Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day...

I’ve been “on the road” again…this time, a two-day planning meeting in Baltimore for vocation directors in this region. I am back at Bristow for the entire weekend – YIPPEE! More on the weekend goings-on here on Monday…

I am continually surprised by how many people are reading this blog. Every now and then, I wonder if it continues to serve a purpose or meet a need. Then, out of nowhere, someone will write, call or e-mail and ask me about something I’ve written. It always amazes me. Recently, a “reader” asked about my mother. “Why don’t you ever write about your mom, Sister Vicki? You write about your Dad quite a bit, but very little about your mom.” I’ve been thinking about that question…seriously. The answer is probably a bit complicated. For now, in honor of “Mother’s Day,” I want to tell you a little bit more about Cynthia Hubner Ix – certainly more than a gravestone can tell. [b.October 31, 1934 & d. July 15, 1990]

All we ever know about our mothers is what they reveal in loving us – in raising us and nurturing us. It takes decades before we can see our own mother as a real person with hopes, dreams, disappointments and her own particular tragic flaws. It requires self-awareness of our own frailties and a huge measure of compassion to allow our mothers the simple grace of just being human. I offer a few simple thoughts about my Mother with gratitude and love:

All my mother ever wanted to be was a mother. It was her crowning glory and greatest joy.
We were spoiled with her time and her love. She taught me to play and loved every minute of it. I can still remember dancing and singing in our living room…to an album called, “Up With People.” My Mother was beautiful – like a movie star – a little Audrey Hepburn and Liz Taylormixed together, (I thought.) (I also have an Aunt I swear looked just like Judy Garland.)
My Mother could converse effortlessly with strangers. She lit up a room and had a marvelous sense of humor. My Mother loved my Father – from the start and even after their divorce. My Mother was a frustrated architect or interior designer. When she couldn’t sleep at night, she’d design a home in her head. She hated to cook and, as a consequence, nurtured my love for it with glee. We had a deal. I cooked. My Mother cleaned up. She thought she had the better end of the deal.

My Mother survived two breast cancers in the ‘70’s. The second one almost killed her. She lived 15 more years until the brain tumor that took her life. My Mother understands everything in heaven – all the things about me that weren’t exactly what she ordered – and I can feel her unconditional love and pride. I suspect she brags about her children and grandchildren in heaven. “My daughter is a Benedictine sister. Did you know that the oldest order in the Roman Catholic Church?” My Mother visits me from time to time. Sometimes it’s a song, or a smell or a memory – and she’s there – somehow, really, mysteriously present. I tell her I love her and I know she knows the fullness of love now – in glory.

It’s been almost eighteen years since we were separated by death. Funny, but I feel closer to my Mom than ever. And, my admiration and love for that funny, beautiful, clever, gracious lady continues to grow. Her journey, her story has become sacred to me. One day when we sit beside each other again, I’ll ask her a few questions and tell her a few secrets. And we will dance again…to those old folksongs…swinging our arms and twirling together…bare toes on the carpet. And this time the song will never end.

Blessings and love to you all...especially to all the mothers!

- Sister Vicki