As I read and edited the following paragraphs for a chapter in Thread of Love, I was reminded more vividly of my mother and her outreach of love to all who were part of her life. She must have been in her late 20’s when many of these family members lived with us. How did she do all that washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning? When I think back my memories are not about her performing any of those duties. My head is full of laughter and food on the kitchen table where we gathered each evening to share our ideas, our plans and our experiences of the day. My memories are of the joy and love I felt around that table. I realize now that all of this happened because of a young mother’s love not only for her two young children, but for her in-law brothers who had recently returned from war and the results of that war. They came home to my mother’s love. A love they never questioned.
I honor all those women in my life who have at some point shown me that unquestioning love, but none quite like the woman I called Mother. What a woman! Today again, I thank God for her.
Excerpt From THREAD OF LOVE
My parents were in love with one another. It was a fact of life for me. I never questioned it. We never talked about it and I didn’t realize the importance of the love between my parents until I was much older. Perhaps not even until I began to love a man myself.
My father had several brothers and sisters and all of them at some time or another lived with us. My father was the oldest and the most stable one in his family. A sister (my aunt) began living with us after the death of my grandfather I have no memories that do not include her as a part of our home and she became my older sister .Other of my father’s brothers and sometimes their wives lived with us at different times. Usually the new residents came when someone was without a job or returning home from the armed services or recently married or divorced. Few questions were asked.
The understanding in the family was that my mother and father would care for you until you could take care of yourself. Paying bills and providing food and a place to sleep for long intervals (sometimes months) for his siblings was not an unusual action for my father. And tying all of this together was my mother-cooking, cleaning. laughing, crying but most of all just loving. Parenting the entire family-not just her two children. And twined throughout it all was the love my parents showed to one another and the community.
Your comments about the preceding paragraphs which I am editing would certainly be appreciated. Thank you.