This one’s for you, Mom.
Storytelling. Good morning from snowy Vermont. My mom grew up and reached adulthood in the outskirts of Montreal. In the early 1950s she married my father, a Vermont farmer, and moved in with my dad’s parents in the old homestead farmhouse my dad was born in, on a lovely piece of land. She tells me that the transition was jarring, city life activities shut down cold by farmer’s hours, chores, and babies. Whole families would come unannounced to stay for days or weeks at the homestead, and one of Mom’s biggest challenges was to feed everyone. No one went hungry, although the fear of it hid in the corners of the kitchen. You would think that farm life and six kids in nine years would have sucked the life right out of her, and it did occasionally, but never completely. Love and faith were her steadfast companions.
My parents sold most of the farm about fifteen years ago and retired. They built themselves a modern, efficient new home with normal height counters, a dishwasher, and no wood stoves. But some things haven’t changed. People still drop in without notice and she still feeds them. In fact, we joke with her that her tombstone will read: “I fed them all!”
My mom turns 84 this week. As she gets slighter and moves more deliberately, her spirit seems to shine stronger, and when she hugs us we can feel it hydrating us with the nutrients of life. She in turn soaks in the love we all give her, as we check in nearly every day with her and my dad to make sure they are okay, and to fill her in with the details of our lives. Most of us still speak to her in French, our lingering mother tongue.
I dedicate this blog to her today because she’s been my main model for kindness, in my life and in my stories. And at this age, every time she has a birthday it’s darn good news. Happy Birthday, Mom. I’m so glad you were born.
Is there someone in your life whose hugs fill you with nutrients? Check in next week for another segment of Finding Home.