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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Reflection

Are You My Mother?

You are being held in a wider embrace, one more ancient than your own understanding.

Celeste Snowber

In 1957, P.D. Eastman wrote Are You My Mother? which was—and still is—a popular children’s book. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all liked to pick up this book and read about the antics of these magical and fun animals and people featured in the stories and read with a lyrical rhythm.

In this story, a baby bird is born while his mother is on the ground just below the tree branch where her nest sits, hunting for food. He begins to look for his mother. He looks up and down and all around. Not finding her, he steps out of his nest and plunks on the ground after a long fall. He could walk but not fly, so he decided he would now go and find his mother.

He begins his quest not knowing what his mother looks like. He doesn’t even know what he looks like. I read the story to my children often and to myself, alone, many times. I knew I was on the same quest, having so many unanswered questions about my own birth mother in the early 1970s. On a page in the book I saw an illustration of an eager baby bird on a search for his mother where he was often sad and alone, or afraid and brave at the same time.

The newborn bird is puzzled. He must find his mother and he does not know that he walked right by her at the bottom of the tree when he first began his search. He does not see her behind the rock pulling up a worm to feed him and he doesn’t realize she is close by all the time.

Asking a kitten, a hen, and a dog if they are his mother, he becomes somewhat discouraged because, of course, they are not his mother. He begins to question if he really does have a mother, but he is sure he must have one and is more determined than ever to find her. He begins to find mechanical things like a bulldozer, a boat, and a plane.

“Here I am, Mother,” he called out. But each thing goes on its own way, with no response. Except the bulldozer which makes a loud “snort” and picks the baby bird up in its shovel basket. The bulldozer lifts him up in the air and returns the frightened baby bird back to the nest from which he came. Just then, mother bird returns with the worm to feed her adventurous, hungry infant.

“Do you know who I am?” she asks baby bird.

And baby bird did know because she was not a kitten, or a hen, or a dog, or a cow, or a boat, or a plane. She was a bird.

“You are my mother!”

The pages of the story of this baby bird summarize the same quest I had been on for many years. I felt the uncertainty and the search of the small bird was like my own. I realized in small bits that it was all right for me to search—even necessary—to make me whole with my mother.

I felt the loneliness within the search that I needed to identify, wrangle with, acknowledge, hurt with, and eventually come to accept and make peace with. It did not pit one mother against the other. They each had their own space within me.

I had a mother, different from the one I called Mom. I was a daughter who became a mother. I would bring my mother, now a grandmother, back into our family-fold.

 

 Bird Watching

She lays

Hidden for the most part

Waiting and watching

With her beating heart

Her feathered body spread

Wide in the nest, an act

Of full creation.

One Mother

Bird, two eggs

Pulsing new life

Of wing-tipped grace

Into the world

And their own special place.

Procreation and expansion

As the fragile shell

Gives way

To life seeking life.

The rhythm of life

And love goes on,

     goes on

          goes on.

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Blessed to BE

Sue & Tom

Taking comfort in my family blessings and graces today. I am blessed to be wife and mother.

Blessed Are You Among Women

Sue & Girls Lexington

“Hail Mary, full of Grace
The Lord is with you.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb
, Jesus”

Family Disney

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful family of women
who express in the world the highest esteem, respect and
faith in motherhood.

You set the foundation of our country
and give our future hope, otherwise unrealized.

I will call you by name:

Grandmothers:  Katherine Heffron, with whom I shared little girl stories and private sharings of what grandma was like in the “prairie days.” Grandma Tanberg with whom I shared blood heritage, giggles and hugs. Grandma Thompson, only a short stint of summer farm days. (But a secret alcove upstairs in the farmhouse, where I spent many hours alone going through scraps of fabrics and antiques of great-grandma and grandma’s possessions nobody else cared about).

Three beautiful mothers:  Doris Tanberg Heffron, who gave me birth and told her best friend, motherhood was the purpose of her life, which ended here on earth a few days after my birth. She was also mother to my older brother Dave, whom she told my father in the Catholic orphanage that: “this was the baby for us; nobody else would love him like I can.” So Dave got a sister a short year and one-half after he became first sibling in our family; me.

Marion Heffron – the mother I knew and loved from age 2, who created a home for us, being dad, Dave, younger brother John and me.  Mom’s creativity was homemaking par excellence and a soft, caring heart for others. She was in love with her grandchildren and puffed with pride at our daughters’ accomplishments, enjoying many of them before she died of Alzheimers. She loved it when Great-grandson Andrew pushed her wheel chair fast for her trips around the nursing home. She laughed and laughed and probably remembered herself doing what others said she did: “She drove fast!

Frances Helminski Hajec – I fell in love with my ” newest mom” the first day I met her when Tom brought his “intended” home to his family.  Mom was a gift of Mary to all her future daughters-in-law, who wanted nothing more than each of her sons to be loved and cared for by a good woman. And she DID get her wish 100%.

Mary mother of God

Andrew and Great Buscia

Little Kelly

Daughters: Laura Sue Hajec Mitchell, wife of Carl Mitchell and mother of Amy; Kathleen Marie Hajec Warriner, wife of Gregory Warriner and mother of Devon and Andrew. Two daughters who grace the world with their gifts and talents of giving and focus on motherhood. They and their children make this world better by their being here.

Grama,Devon & Amy

Baptism Cloth

Andrew and Me

Bed time pals

Kathleen and Clarinet

Laura baby Amy

Amy and Dr. mom

Happy Mothers Day to sisters in-law Joan Heffron, wife of John and Linda Brown Heffron, wife of David who have been with us for many family celebrations and added to our lives with their creativity and generosity and presence.

Sisters in-law:  (Stan’s) Lucy Hajec, mother of Nick, Chris and Katie. We shared many summer vacations with them in Delaware with the young cousins romping about at the shore.

(Joe’s) Susan Hajec, mother and grandmother focused entirely on faith, family and health.  (and swimming!)

Mimi and grandson Robert

Susan - swimming

(Dave’s) Donna Hajec – Gentle, quiet presence with direction. A guardian angel of a mother to her children.

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(Mike’s) Shirley Hajec – Center stage for laughter, fueled by a passion for living in the moment with what life gives you. A heart of deep compassion,  and …… quietness is not her thing!

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(Dave’s) Mary Hajec Russell –  Mary, the “apple of her five brothers’ eye”, the baby of the family grew in grace, as the prayer says. Mother to three wonderful boys, grown to fine men. The thing I remember Mary saying the most was “my boys”. That defined her life and now she enjoys those boys and their families,  Jeff, Dan, and Tim.

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My nieces and nephews from these families offer evidence that family comes first. As they share snippets of their family joys on Facebook, their aged aunt can enjoy the life-affirming values of love and family along with them. Each one, in their own way, live daily lives of creative energies going out across the land. Just as important is that love is taking root deep within their private lives, thus contributing to a growing goodness within our society.

And that makes for a very happy and joyous Mother’s Day.

Becky’s  and Ean’s children.

Becky's children

Donna and Dave’s son Brian and grandson Logan.

Brian & Logan

Happy Mother’s Day Brittany, mother to Nora. (lucky Charlie’s beloved wife).

Brittany & Charlie

Go Green! Nathan and Kyle, sons of Jeni and Dan Gould. God bless you all.

Danny and Jeni's boys - Kyle & Nate

Mean Machine, son of Kelly Hajec Hanson.

DonnaDave

Cookie creator, and mom sports enthusiast, Katie Gould, wife of Jeff.

Jeff and Katie

and dad Jeff, Kalamazoo Marathon runner, cheered on by his children.

Jeff and kids

Gives new meaning to Go Daddy!

You Go Daddy

Happy Mother’s Day, Melissa, mother of Mark Hajec’s children, whose life center is “her boys”….ALL three of them!  Mark not shown here.

Melissa & Mark

Happy Mothers Day to Nan, wife of Mike Hajec, and their family.

Jill Hajec Radunzel, sharing with other mothers, and exemplifying a way of life for those waiting the return of their husband in military service to our country.

Jill

Jill sharing with other women

And Commander Joel, soon returns to heart and home!

Robert & Daddy

Grand niece, Jessica has added to the ever-present excitement in her family with the birth of her son. You can only slightly tell that young grandparents, Nick and Nancy Hajec, are slightly ga-ga over the little guy!

Nancy

and also celebrating their son Nick’s college graduation from Old Dominion and the start of a new teaching career. Another good teacher added from the ranks of Hajec heritage.

Nancy & NickMary HajecBorrowing from Mary’s wonderful photography  to
add these family pictures.

Jessica

OH HAPPY DAY.
Thanks for the thrill, honor, treat and blessing to be a mother.

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Mom & Grandma Marion with Laura Sue

                                    Her Name is Marion

                                                         Susan H. Hajec

                    She is somebody
                               her name is Marion.
                    She is somebody
                               she is my mother.
                     She is somebody
                                she is ill with Alzheimer’s.

                     She is somebody 
                                she is the delete key that’s been
                                     mistakenly pressed on the computer of life.
                      She is the jigsaw puzzle
                                 with the missing pieces.
                      She is the finished recipe
                                  minus a key ingredient.
                       She is the sunset
                                  blocked from view.
                       She is the wrapped birthday present
                                  without the signed card.
                        My mother is somebody
                                   Alzheimer’s is the lurking bandit.

                        My mother is somebody.
                                   She is the gentle sensation of peach fuzz
                                            on my cheek.
                         My mother is somebody.
                                   She is the beckoned smile from a baby.
                          My mother is somebody.
                                    She is the organizer in a house of chaos.

                          She is somebody
                                    her name is Marion.
                          She is somebody
                                    she is my mother.

                                                  written at IWWG, Skidmore 2004.

In the photo above, mom is with our firstborn daughter, Laura Sue, dressing her for her Baptism in Lexington, Kentucky in July 1966. You can tell by the instant, strong eye contact that they had a most precious bond throughout mom’s life. I remember being so proud to share our daughter with my parents — what an immeasurable blessing it was for us all — to be duplicated once more two years later with the birth of our second daughter, Kathleen Marie.

My days continue as a mom and I have many happy days, not just one a year because I am a mom.

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