My mother, Edna Holland, has had a rich life. She was a young woman when the Second World War began. She married my father after the great conflict was over.
Some years later, I was their first born child, conceived, as my mother tells it, in an unheated beachhouse on the rocky coast of Belfast, Maine. I actually traveled back there with them as an adult and saw that place. Pretty cool to know the exact place where sparks flew, and I became a zygote.
When I was young, my family, like so many families, was financially challenged. When we were kids, there might be one jug of Coca Cola a week for the whole family. When my mother poured out each allotment, my brother, and sister, and I would count the ice cubes in the glasses to make sure they were the same. We would fight over concern that one would get slightly more Coca Cola than the other. Anyway, my mom put up with a lot back then. I was a handful when I was eight years old.
My mom was a housewife, as was the norm in those times. Despite the challenges of making ends meet, she always made sure we had enough good food to eat. She made sure we went to school dressed decently. She put up with a lot of crap from all of us, and kept us going in the right direction. She also provided a safe nurturing ground so that each of us could grow up and turn out okay. I say this not to denigrate my father's love and influence, but to celebrate the reality that I am who I am largely because of my mom.
Through the years, both my parents were always there and always supportive as I carved my own unconventional path through life. Since 2004, when my father passed away, I have talked to my mother pretty much every day on the phone. I like talking to her. She lives now with my sister, Jill, in suburban Houston. My brother, Jay, who lives closeby, visits her regularly.
Even now, i talk to my mom when I need encouragement or pragmatic advice. I want her to know how much I appreciate all the love she has given me and the personal sacrifices she so often endured for me when I was growing up.
Thanks Mom. I love you.