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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child ...

....... a long way from home.

I had a mother. She was the mother she could be considering the circumstances that she had come from and the opportunities available (in the 1940's) for a woman to be living anywhere except in the family home until such time as one became married and made a home of one's own.

My mother married my father - who had served in WWII in the Merchant Marines - after he came home and they both had graduated high school (he in abstentia).

My mother married my father.... in part because he may have been perceived as a 'bad boy' from the next town over; in part because he was learning the trade her father had for years and years; in part to get out of the house.

Being the eldest girl in an Irish Roman Catholic family of - at one point 11 siblings - decidedly had its DIS advantages: you became the surrogate Mother, the other one to turn to, the one who set the standard against which all the sisters who followed were compared. That's a tall order. ESPECIALLY: 1) if you don't necessarily agree with your Mother and 2) you do not have the fortune of being the eldest SON.... to whom fell other entitlements which involved significantly fewer messy diapers.

She started a family within the "right" time frame: i.e. at least more than 9 months after the marriage..... which resulted in .... me.

My brother was born exactly one year later.

My sister was born one year one month and one day after that.

My brother died in infancy and a gap was left for me to fill.

I know she struggled as a stay at home Mom for the first 8 years of my life. We lived on a racially mixed street one block in from the main drag in town. We lived in a 3 story apartment building. Mare, my father's Mother lived below, we occupied the middle and the Stricciola's had the top floor. Czech on the ground floor; Czech/
French Canadian/Irish/English in the middle and pure Italian on the top floor... what a sandwich!

I have glimpses of my mother working around the house... but not many of her smiling.

My father was one of two children - both boys. I'm sure competition was often involved and there were many rumors of why I had no recollection of my paternal grandfather - mostly that he was physically abusive and would drink and was basically run out of town.

In fact, my maternal grandfather also drank.... and finally left my grandmother when my youngest aunt was still in or just out of high school.

Living in an alcoholic home becomes a way of life - or maybe a way of avoiding landmines that are constantly moving. It isn't until much later in life that one comes face to face with the fact that the survival techniques you utilized in your early years don't translate well into trusting, intimate relationships in adulthood.

With time, good friends, some truth telling, some inspiring examples of love without strings attached help. A surrender to the healing love of God helps.

Spending the weekend with Barbara a a group of adventurous people who came to a retreat entitled Death: The Lighter Side we each found ways to revisit some of those sad places and also chart some new courses for the remainder of our lives.

It's amazing how the impact of voicing the fact that is only whispered about can free us in one way or another. It has taken a couple of days, but I don't have the same sadness about not being the favored one, the one that made them proud, the pretty one in pink that stuck up easy conversation.

I can feel my mother now - even my father occasionally - in their new frame of reference - encouraging me in ways they could not before. I am motherless no more - nor an orphan nor an outcast. I am on my way to a destination they have already reached....home...... and there are no outcasts there, no not one.


Blogger Where fibers meet mud said...

Thanks I needed that story... and the James Taylor song too

10:29 PM  

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