Your Mother’s Story

I was flipping through the birthday calendar which my girls made for me last year for Mother’s day and which is filled with quotes about mothers, when my eye got caught on a particular quote:

Mother's Story - There is a story

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”

Mitch Albom

 

I have been reading a fascinating book by Bryan Sykes called “The Seven Daughters of Eve”. In his book, Sykes, who is a leading DNA scientist, gives a report of his research into a specific gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After examining thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, Sykes found that almost everyone of native European descent, wherever they may live throughout the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, seven “clan mother’s” who he calls the Seven Daughters of Eve.

His book is written almost like a mystery novel, but what really intrigued me was this idea itself: As Caucasians, we can all trace our history back to the woman who was our ancestor and lived 10,000 to 45,000 years ago.

Usually, we barely think back two or three generations. What is your mother’s story? And what is the story of your mother’s mother? Do you know it?

Mother's Story - book

My mother’s story is one of courage and new beginnings. She grew up during World War II, which pretty much robbed her of any care-free childhood. When she was 21, her mother died and soon after, she packed her suitcase to move to Spain. She learned Spanish and made Barcelona her new home. As a woman in the fifties, coming from a working class background, she never had the privilege of a higher education, yet she made her way in life, working in a bank and later on as a secretary. If she wanted something, she set her mind to it and made it happen. When she was in her early thirties, she set out for yet another adventure, accepting a job in Liberia, Africa where she met my father. Getting married and having children was another new start. And ten years later, she moved to Africa again with her husband and her daughters, this time Nigeria.

My mother’s story is also one of a lot of suppressed pain, grief and other painful emotions. She lost her own mother when she was young and never processed that loss. I hardly know anything about my grandmother’s story because my mother couldn’t speak about her without breaking down in tears. So I stopped asking. Due to all the unprocessed experiences, my mom struggled with addictions, with anorexia and alcohol. She had a hard time with getting older and with life slowing down. She didn’t do “calm” very well. Staying still and being present was “torture” for her. It must have scared her a lot to stop. She loved activity, like talking, laughing, dancing, exercising, playing sports and travelling. The ancestral healing process which Dhebi DeWitz describes in her book “The Messenger Within” is one way of bringing healing to previous generations.

Ruth Monrovia

My story begins when my mother was 37 years old. Back in the sixties, that was old to be a first time mother. She stayed active though, and always looked younger than she was. She was at times a bit overprotective, but she was present, taking on the unfamiliar role of the homemaker, and made the best out of what she felt was expected of her. She encouraged education and understood the longing to discover other horizons. When I moved to Malaysia in my late twenties, and to Canada in my early thirties, she was sad, but at the same time, completely supportive. She understood all about new beginnings.

For me, one way to honour my mom’s story is to encourage my own girls to embrace life to the fullest, to travel, to seize opportunities that come along, to be a master of their own destiny. That for me is a huge part of their grandmother’s legacy. I also believe another part of her legacy is for me and them to learn from her errors. My mom never had the opportunity to process her grief or learn how to address her emotions in a healthy way, to heal her pain. She searched for relief in distractions. Her granddaughters, on the other hand, have all the tools to live life more consciously and I am very grateful to say that they do.

Mother's Day card

 

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If you are interested in grief recovery work, shadow work, belief changes or relationship coaching contact

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To My Daughter on Mother’s Day

I got married in 1991, and a few years later I was told I would never have children of my own—or so the doctors believed. I suppose I never liked being told “you can’t”. I had a strong calling to be a mother and was going to manifest that experience even if it meant taking detours.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- obstacles

By the beginning 1994, my first husband and I had taken in a seven-year-old foster daughter with the intention of adopting her. We moved to Asia with her. Another year down the road, I ended up in a doctor’s office with alarming symptoms. I had almost fainted on a school trip to the Zoo in 45 degrees heat, followed by memory loss and speech problems.

Sitting in front of his desk, I was scared to hear some terrible news about having had a stroke. I recall up to today how this Indian doctor looked at me and said, “You are in the family way.” I remember thinking, “What in heaven’s name is he talking about?!” It required some further explanation and adjusting to the unexpected changes until the news fully sunk in. That was the beginning of my journey with my oldest biological child.

Over the next 20 years, many other life changes occurred that needed adapting to. Our foster daughter left us, my younger daughter was born, we moved to Canada soon after, and we separated and divorced a few years later and much more.

Fast forward to this year; two weeks ago, I had an accident and broke both of my feet, leaving me unable to walk or take care of mundane everyday tasks that we all take for granted. My family stepped up immediately and without hesitation, with my 20-year-old daughter becoming one of my main caretakers. I am in awe of what this situation brought out in her and how it has further strengthened our bond.

When I think of saying thank you to a mother or mother figure this Mother’s Day, I think of this remarkable young woman who is heart-centred, dependable and tender. She is an outstanding human being who I am very proud to call my daughter.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- baby Cara

 

To my daughter on Mother’s Day,

I am incredibly proud of you, this year even more so than ever. Ever since you were 5 years old and you asked the midwife to show you how to change your new baby sister’s diapers, I knew you had a special caring side in you. You also have a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, sometimes holding you back from taking care of your own needs, at other times a wonderful trait.

Your calm and sensible attitude was incredibly reassuring when the accident happened. Without hesitation, you stepped into problem solving mode, while still being loving and comforting. Thank you for repeatedly holding a loving space for me when I was going through excruciating pain over the last two weeks and for trusting me that I can take it. Thank you for being extremely practical and such an amazing planner and team player here at home. Thank you for communicating clearly and making sure everybody is on board.

Being helpless brought up moments of great vulnerability. I am so grateful to you for recognizing how important even the smallest sense of independence and dignity is. But most importantly, thank you for your sense of humour and thank you for laughing with me. That we could joke around as you were taking care of me was incredibly healing.

Thank for never making me feel like a burden, even during the last three days when you had to go back to your exhausting shift work. I could see the tiredness in your eyes and in your smile. Yet, you still mustered up the energy to lovingly take care of me for a bit at the end of a long day. I love and admire you more than you can imagine!

When you were a baby, I used to think I needed to help you to grow into the woman that you are today, but I had things upside down. Instead of me shaping you, being your mother taught me so much and made me the woman I am today.

Your sense of responsibility and caring is really boundless. With each day that my legs are healing, I hope that you will treat yourself to rest and to more “play time” for yourself. Each mommy needs a break, each mommy needs to have her needs met, and so do you.

Your mom

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

to all the amazing mothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law,

and substitute mothers who take care of their loved ones.

 

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day - M O T H E R

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