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Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Mother's Day

I am just about never at a loss for words. But I honestly don't quite know what to say here. I guess I'll just jump right in.

This is my mother, holding me. If you think she looks young, you're right. She was only 17 when I was born, 18 in this photograph. It's a wee little photo, about 2.25x2.00 inches. I scanned it at a very high resolution so I would at least have a chance it would be easy to look at. Below is the entire photograph, but I couldn't resist a little artsy-fartsy treatment, evidenced by the crop, above.

This photograph is the only one I have of the two of us together.

My mother was born on November 10, 1940. When she was just 16, her boyfriend 20, they eloped from Vancouver down to Nevada to get married. Her name, before she married Norman Severud, my father, was Diane Chapell. I spent years believing it was spelled Chapel, but when I finally obtained a copy of my birth records a few years ago, I saw that I had been mistaken. I know you're wondering how I could not know the spelling of my mother's maiden name. Good question. It's complicated. My stars, it's sooo complicated. I am not an orphan, I am not adopted; my parents were husband and wife when I was born (Lenore Darcel Severud, in case you were wondering). But, when I was just a wee young thing, not even two, yet to have a memory of my mother, my parents separated, subsequently divorcing, and my father did everything in his power to keep custody of me and prevent my mother from having any visitation. Why? Again, it's complicated. He was successful. And it was wrong, very wrong ... but that's way too complicated (there's that word again) and detailed to go into.

I'm sorry, that comes across as a bit of a teaser, doesn't it? I'm just not willing to go into more. Not right now, anyway. I wasn't even going to post this photo, make these comments. But it is Mother's Day and even though I don't know her, I do have a mother. Somewhere. And I want to acknowledge that.

Please don't think this day is depressing for me and that I'm having a pity party. Far from it. Long ago I gave up trying to analyze what happened all those years ago; I know that everyone involved had their weaknesses and I understand that. So, no worries. For me, Mother's Day always revolves around my own son and, of course, my mother-in-law. But the captain's mom is cruising the Panama Canal right now, so this year Mother's Day means dinner at home with my son and his girlfriend, with the captain grilling up sausages and burgers. And cake. I've asked for cake for dessert.

So Happy Mother's Day to my beloved paternal grandmother Vivian, who died in 1977, to my other grandmother, whose name I don't know, to my mother-in-law Margaret, and Happy Mother's Day, Diane. And Happy Mother's Day to all of you too!

1 comment:

Susan Williamson said...

What I find interesting about your blog is that both the visuals and the text are always uplifting. Thank you for sharing the story about your mother. She has obviously contributed to the fascinating person you've turned out to be. Happy Mother's Day Lenore.

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