A Woman of Courage and Strength: A Mother's Day Tribute Part 1
This is my first attempt at ever writing a family history memoir/narrative or blogging about close family in one of my family history and genealogy blogs. It was one of the prompts for this month's Genealogy Blog Party at Elizabeth Swanay O'Neal's Heart of the Family and being another Mother's Day without my mom, whom I miss dearly, that inspired me.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about or miss my mom, so for this Mother's Day, I thought I'd celebrate my mom with some of my memories of her and a little bit about her life. This is a Family History Memoir of my mom, a courageous woman who tried her best to escape the pain of her traumatic childhood and live her life as normal as possible.
Gleams of Light through the Trauma:
My mom was born in 1948 in Massillon, Ohio and raised by her stepfather and her mother. She had 3 younger brothers who had all predeceased her before she had passed in 2019.
She came out to California with her family when she was almost 16, in about 1963, and this would finally be her chance at a new life and to escape her painful childhood.
It was here that she met and married my father, in 1965, and had my sister and me. They divorced before I was born, which I hadn’t known until I started my family genealogy. She then had my brother.
In 1971, her family went back to Ohio after the tragic death of her oldest brother, while she remained here with her new family. Out of a tragic event, came an unexpected light of hope through the disconnection with her family.
In 1972 she met my dad, when I was 3 ½, giving her another glimmer of hope and a chance at happiness and normalcy. They later divorced in my teenage years, but they still had remained good friends, up until the end.
Without going into the details of my mom’s extremely traumatic childhood, out of respect, I can say that she was a strong, courageous woman to try to live a life of normalcy as best as she could, while also trying to block the flashbacks that forever haunted her.
An Escape to Get Her Through the Tough Times:
My mom loved Ice skating and got her first pair of skates from her mom when she was 11 years old, and she first skated on the frozen pond down the hill from her home in Ohio, but she had to keep it a secret. This was her escape from her childhood; at least for a short time each day she got to be somewhere else and forget all that she had to endure when at home. This passion helped her escape the painful memories of her injurious childhood throughout her life. She skated in numerous ice shows when I was young, and I remember practically living at the ice rinks in Burbank, Culver City, West Covina and Santa Monica. She joined the Coffee Club at the Pasadena Ice Rink and had a grand time skating and getting together with her friends there. She skated until her last year on the ice in 2006. Who would have known that one gift of a pair of ice skates would bring with them a lifetime of havens?
Connecting the Dots to Her Freckles:
Oh, a funny little memory just popped up. I remember practically living at Santa Monica Beach when I was young; we were there every single day in the summers because not only did she love the beach, but she insisted that eventually she would get a tan, but only ever connected the dots to her freckles. :)
Stay tuned for Part 2 in this month long memoir celebrating my mom, for a Mother's Day tribute
Blessed by More Gifts of Passion to Help See Her Through, The Turning Point, and more
All photos are copyright protected and are owned by me and may not be downloaded, screenshot, or saved in any other way without my explicit permission
5/10/2022 05:17:10 am
Congratulations, this is an excellent start to memoir writing about family history. I’m so glad you’re continuing this as a series. Looking forward to future pose. Also, I wonder if your mom ever appeared in the newspapers as a result of her skating. That might make a nice addition to her story if you find some clips :-)
5/10/2022 06:32:55 am
Thank you! I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately, and I thought I'd give her a little tribute. :)
5/28/2022 08:52:36 am
What a strong woman your mother was! Quite an insightful and loving tribute to her.
5/28/2022 08:56:37 am
Thank you so much! Yes, she was a strong woman; I had more insight into just how strong she was after her passing, when I was able to read her private journals. :)
5/29/2022 04:23:44 am
What a lovely story, such a great gift to the next generation. I love to read about people who make a go of things inspite of the hardships they might find themselves in.
5/29/2022 05:13:02 am
Thank you! Yes, I hope my children will be able to pass this glimpse into their grandmother's life on to their children and so on, along with our other family histories and genealogies. :)
5/29/2022 09:13:11 am
What a heartfelt tribute to your mother and I love your photos, too. The photo at the top of your post shows her to be a beautiful woman.
5/29/2022 09:22:23 am
Thank you! She never thought so, but yes, she was! :)
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