It was good timing that I finished Maya Angleou's newest memoir, Mom & Me & Mom on Mother's Day. Maya Angelou has lived an extraordinary life, and her mother was an extraordinary woman. I missed the lyricism of Angelou's other works, but I did love some of the things she said about mothers. One story she told was being on a movie set in Stockholm because she had written a screenplay. The star of the movie didn't want Maya on the set because she made her feel uncomfortable and she began to be treated badly. Distressed, she called her mother and asked her to come. She did. Her mother stayed with her in a sublet apartment, shopped with her, cooked for her, and entertained the people on the set. Slowly but surely, Maya was treated better by the actors and crew members. What she realized was that they came to treat her better because of her mother. Her mother spoke highly of Maya and supporter her. "She had my back, supported me. This is the role of the mother, and in that visit I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known." She continues by saying that her mother shed "her protective love down around me and without knowing why people sensed that I had value." I loved that. It made me think of my mom. She's my biggest cheerleader and fan. I can tell her things about myself and my accomplishments without worrying that I might be bragging or that I might fail. That my dreams have been realized or need to be altered. I know she'll cheer me on no matter what. Thank you, Mom, for always standing in the gap. For helping me feel valued and valuable. I love you. Happy Mother's Day!
Easter 1968 in our apartment in Cincinnati
August 2013 at Debbie Macomber's Fan Retreat in Nashville