On Monday, I had the privilege of sharing stories about our mothers with ten women I’ve known through my writing circles, yoga, and teaching.
Our mothers had names like Evangeline, Antoinette and Margery. They raised gaggles of children, cleaned house wearing spike heels, and had dinner ready for their husbands every evening. We said their names. We honored their struggles. We shared our own.
I’ve heard from many more than could attend that the pain of unresolved questions about mother persists. It’s natural to put off thinking or talking about sensitive topics, and difficult to bring them to the surface.
The day before our gathering, I spent my time preparing food for these women, all but one of us motherless; two lost their mothers in December. I made a persimmon cake, two types of basil strata, and a chipotle black-eyed pea salsa. I cut up fresh fruit and vegetables, and I felt connected to the legacy of women preparing food for loved ones, for gatherings of family and friends, to open the gates of the heart.
We began sharing our mother-stories shortly after noon. I’d allowed a couple of hours, but we went on — spellbound — for four full hours, and our mother-stories had barely begun their magic.
I’ve been excavating such stories for more than a decade, and I’m almost ready to open up a unique program for local women who wish to draw more deeply from that mother-daughter well.
If you, or someone you know, wish to consider this journey, please forward this email to join the conversation of daughters. I’d love to hear your story, and you’ll be surprised how much you gain by the telling.
PS: For the remarkable story of Joanna’s 102-year-old mother’s death, click this link.
PPS: The persimmon cake has a transformation story that I’ll write about soon, and include the (delicious and easy) recipe.
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