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Monday, November 4, 2013

A Woman Of Grace

It's been difficult to stop thinking about my Mother since finishing "The End Of Your Life Book Club" (2012). Though author Will Scwhalbe had more years with his Mom - she died at 75 years old, my Mom was 57 - losing a beloved parent is never easy.

But the path my thoughts have taken is a little disturbing. Though sad and wistful as I finished the book, a couple of unsettling questions have been bubbling up for a few days now.
How much do parental messages about security affect the dreams of children?
Where do our dreams for our children end and their dreams for themselves begin?

From a very young age, my Mother saw me as a teacher. It's likely that having lived through the Great Depression she would have had difficulty envisioning anything for her firstborn that didn't offer job security. Did I dream of teaching as a profession? I don't know. Would it have mattered if I didn't? I don't know that either. See what I mean about a disturbing path?

As often happens, a conversation with my grounded wife about the way we raised our daughter is helping me return to earth. Also occurred to me that Schwalbe's wounds are fresh and deep making his reverence for his Mom wholly understandable. I've had 36 years to heal from my loss. Doesn't excuse my churlish questions but I think Mom would forgive me; she had that kind of grace, even if her son didn't inherit it.

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