Friday, May 11, 2012
This piece from the NY Times tugged at me. My maternal grandmother was born on May 11, 1906. She was a feisty person who loved baseball, politics and good food. My mother did, too. New Yorkers both, my mother and grandmother were passionate women with twinkly eyes and no shortage of opinions on a variety of topics. I was raised by both women and most days, I am the better for having been the recipient of so much love and spunk and wisdom. If apples don't fall far from trees, I am an apple. I am their kin. I am my grandmother and my mother. It has been thirty five years since I've lived in New York. I've been very influenced by the decade I lived in North Carolina and the nearly two decades that I've lived in the Midwest. I still talk fast and walk quickly, but I am a softer version of my New York matriarchs. Over the years, people important to me who did not know my family of origin have called me "fiercely loyal" and "intellectually honest." I treasure those labels because I value what they stand for and they link me with my foremothers, because they were, too. I like that. Timothy Eagan writes that our mothers are the "scrapbooks of our enthusiasms." I like that, too. And I am grateful that, though it has been thirty years since my grandmother's death and only four since my mom's, I am the scrapbook of theirs.