Sunday, July 17, 2011

Celebrating Women

Today I want to celebrate my daughter along with all the other women in our lives. I wrote this poem for her several years ago, but this dynamite woman has re-entered my life as a close friend and confidant. Today isn't especially important in our lives, but The Ordinary Day can be special enough.

The Power of One

Copper hair cascades down
your back while flecks of
red-gold drops settle across your nose.
Red rage flame and copper power
creates the power of one.

The power of one water drop
blended with many of God's other crystal creations
form majestic waterfalls for all to see.

You are that power of one.
Created in love and built
From the power of those before you.
Mother, aunts, grandmothers, all
captured into one blending
of our souls into a guardian angel
that still flitters from my shoulder to yours.


  1. Suzanne
    Daughters – such an incredible gift – such heartache that also comes with the joy. Your poem is deeply touching but also haunting, in that we want to give so much to prepare them for what we know will be a world full of challenge, joy and along with deep heart aches. My greatest desire and most fervent prayer is that she will have a spirituality that always sustains her. It is unlikely she will find that only in a church, of any kind. Unfortunately, churches can be hiding places for some very strange people. The church of her childhood lacks substance for her and her experiences over the years have fallen short of hearing a message whether visiting or going so far as becoming a member. Some have been downright offensive. My daughter is the only human being who can make me cry hard – for her, with her. I also belly laugh the hardest with her! Her beauty and accomplishments give me great joy and also the knowledge that she will always be all right, no matter what comes. She is positive and kind. The work she does is life and death and provides built-in opportunities for spiritual growth. She can be prickly though and usually with me. Only recently do I gently tell her that no matter what is going on in her life, I care but am not her whipping girl. Some of past life experiences were tragic and I even felt responsible. I often lived in a frame of mind that being a good parent was patience and tolerance to pathology. While I know its pain when she lashed out, it is painful to me. It seemed that one day, it occurred to me that even though she is in her thirties, she needs to have parameters and that as I set them, she seemed more secure and was able to talk more freely as time went on. She needed me to be strong and self-assured. It was a rocky road and some days there were hang up calls on both ends before there was mutual respect and trust. There were long periods of silence or no communication at all. Now, some days are better than others. My daughter is adamant that she wants to know nothing about my family heritage. Your poem about the generations coming through in her – guiding, protecting made me envious. I have a rich heritage and was lucky enough to know so many of the older ones – family traced back to the colonial days and into Scotland for hundreds of years according to careful genealogy work. My daughter was disdainful of my own mother, with good reason. Referred to as the Grande Dame, she was a cruel and vindictive person whose own pain was deep and complex. The only happiness she seemed to find was in hurting others and she was quite adept. Her primary victims were her own children. The rest of the world saw her as a hero, quite gorgeous and a rare genius. I see so many of my mother’s family’s fantastic and endearing family traits that seemed to bypass my mother come forth in my daughter. Like some mental illnesses, perhaps exquisite traits can jump a generation or two! Our daughters thrive on our example whether know it or admit it. It is an awesome responsibility. You are not dropping the ball and I try not to drop it too many times along the way. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story and lovely picture. Frankly, you are the impetus that caused me to bring some feelings to the surface and a desire to grow as a mother for this dear child. I hope that in the future you will share about your daughter. Your blog is a gift! Do you want for people write in length? - Elise

  2. Elise,
    Your post is resplendent in commonalities (heritage, religious backgrounds, and even "prickly" encounters)that we share in the privilege of raising children and remaining in their lives through adulthood. It is an ongoing challenge, and I find that I have to evolve daily to make it work. But it is worth it. I treasure your thoughts and you will hear much more about all my children. To be a catalysis for someone is humbling. Thank you! Suzanne

  3. Suzanne, Your thoughts on your daughter have stayed with me the last few days. My relationships with my children are so tumultuous at times. They seem to sway from heartache to blessed closeness in a moment's time. When I was young and heard many times since that Jacqueline said: "If we don't do a good job with our children, nothing else matters". Perhaps not quite accurate in the quote but the jest is accurate. At the time, I dismissed the comment. The older I get, I think of this comment more and more - the challenges for the children become larger and although I have deep faith and acceptance for their paths, I hurt with them. I also have the joys with them but they are easier! I no longer blame myself as often as I once did but Mrs. Kennedy was right. Being a mother is the most wonderful job in the world. I don't know though how a woman does it without a big satchel of spiritual tools. I try to be an example of unconditional love and keep doors open. The rewards are indescribable and God's timing, not mine. Darn! Sons are a whole different deal... Elise

  4. Suzanne, Still feeling sad about postponing my trip to see my daughter, I read this piece another time. Sons are dear. There is something very different about our daughters. Mine is high-strung but a cupcake on the inside. I realized that I had become ramped up, wanting the trip to be perfect. She just wanted to spend time together. I was concerned about my budget in light of being near retirement and the economy and she just wanted to do free things in her gorgeous part of the world and have picnics. I thought she was expecting extravagance. This piece, in contrast to my manic expectations for the trip, reminded me of parts of Our Town where you and Wilder talk about the magic of the ordinary. Elise


I welcome your comments and will always respond. If you sent a comment, and I did not reply, then I somehow did not receive your message. If you do not have a Google account, pull down the "Comment As: and click "Anonymous," but you are welcome to sign your name. You may also send any comments to Thank you for visiting.
Blessings to you,