About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Mom, miss you


My mother will be gone 29 years next month (June) and I still miss her every day. That's no surprise; I expected that. In the weeks that followed her passing, I was unable to sing, or even listen to, some of my favorite songs dealing with mothers. But over time (and it doesn't "get better with time," at least, not for me . . . it becomes more controllable - I have some control over when and to what degree I want to let my feeling of her absence govern my thoughts. However, on Mothers Day I am often plunged into sadness by conversations or TV programs or just out of the blue - when I can't sidestep that type of loneliness. I tend to put myself into less mother-intense situations in an effort to manage my own emotions. That may or may not be a good idea, but either way, it's helped me over the last almost 29 years. After all, I think of my mother daily and am ever grateful for how she elected to raise me and teach me those things mothers tend to insist on teaching their kids, even if they don't want the lessons.

So, I guess I dedicate this little post to the mothers who painstakingly teach their children how to tie their shoes; be able to cook basic meals; not mix colors & whites in the laundry; how to diagram sentences; how to properly use utensils; why not to run with scissors, touch hot irons, or cross the street without checking both ways; how to properly word a thank you note (and send it in an appropriate time frame); who to call for help and how to know which first responder to contact for what emergency; when to go to bed in order to get enough sleep for the next day; and so many other things . . . we all have out lists, right? 

This song is a perfect example of a situation where motherhood is more than a birthing process. While this isn't my story, I know so many for whom this is reality. Please listen to the end, and keep tissues handy. As I often do, I've pulled this song from the repertoire of Tom Paxton, who, I believe, has a song for every occasion. It was written in the 1980s and is as pertinent today as it ever was.

Happy Mothers Day, in whatever form that works best for you. 

"Mother," by Tom Paxton, (c) 1982

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