Monday, February 27, 2012

An Open Letter To Phinnaeus And Marigold...

Dear Phinnaeus and Marigold, this is a picture of your mother, taken when she graduated from high school, and she was not much older than you are now. She will probably be upset with me for putting her picture on my blog, but I wanted you to see who she is.  She graduated at the top of her class, by the way. In fact, she was at the top of her class all the way from grade one until she graduated from university with her Master's degree. She won numerous scholarships, including one of the most prestigious scholarships her university offers, and she was highly respected by her professors and her peers.  Your mother is not only very intelligent, but she is very, very funny with a wonderful sense of humour.  Everyone loves her sense of humour.  Someone once suggested your mother should have her laugh tape-recorded, and the recording played for people when they are feeling sad.

Phinnaeus and Marigold, you should know that one of the most interesting things about your mother is that she walks to the beat of a different drummer. The expression comes from a quote by Henry David Thoreau, "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away." Basically, it means that you cannot make your mother into something that she is not. People have tried. It doesn't work. She has tried, and it just frustrates her. She will never be ordinary. Gambie recognized that fact when your mother was just a little girl. She has inherited the DNA of all the unique, unconventional and slightly eccentric people in our family tree.

You may never understand or appreciate how lucky you are, Phinnaeus and Marigold.  Your mother was never the type of woman who was concerned about "yellow waxy buildup" on her kitchen floor, or whose only perspective on life was the view from her kitchen sink.  There are people who wanted nothing more than that from her, and it made her very angry and almost killed her spirit.

Your mother is the person who has taught you about art and literature and music and travel and history and science and philosophy, and so much more.  You have no idea how fortunate you are to have had that experience from such a knowledgeable, well-educated person.  Your mother is the person who has sparked your intellectual curiosity and encouraged you to follow your talents, and for that you should be grateful.    There is a huge world out there with all sorts of people, and you have to accept people as they are, and not make the mistake of trying to turn them into something you think they should be.  Accept their eccentricities; because those are what make them interesting.  You are both on the edge of adulthood, and you are still not yet old enough to realize what an amazing person your mother is, but one day you will, and you will be very proud of her.  I guarantee it.

Love, Oma

13 comments:

joanne said...

very beautiful post Oma. I've never known a true redhead that wasn't brilliant in her own eccentric way...a rare beauty indeed.

Wish I had someone in my life to write me a wonderful letter like that when i was in my teens!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

She is beautiful, and looks and sounds a lot like you. She is also very fortunate that you have her back because it is very hard to be the mother of adolescents who are not able to see her through their own need to individuate. Hopefully, with your help, one day they will.

Firefly said...

I can see the family resemblance between her and your profile pic

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Honey you have wrote a very lovely open letter and how sweet of you to care so deeply for them to do so.
Sounds like a person we would all want to surrounded by and be.
Have a wonderful week
Love
Maggie

Russell said...

I am not big on using a blog to convey a personal message ... but this is a worthy exception to the rule.

I have known you for several years and can attest that you have unbounded love for your daughter and grandchildren.

I do not know them other than what you have told me about them, but they all sound like very special people.

And, yes, I have gotten the impression your daughter is her own person and, as you said, not concerned about the kitchen floor. She is a person with great creativity and talents.

Often such people do march to the beat of their own drummer and for good reason -- the beat of the drummer for other people is too slow or too predictible or too boring.

If you daughter is half the person you are, she is a remarkable person.

And she is lucky to have YOU in her life, too. Let's not lose sight of that somewhat important fact (!).

Whitney Lee said...

This is beautiful and likely timely as they are at an age where conformity is the norm. What strikes me is how fortunate she is to have a parent who understands these lovely traits and celebrates her for who she is. That is so difficult for some parents to do. Mine were always wonderful at that as well, and I do not have words to express how much that meant to me.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

What a wonderful tribute to your daughter. They may not appreciate these words today, but they will treasure them one day.

lgsquirrel said...

This is a wonderful gift to both your daughter and grandchildren. I hope they also appreciate you for being such a positive, supportive and affirming Oma.

KrippledWarrior said...

Thank you for sharing such a touching moment of yourself, your daughter and your progeny.

Arley said...

That was very sweet Jo! Though I wonder why you posted it here, for all of us to read as well. A very bold move. That's what I love about you!!!

Pauline said...

Such a beautiful love letter!

Sextant said...

This post just drips with bias.

As it should. Lovely post and your daughter is fortunate to have a loving and caring mother.

Paula Slade said...

Beautiful post reflecting a circle of love and understanding.