Friday, February 13, 2009

ECHOES OF MY MOTHER'S VOICE

I found this quote the other day and it really inspired me. It goes: “Often, in old age, sisters become each other’s chosen and most happy companions. In addition to their shared memories of childhood and their relationship to each other’s families, they carry the echoes of their mother’s voice.”

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we women often find ourselves gesturing and speaking like our mothers. It's true. There are times I "feel" my mom when I say things I heard her say and even notice my hands moving expressively in a way just like she used to do. This leaves me with an uncanny chill as it seems, for a brief moment, like I AM her.

Experts tell us that children are most likely aligned with their same sex parent. Whether guys experience this same thing, I don't know, but I can most certainly attest to my frequent "chill-producing" moments when my mother and I seem one and the same. Fortunately, I consider myself one of the lucky ones as my mother was always the one person I most admired in my life.

My sister and I have always been close although there are eight years between us. Initially, we were close in almost a mother-daughter way as my mom worked and needed someone to take charge of the little one. Where friends always felt "saddled" with their younger siblings, I welcomed her addition to any of my activities. I was sort of "the mom" of the twosome and to this day I refer to her as HONEY, rather than sis or by her first name. As we got older we remained close although the four years I went away to college, we didn't see each other as much. But I tried to get home whenever I could, and she would come down for a weekend here and there.

I married and moved to Appleton due to a job change for my husband. Shortly after I met this lovely and very talented young man and, as big sisters are prone to do, I introduced them. It was a good fit and a couple of years later they married and moved to Appleton. A few years after that, our parents bought a house in Appleton so the whole "fam-damily" (as my father used to say) were Appleton residents. This decision would turn out to be a practical one, as well, since as our parents aged and developed more health problems, my sister and I were able to take care of them, together.

The best part of all of that, though it was demanding and oft times tiring, was that the two of us could reminisce about our childhood memories that often included some of the cute expressions and silly things our parents said and did back in the day. Though our dad had a stroke and our mom suffered from manic depression, we had each other and the strength that having an ally brought to a difficult situation. There's something to be said about remembering good times when the present times aren't so good. Fortunately, we could go back in our memories to when "mom said this" or "dad said that", truly echoes of their voices and like an echo, though it's strongest initially, it still repeats again and again and there's comfort in that. We sure were comforted by those echoes. Though our parents are no longer with us, we feel their presence almost everyday echoing through our minds and our memories.

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