Monday, January 19, 2004

Mom and the Girls

Do I spend more time missing the people I’ve lost in my life, than I do appreciating those who are left? I should dwell more on the special things about my mom and my remaining sisters.

Mom is finally living that peaceful old age we wished for her, but she’s had a painful life. By the time she was 53, only five years older than I am now, she was the only one left of her original family of five. And still…she had to lose my sister and my dad, too. When Joyce died, Mom did a hell of a job of masking her pain; all she said was, "No mother should have a child die before she does." At least that is one pain I will never have to bear.

My sister Donna, who is the oldest now, is the only one of us who has worn the mantle of "step-mom." At 31, she married a divorced man with two kids (and a vasectomy.) She brought her peace-making abilities and her quiet wisdom to a household that undoubtedly would have self-destructed without her. She sighs that her "kids", now 32 and 33, didn’t turn out as well as she hoped. I tell her they would have been in REAL trouble if it hadn’t been for her.

Chris, the middle child, has always been a mover and shaker. At times she seemed determined to leave the family as far behind as she could. She was the first to make the move from Illinois to Oregon. I don’t know if she realized the rest of us would follow within a decade…if she knew, she probably would have been off to Arizona. She has gone through a tough time in the last few years…job problems, marriage problems, family problems. She’s bucking the odds against "women of a certain age," and is starting a whole new career--successfully. Her marriage still sucks, but that’s the next thing she’s going to set her sights on.

And then there’s Lauren. All she ever wanted was to get married and have kids…she’s such a throw-back to a bygone era. But life often doesn’t go according to plan…she finally married at 37. That didn’t stop her having kids, though. Even after her first daughter was still-born, she stuck it out and had her family—she was 39 when my niece was born, and 41 when my nephew came along. She’s a single parent, now…NOT what she had envisioned. But when she moans about the "joys" of being an ancient mother—we kid her that she knew the job was dangerous when she took it!

There’s the nickel tour of my family!


  1. Thanks for letting us get a peek at your family. I think it's human to dwell on the losses we've suffered rather than bask in the glow of what we have. I always need to be reminded to appreciate what I have.

  2. Wow, you have an interesting family. I especially like your sister's name. ;-)