On this day more than sixty years ago, my grandmother went into labor with her first child. She and my grandfather drove their truck to the nearest small Saskatchewan town with a hospital. Unfortunately, when the doctor arrived, she smelled alcohol on his breath. And then he gave her something (ether? chloroform?) to knock her out before he delivered her baby. So it is likely that no one but a half-there doctor and a nurse actually witnessed the amazing moment that my mother was born.
Soon after her birth, my mother was "put on the bottle," my grandmother recalled. And what was the reason? Her milk didn't come in soon enough (it usually takes a few days the first time around I've learned). So my grandmother's chest was wrapped tight instead of being encouraged to nurse her baby. She told me this story of my mother's birth about ten years ago, when her memories were more lucid than now. And it is a story I treasure, shocking though it seems to me, that she endured such a rough start into motherhood.
Nevertheless, she and her newborn daughter lived on. My grandmother cherished children and had four more that after that. But it was her firstborn that grew up and became my mother. And so I celebrate my mother's life this day. My mother is someone who prays, gives generously, stays in close contact with her relatives, and is eager to help others whenever she can.
|My mom and my daughter|