Today, I'm welcoming author Christine Lemmon, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on what special gifts can mothers can pass on to their children as they grow up.
A Mother's Gift by Christine Lemmon
“China breaks. A wedding dress dulls. Money gets spent. But the prayers a woman utters in her lifetime flutter back and forth throughout the generations like eternal butterflies landing ever-so-lightly on the shoulder of a daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, or any girl, without her ever knowing.”— from "Portion of the Sea" by Christine Lemmon
They say to write what you know, so I ask myself, “What do I know?” I hardly know a shark from a dolphin, an osprey from an eagle, a roseate spoonbill from a flamingo, but I know the differences between my three children from their head to their toes, and I know about motherly love. It’s why the main characters in my novels are daughters, mothers and grandmothers.
But it dawns on me as I write this blog, that my character Ava in my second novel Portion of the Sea, was also writing a column—hers in the month of May in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the holiday for mothers. I know Ava wouldn’t mind if her column appeared again in the form of a blog 2010. So, sharing this space with Ava:
My column that dealt with whatever it was women were talking about over tea or coffee was due by the end of the day but I wasn’t stressed. I knew exactly what I wanted to write.
Today it would be about mothers passing things on to their daughters. Recipes, rituals, lullabies, stories, a crooked nose, voluptuous hips or no hips, ladylike manners or no manners, a dainty way of walking or a sporty way of walking, a critical way of viewing others and the world or a loving way—But what can they pass down that might truly say who they were or where they had been or how they had felt or what they loved or experienced during their escapade called life?
I thought about my mama teaching me the word of God. I still remember the scripture verses she had me memorize and I’m glad I can grab onto those when I need something to cling to. And my grandmother instilled in me the notion of giving thanks to the Lord, even in times of despair. I also believe blessings upon children are a good thing to give. I’ve told each of my children I believe in them and know they will accomplish great things in life. This sort of gift makes its way through the generations.
But there is an age a woman reaches in which she wonders about her own mother, and longs for something that might put an intimate character description on her, on what she loved and felt passionate about in life. I recall the day we stepped foot on Sanibel for the first time. “It’s paradise,” my mother had said. And in her eyes, I did indeed see a sparkling I had never seen in her before. So why can’t a mother hand down a special place to her children?
Sanibel is the place my mother and grandmother both loved, and now I am here, so yes, a mother can most certainly pass a place on to her children. Of course there are geologists out there warning that sea islands shouldn’t be considered permanent and immutable objects, but natural phenomena such as storms and tides and currents and evolution are too much for me to worry about. Tea sets break, too, but we still pass those on.”
Hmmm—maybe this particular column should finish in an open-ended manner in the form of a question, for each mother has her own wonderful ideas of the things she wants to pass on. So I will ask now:
What meaningful, eternal gift can a mother pass on to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on?
About the Author:
Christine Lemmon is the author of three novels -Sanibel Scribbles, Portion of the Sea, and Sand in My Eyes, and the gift book, Whisper from the Ocean. She has lived all over the country writing for radio, newspaper, television and magazine.
She currently lives with her husband and three children on Sanibel Island, a subtropical island off Florida's Gulf Coast, which is the setting for her novels. She gets most of her inspiration while biking, kayaking or walking around the island, and watching sunsets with her family.
See my review of her book, "Sand In My Eyes," here - http://sharonsgardenofbookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/06/sand-in-my-eyes-by-christine-lemmon.html
My thanks to Christine for contributing this beautiful blog, and to Amanda Parker of Booksparks PR for coordinating it.