faithful

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