Saturday 9 May 2015

What It Means to be a Mother... and a Daughter

Recently, I was chatting with my friend and fellow disability Mom, Julie Keon.  I had the privilege of writing the foreword to Julie's profoundly moving new book, What I Would Tell You - One Mother's Adventure With Medical Fragility.  I highly recommend Julie's book to anyone with a complex child!

Julie is a 'wise woman' whose professional background includes stints as a doula, a pregnancy plaster casting artist, and more recently as a life cycle celebrant - creating personal ceremonies for important events across the life span.

So, Julie and I were talking about motherhood.  She said, "it's one workshop that I give, I ask women to state their name followed by names in their maternal lineage."  Julie explained, "So, someone might say, "I am Susan Knight, daughter of Stella McNaughton and granddaughter of Alicia Gray.""  Women state the names of their maternal forebears going as far back as they are able.  Julie told me that almost every woman who performs this naming ritual begins to cry as she recites her lineage and reflects on what it means to be a woman in her family.  I thought about those tears and wondered if they sprang from a realization of family connectedness, but also from the shared joy and pain of being a woman, a mother and a daughter.

I am Donna.  I am the mother of Natalie.  My mother is Marjorie and her mother was Gertrude Alice.

This is me with my mother, Marjorie Carol McKeown.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom, I love being your daughter.

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