May 2017: Greetings from Lady Dunrovin
Becoming a mother changed the world for me. I had never felt this this special kind of love before. It connected me with the past and the future in ways I did not anticipate. Knowing, for the first time, the overwhelming love and responsibility a mother feels for her child made me see my own parents in a very different light. It allowed me to glimpse the sacrifices they made for my sake, and to appreciate the challenges they faced to create a family during uncertain economic times. As my understanding deepened, my gratitude for the enormous love, effort, and thought they invested in me and my brother also deepened. Motherhood has been a unifying experience, stretching across the generations, binding me to my husband and his family, fostering a sense of sisterhood with other mothers, and feeling truly united with humanity in a common effort.
Mine was a rough road to motherhood. Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at thirty-one years old, I endured two years of chemotherapy. Because my tumor was borderline “estrogen receptive,” doctors advised me to never get pregnant or, more drastically, to have a hysterectomy. Waiting for a number of years after the cancer treatments, I tried and succeeded in getting pregnant, only to experience multiple miscarriages before finally carrying my first son to term.
Arriving at the hospital on that cold February morning in Alaska, my husband and I both held our breath and kept our thoughts to ourselves, not wanting to share our fears, not trusting everything would go well. And, indeed, I needed an emergency c-section which did not go perfectly, but which did result in the birth of our 11-pound, perfectly healthy son. The unbelievable tension was broken and we were flooded by the equally unbelievable joy.
Walking back out the doors of the Anchorage hospital with our new baby, Sterling and I felt too lucky and were very apprehensive. We were sure that as we passed over the threshold, a loud voice would ring from the PA system, “Stop! Incompetent parents about to leave the building.” But we made it out, made it home, and started an entirely new journey. Our youngest son joined us five years later. And while we at least felt somewhat competent by then, his birth was an equally overwhelming emotional and physical experience.
Motherhood is a powerful community force, both individually and within communities. I have personally witnessed the role mothers can play in confronting wrongs within their societies. Argentinean mothers and grandmothers faithfully marched for years in Buenos Aires’ central plaza to find their “disappeared” children during political upheaval. Alaska native mothers took charge and challenged their communities to fight alcoholism and drug abuse. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have saved thousands of lives through their efforts to change the American culture’ s easy relationship with drunk driving.
The universality of a mother’s love and strength and dedication is evident all around us in the natural world. We witness it every year at the ospreys’ nest, every time a foal is born, and with every doe that hides its fawn from our eyes. It feels right and good to take a moment each year to honor and appreciate mothers from every species and from everywhere. Where would we all be without them?
Many of our D@D community members are mothers and grandmothers. They love sharing their experiences in a safe cyber community where they can proudly and freely post photos of their kids and grandkids. This security is one of the primary reasons that the D@D community is a subscription-based. Our subscription serves three very important purposes:
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