Sunday, May 11, 2008

Her name is Beverly

*Below please find a newspaper editorial I published 15 years ago in honor of Mother’s Day. Back then I was fresh out of university, running a weekly newspaper in the Ottawa valley and only just starting to see my mother as something more than a conduit for my own needs and desires. Back then the realization that she was a person and a woman, in addition to a mother, was a revelation for me.*

There’s a story I remember hearing, about the generation gap, that has rung especially true during the last few years.

It’s about a young man who wonders how his parents got so darn smart, so fast. After all, he reasoned, during his teenage years they were hopelessly ignorant.

Today is Mother’s Day and I can’t help reflecting on how much my mother has changed in the last year I’ve been fending for myself in this world, working and building my own family.

I have come to see my mother as a woman, not just a mom. It’s only now that her experiences seem to me those of a person, doing her best for her family no matter what the circumstances.

Beverly is the name of the woman who brought me into the world. She was a school teacher from the age of 18 and a city slicker, born and bred, when she fell in love with a mechanic and moved to a tiny village carved out of the bush north of Lindsay, Ontario.

Beverly left her comfortable middle class existence for one where every dollar was a struggle. She worked full time, raised two children and helped my father build a successful excavating business from the ground up.

And I remember that most of the time, like most children, I considered her slightly less than a person. I remember times when she looked exhausted, when a thoughtless remark brought a glint of tears to her eyes.

But like a lot of mothers she never said much – she was too busy creating an environment my brother and I were too young and too ignorant to fully appreciate.

There were dance lessons, piano lessons, pottery classes, and ping-pong, swimming and archery lessons. There were gymnastics, Juniors Rangers and Brownies.

One year I started a family newspaper and Beverly produced a typewriter, mimeographed the pages, sent copies to all the relatives, donated recipes and entered (and won) the poetry contest every month.

She clipped articles about story contests and encouraged me to enter. When I was 12, at her urging, I sent a column to the local newspaper and got my first job.

And when I became the first in my family to earn a university degree last year she surprised me by having it framed and mounted.

Over the years I’ve come to see Beverly for what she is – a lovely, kind, intelligent woman whose modesty would never allow her to describe herself in those terms.

But thanks to her I’ve got the perspective that allows me to see those qualities in her and the confidence to publicly admit my debt to Beverly.

I love you mom.

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40 comments:

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Oh...I love this Kelly. So true how it takes us a long time to realize the dedication of our own mothers.

Happy Mother's Day!

chelle said...

awww you have me all teary! Beautiful post to reflect a beautiful mom!

Vered said...

Wow.

I never thought about it this way - children do tend to see moms as "slightly less than a person".

Thank you for an incredibly moving post.

Cheri said...

What a fabulously insightful tribute.

That she helped your father "build an excavating business from the ground up" is literary genius.

Also, that you started a family newspaper makes it no wonder that now you are now a blogger.

Happy Mother's Day Beverly . . . and everyone else too!

Kami said...

That was amazing Kelly! Thanks for sharing it again and Happy Mother's day to you and your special Mom!

:-)

Kathy said...

This is great! I especially like the line about the thoughtless remark bringing tears to her eyes. I can remember those moments with my own mom and that instant guilt I would feel when I realized I took something too far. :( Hindsight is 20 20. I'm constantly apologizing to my mom!!

Jenifer said...

I think we all have those aha moments when we get it, when we understand our mothers as women. Once I had the girls I realized it all over again.

Lovely words for your mom and every mom.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm sure it means so much to her to know you're truly seeing the mark she has made in this world.

Happy Mother's Day!

Mental P Mama said...

Great story! Happy Mother's Day!

C said...

Oh! What a FANTASTIC story!!!
Happy Mother's Day, Kelly!
XO

Momma said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom! It is so true that we daughters seem to hurt our mothers more than we realize (until much later). I was like a preacher's kid. When I left home I went a bit wild, and each mistake I made hurt my mother deeply. We had several big fallings out, but I'm happy to say that when she died, as I had promised, she could count on me to be there and to honor her. I wrote two poems for her, one of which was published in the StrokeNet newsletter. I only wish she had lived long enough to frame my degree, because, like you, I was the first to graduate from college (out of all the generations of my family, and all the cousins, too). She died the year before I finished.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very long manner, is that your post really touched me and reminded me of the good and bad, the ups and downs we girls have with our mothers. You're a good daughter, and she's a lucky mom...Peace - D

flutter said...

Must run in the family, this being a great mom thing

Damselfly said...

What a touching article.

Happy Mother's Day!

Rachel said...

I loved this Kelly! You have such talent sweetie.
It's a pity how long it takes us as daughters to recognize how amazing our mom's really are, but it's great when we get there!!
Happy Mother's Day honey!!

April said...

I can only imagine how thrilled your mother must've been with this tribute. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Happy Mother's Day!

Abbie said...

What a great story!!

Happy Happy Mothers day my dear kelly! :)

John-Michael said...

I feel so good about having You as a Friend! This bit of expression of your Self is evidence of the sterling character and quality of Spirit that makes me happy that You are part of my world ... and even, of Me.

Kelly (I use your name because I see it used just above [smile]), You have a forever place in my regard, and in my Heart. I love You.

Barrie said...

This is fantastic! I'm waiting for my own children to grow up and truly appreciate me. :) Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom!

kittenpie said...

And then there's another level of understanding and appreciation later, when you become a mom and realize how much moms love their kids and how tough it is. It will sure be nice to hear something similar one day, won't it?

Heather said...

I bet your mom loved that when you wrote it, and still loves it.

The Boyds Family said...

So beautiful! Happy Mother's Day!

Mandy said...

What a beautiful mother's day post.

I think we also add a new level of understanding to our mother's lives as we become mothers ourselves.

It sounds like you were privileged to have a great model!

Dawn said...

Happy Mother's day Kelly. What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

OHmommy said...

Your moms sounds a lot like mine. Strong and beautiful.

Happy Mother's Day.

SciFi Dad said...

That? Was awesome. An amazing tribute to someone I am certain is an amazing woman.

Happy Mother's Day, DMD.

David said...

Wonderful tribute. Thank you for "publishing" it again so we can enjoy your perspective and your writing.

LunaNik said...

I love this post. It's funny, but I never had that lighting bolt of a realization until I had my own kids. Suddenly I realized that during my childhood and up until the present of course, that my mother was a woman...not just a mom, ya know. I wonder when my kids will realize that I am more than simply their mamma?

LaskiGal said...

Being a mom now, I can only imagine how your mom felt when she read those words . . . words from her daughter . . . words that revealed how much she GOT her! Lovely . . .

Darling photo!

Holly said...

a lovely tribute. happy mother's day!

Are You Serious! said...

♡ I love it! It's so true too!

Shauna said...

It is so true! Hope your MDay was good!

Karen MEG said...

That was beautiful, Kelly. Your Mom is wonderful. As is that picture of your mom with your cutie pie!

Hope you had a great Mother's Day too!

Sue said...

Kelly, that was very beautiful.Your mom is lucky to have you as a daughter and Graham lucky to have you as his mom.

oda41143 Missy said...

Beautiful!!

Colleen said...

You are lucky to have such a great Mom! Happy belated Mother's Day to you!

Jaina said...

What a lovely story. And a Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you! :)

Elaine A. said...

I like how you drive home the point of her being a person and not JUST a mom but calling her by her first name. Very nice post.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I love this.

KathyLikesPink said...

Lovely! How nice for your mother to be so appreciated (and publicly!)

I envy your mom's thick, dark hair!

caramama said...

Beautiful! What a great tribute, and a fantastic mom!

Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom!