sister mothers and the gravity of mother energy

by rebecca on May 11, 2011

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          I’m bringing this post back from last year. It’s still Mother’s Day at my house because I feel the gifts of sister-mothers. I’m a little overwhelmed with 2 graduations in my home: my own and my daughter’s. So when a new friend, Marcia, said, “Let me help you plan her party,” I felt a genuine hug of nurturance.

          Also, Mama Om came to me this week with this post, encouraging me choose the people with whom I connect. This is a radical message for me. I’m still discovering why. I get lonely not just for my mother, but for Mother: an ultimate care-taking energy. I think it’s too much to expect it to come from one person. I have found, instead a posse of sisters to flood my life with a gravity of care.

          Read on.

          Sister Mothers are my altared space today. It’s Mother’s Day and I want to thank all the women who provide nurturance in my life. There are a multitude of you.

          I’ve been keenly aware this week of motherly sustenance. My own mother has been gone now for twelve years. That sounds like a long time. Why on earth did it hit so hard this week of all weeks? Three times I’ve buckled thinking how nice it would be to pick up the phone and talk with her, or sit in the same room with her.

          But I am surrounded by women who are kind and offer a barrage of care.

          My mother was a quilter. Consequently I regularly see the world through the metaphor of little pieces sewn together. Women lead busy lives, but they always manage to fit in the important stuff. They take care of children, work at jobs and various community projects. When there has been a flood, a fire or a hospitalization in my life it has been women who bring towels to clean up the mess and food to feed the hungry in my household.

          It is more than merely caring for my basic needs, however. My Sister-Mothers have challenged me to begin to read again when I forgot how import that was. They taught me to ski, practice yoga or kept me company on countless walks. They sent me boxes of paper scraps in the mail because women notice when you love something.

          I have a Sister-Mother who is my technology wizard and several who inspire me because they are such great business women. I have my mommy circle and my you-were-a-person-before-you-were-a-mommy circle as well.

          I know how badly I want a mommy at times. Growing up, while often exhilarating, can also be the pits. Far from the glamorous thing I thought it was at age eleven, the weight of responsibility is often much heavier than I care to lift alone. Having all these women in my life makes my load seem so much lighter. It’s the company; the companionship that makes the day seem filled with flowers.

          From all the fabric swatches my mother and I collected she taught me to make a quilt. From the variety of ways my Sister-Mothers teach me to live I’m learning to piece together a life.

          With my morning cup of coffee I toast to you, women of mine. You feed me. You teach me to garden. You talk with me about dogs and yarn and how to cut my hair. I would have no quilt without all of you. Thank you for making my Mother’s Day complete! Thank you most of all for teaching me how to be a mother to myself.

         Do you have any Sister-Mothers? How do they help you help you extend the fabric of your life?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

TheKitchenWitch May 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

Sister-mother. What a wonderful concept. I want one 🙂


rachel May 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

sister-mothers. a word, finally, for what i am looking for.

i think i forget to remember to quilt, seeking some perfect whole and sulking when it can’t be found.

again, a path. as always, gratitude.


rebecca May 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Isn’t it true that we needed this word? There’s so much nurturing that goes on between women, older than us, younger… we’re all mothering one another.


Stacia May 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Friends who knew me before I was a mother … You’ve got me wondering whether I still have any of those! Well, I suppose I do, but they’re all mothers now, too, which really changes the nature of the friendship. I just ate the last loaf of meat loaf one of my best friends stocked my freezer with after my third child was born. That’s a sister-mother right there, and like you, I am so very thankful so very often.


rebecca May 15, 2011 at 8:40 am


Women who feed me take the cake for sure!


SuziCate May 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm

what a lovely concept. While I do still have my mother, she doesn’t live near. I have a sister that I am especially close to and a few sister-mothers. I am thankful for all the wonderful things in life they provide.


kris laroche June 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I love this space, Rebecca and love what you write. Thank you for creating this and being here. Love, Kris


rebecca June 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

Welcome Kris!


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