Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The MATRIARCHS ... Grandma and Mother

One dictionary definition of MATRIARCH is: “a mother who rules her family or tribe; ...a woman holding the position analogous to that of a patriarch.”

That would certainly apply to the two women in the pictures. They are my maternal grandmother and her daughter, my mother. They both outlived their husbands and “ruled” well in to their 90’s.

I could relate many tales of their strength and wisdom over the years. They were, to my mind, the type of women who fit perfectly into the role of the matriarch. It was a great comfort to be able to pick up the phone and call Mother, knowing that her advice would always be there for me, for life-shattering moments or just to be reminded of the ingredients for a favorite recipe.

And now I AM THE MATRIARCH and it always takes me by surprise when I think of it this way. I don’t know about the rest of you women out there but my insides definitely don’t match my exterior. Gray hair, a college degree and 75 years of experience don’t wipe away the little girl that dwells within. I still want to be reassured by my mother that “all will be OK”.

In 1950 there was a wonderful TV show that was based on the best selling book by Kathryn Forbes, called “Mama’s Bank Account”. Mama was determined that her children would grow up secure and well educated despite the fact that they were always just one step away from “the wolf at the door”.

However, she always had her bank account and she would assure them that it would be there as a last resort. It carried them through many rough spots and it wasn’t until after Mama died that the family came to realize that her “bank account” did not exist ... at least not in the form of money.

As the matriarch of my own little kingdom I will try to keep her resourcefulness in mind. I hope my three children will always come to me for aid and comfort and to someday realize that I did the best that I could ... albeit with a deception or two along the way.


Blogger kenju said...

"... Gray hair, a college degree and 75 years of experience don’t wipe away the little girl that dwells within." It is 68 for me, but I know just how you feel.

I can see the family resemblance, Ginnie, You and your mom were attractive, strong women and your character shows in your faces.

3:36 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--what complex feelings you tap into here.
When my mother died, I had this--oh no, now I am top of the ladder feeling.
But, as you indicated, there are still times when I long for her wise presence.
Being matriarch--it's a great thing to be, and I bet you're a great one.

6:42 PM  
Blogger RoyalTLady said...

Faces of determination, strong inner selves, authoritative and fine captains who towed their ships to wisdom and glory! (and that includes YOU too?

8:36 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It must be a matter of pride and comfort to know you are in a line of strong resourceful women. You mother's face is full of character as a staight forward person.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Ginnie, this post touched me. I felt that way about my grandmother. My mother was more of a friend to me than a matriarch. I can identify with the child within. I'm still a kid in so many ways.

11:11 AM  
Blogger dmmgmfm said...

Beautifully written tribute to the strong women in your family, Ginnie. I can see where you get your strength.

10:45 AM  
Blogger possum said...

How fortunate to have had good women to look up to. I was so blessed to have been raised for the first 9 years of my life by a wonderful grandmother. If there is anything good about me - she pounded it in me and I give her credit.
My Aunt Kay is the only surviving child of my grandmother, she is 87. I call her faithfully every week, sometimes a couple times a week and am soooo grateful to have her. Like you, having a degree from college, gray hair, and 65 years of experience hasn't gotten rid of that little girl who has to call her auntie every so often. Think I will do that now...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Ginnie: RE: your comment on my blog. Your must upgrade your computer so you can access videos. There is increasingly more interesting information on videos on the Internet.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

What a great story. I would hope my children will also come to me openly or avdvice and comfort whenever they need it. :)

4:29 PM  
Blogger Bud said...

Ginny, trust me, you ain't no matriarch by my definition....you are soooo with it!!

2:43 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I'm sure you are a much loved and appreciated matriarch, even with your mild deceptions.

7:48 PM  

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