Mother's Day: Loss and Gratitude
|My Mother with my Grandad, William Ellery in Brooklyn, New York, Circa 1935- 1940|
I've never spoken about my Mother, and it is still difficult to do. Mother was my best friend and staunchest supporter. Her love was boundless and strong. She loved children, and I think she would have liked to have had more than just me!
The problem is that she died much too young at the age of 46, from alcoholism. Of course, at that time is was not spoken of much, nor did we speak of the frequent, nightmarish, hospitalizations. Losing my Mother was a pain that never goes away. I miss her with every fiber of my soul - every day that I live. She would have been 84 now. I was 2 days past 21 when she died. Her loss has touched me at every turn and yet I am grateful to have had her as my mother. I think that she was too fragile for this world - too confined by the strictures of the 1950's and 60's. when women were expected to stay home . Looking back on my parents, I can see how my Mother and my Father were, at first attracted to each other. Opposites can attract. They had two very different personalties. Sometimes that can work, but in this case it sure didn't ! My father was an ambitious man, an architectural engineer. He made it well up the corporate ladder before he and my Mom split up. My Mother remarried not too long after the split - and I think that her second husband was more suited to her - he was a superior fine artist and an advertising executive. The problem with them all was alcohol - they were all alcoholics, and at that time it was socially very acceptable. No one thought twice about cocktails at lunch and more cocktails in the evening. No one thought much of drunken arguments that tainted the atmosphere of the house so often. So much promise in these three people. Promise that was impaired by drinking too much too often.
I'm not sure how I managed to escape that taint, but I think that my career in aviation, with it's constant drug tests, help to keep me away from substance abuse. I am so grateful that the gene seems to have passed me by!
My maternal grandmother was the best! She had the biggest influence on my life, especially after my Mother passed away. It was her love that really carried me through. I don't think that she ever really recovered form my Mother's death and she too died three years later . I miss her every moment of every day. Sometimes I feel as though I can still inhale her scent.
I am grateful to both my Mother and my Grandmother for their boundless love and eternal support. I am proud of them both! I just wish that they had stayed around a bit longer - selfish of me!
|Thea Elizabeth Kavanaugh Ellery 1918-1976|
This is an image I made from a circa 1924 portrait of my Grandmother.
She had rich golden auburn hair!