Monday, May 30, 2011

Mother By Choice

I became a motherless child at eleven when my

 Grandmother passed on. My birth mother was there, sort of, but Mom loved

Four Roses Whiskey. It's hard for kids to compete against the lure of liquor.

I was twenty-one, not yet twenty-two when I became a mother myself. My son, a joy was born with so much hair, the nurses wrapped it around their fingers making a curl, and him look like a turnip...but a cute as a button turnip.

Twenty two months later, I became a mother again to my beautiful daughter who came out with her fists clenched and hasn't stopped letting the world know they'd better not mess with her since.

I have so many beautifully funny memories from their youth. One birthday, they were two and four I think, they decided to bake Mom a cake and serve it to Mom in bed.

I don't know why they thought they could pour water and flour into my

electric typewriter and make a cake, but what could I do when they presented me with my paste clogged typewriter beaming from

ear to ear? I grinned, stuck my finger into the goo, licked it with a

BIG smile...they forgot sugar, and gave my typewriter the proper burial rights it deserved.

My son was sixteen. He was proud he was working and had his own money to give me a special, one-of-a-kind 

Mother's Day Gift. What did he choose? He decided my car really needed a paint job...and who better to paint it than him?

Kat made me drop her off around the corner from school. No way was she letting me pull up and drop her off in front of everyone in a car that now looked like a drunk American Flag.

Once again, what was I going to do, but smile, thank him profusely and ignore the

double takes I would get driving down the road in my custom painted vehicle.

I miss those days, but I also miss having a mom of my own.

I was in a serious car accident eleven days after 9/11. No longer able to drive I was forced to accept

Para-transit for the elderly and disabled. Sometimes what seems to be the worst thing turns out to be

a miracle in the making.

Winnie is 82 years old. She survived the

London Blitz as a child, came to

America's South met and fell in love with a Black man. This amazing woman endured

raising her children in an atmosphere where her daughters could not pee in the same bathrooms she could pee in, and she could not pee in theirs. Imagine.

When I met her, her youngest daughter, almost my age, was in the final stages of

MS. In less than one year she lost one of her daughters and her son. I cannot imagine the pain of losing ONE child...two?

Yet this woman is so


generous, and

beautiful she has stepped into the role of being the mother I lost when my Grandmother died, and the Grandmother my daughter NEVER had. She is an

inspiration, and so much more.

We love you Winnie.

Thank you for being you.

And Happy Mother's Day,

Dear Heart.

Lin and Kathy

I Knew Him As A Boy...Today He's A Hero

I knew him as a boy: not a young boy, more a boy on the cusp of manhood, and I really liked what I knew.

Time, distance, and paralleled worlds took us in different directions. The boy grew up and became a man the world recognized as the hero;

I'd recognized him years earlier as so much more. In him I saw the best of his ancestry and the sculptor for the best of the future.

A hero, decorated for his courage, his wisdom, and his honor, but I saw beyond the blinding glitter of light off those many future medals...I saw the loving human being who is


generous, strong, protective, and with a core of integrity that multiplied in the years we traveled those different paths.

Eric is my brother, not through biology, at least not for me.

He does share biology with my children. He is their uncle; my brother not by birth, not even by the system of legal checks and balances, edicts and codicils. He's my brother because

I love him, the man, the father, and blessedly

the uncle he's determined to be, since I loved and liked the boy he'd been.

He's married now to the love of his life,

who confirms to me that he is equally the love of her life. The bond they share is breathtaking. He's the father of five,

two biologically, and

three from the depths of that loving core, a fountain overflowing with love and honor.

When you bring Eric's name up while talking to those children you can hear

the smiles in their voices and feel the indulgent warmth radiating from their words.

How can you not look at this picture of a big man gazing with such awe into the face of his grandchild, his big hands offering a safe and secure well for that child's unwavering sense of belonging?

A man who folds his strapping length in half so he can squat at eye level to give his young granddaughter his undivided attention?

So many years have kept us apart, my children not knowing the magic that emanates from this good man...this man who is their uncle by birth, but they did not remember...

yet when my son recently got married Eric proudly flew across the country, to stand shoulder to shoulder, beside this nephew time and circumstance had kept him from knowing until then.

You can see the joy on the faces of both these men that I love from the depths of my heart and Eric's neighbor. Don't you just love the faux coffee table between them all? Felling wood for your winter fuel can give you bonuses.

Eric brought laughter back into our lives with charm, determination, and love. How could we not laugh when he sends us picture like these? We love the striking pose Eric forms while in minus

20 degree weather

with other members of this country's Heroes in Alaska.

Eric as Laird Eric.

Eric, from his duties around the world, never fails but to send us pictures

to show us the true Eric,

the captivatingly funny man we love and respect. These pictures always make us smile and fill with pride, how could they not?

Father's Day is coming and Ret, Lt, Colonel Eric Rydbom is the kind of man that makes the rest of us honor the day that celebrates the boy I knew, the man he became, and the father figure who blankets all of us now lucky enough to claim ownership of this man as family, (And Eric, we ain't giving you back.)

Happy Father's Day to the Best Father I have ever seen in my near sixty years of life,

Love You Little Bro.

Lin (Your Big Sis.)