Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Atlas's Women

In my last posting, I mentioned that I had lost a dear friend recently.  Her birthday was this month.  It was bittersweet as these occasions tend to be.  I refuse to put her birthday in the past tense.  There is still reason to celebrate the gift of this woman's life, now and always.  That's the sweet. The bitter is that her physical self is not here to share the joy of the day of her birth.

And, as always happens in the month of September, I remember all the beautiful events and people that came to be in years past.  Some of the dates commemorate births, others unions, and, sadly, also death.

This is the month that marks my mother and stepfather creating the family of my childhood that I didn't have before that day.  My mother had fought unbelievable odds to keep me in her life.  She is innately strong, even as a young woman, and, she was sensible beyond her years, too.  When she and my now-father (fka, stepfather) took the "leap", she seemed to know that he would be the man to make us whole.  And, while it wasn't a smooth transition, as most of these situations aren't, her strength kept us together.

One of the transitions we dealt with was acquiring a fourth member of the family, my now-father's aunt, Marie.  She and I were the proverbial oil-and-vinegar and it was not pretty for a long time.  But she was determined to keep me on the path of virtue, by her definition.  By the time I was finishing high school, I started to appreciate her tenancity. I also noticed that she had become one of my true friends and best defender. I wish that we'd had the time to correct a lot of the wrongs from the past, but we lost her shortly after that, unexpectedly, one day before my parents' anniversary in September, 1981. Most of the frayed edges of the family material mended, over time. I like to think that with her hand guiding us to overcome the past, we've become a stronger family.

In 1996, I met the man who would change my life in ways I'd never dreamed of, my now-husband.  There's an entire story here that explains why I believe in fate, but that's for another time. The gist of this, is that it was September when we "discovered" each other. It was when I also learned that there is no substitute for consuming, passionate love to get you through the trials of your life.  Sometimes that love is spurred by a person, sometimes a creative need, or an athletic bent. It is the love that keeps the world balanced.

As a result of this beautiful union, I was fortunate to get to know his mother. Today marks the 10th year since we lost my mother-in-law, Florence. She fell ill the day we married and never had any peace until her body gave out completely. We know she went home to her great love, her husband, who had passed about 4 years earlier. She was tired of pain and missed him terribly. Before she gave into the pain, though, she had raised 5 boys to men and had done so successfullly, with consistency and scads of patience. And patience, is the greatest of strengths. She had seen all of them through marriages, divorces, illness, children, joy and despair. Her support was always there, unquestioningly.

Welcome to the Hill

This month marks the privilege of knowing these remarkable women, of partaking of their lives, celebrating the wonders they helped to create, and mourning the loss of their everyday presence. I am lucky to still have my mother in my world. I am lucky to have had these other women to help mold me, give me my passionate love, and keep my world balanced. Atlas has had a lot of help from all of them and their strength. They may have had to stand on the Hill to reach as high, but they definitely did it, and did it well.

View From the Hill
Just a peek of the Hill. Enjoy your world!
Perennial Friends

1 comment:

  1. Nice gardens! Sad post, but now I know why you have been such a great friend and have guided me wisely throughout the time I've known you.


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