Keeping Our Mothers' Stories Alive

Several years ago my mother gave me a gift, her diary. Curled up in a chair, Earl Grey tea (my favorite) in hand, I read it from front to back. Her gift to me was a story, and it changed my relationship with her as a woman and as my mother. It also shifted my perspective on what it means to live life in love, and it inspired me to write my book, Keeping our Mother’s Stories Alive, so everyone might have the opportunity to intimately know details about the person who mothered them.

Originally written for her mother and father to share her journey to America in 1946, where on January 22nd she joined her new husband, my father, Arthur. Her diary has become a way to leave her legacy for future generations in our family to enjoy.

While I was set to breeze through the pages, the opening page caused me to stop and feel the words in my heart, and read more slowly, and with greater curiosity.

As my mother Jeanne described, her diary was a book, a record of interesting events in the life of Jeanne De Omar Bender. Events in the life of a child whose father, Frederick William Ballard, and mother, Queenie De Omar Ballard, gave life to her on October 6, 1924 at Wembley. Christened at Seer Green to godparent, Dorothy Ballard, my mother’s story was just beginning for me and I wanted more.

The pages were filled with snip-it life events of a young woman leaving her home in London to start a new life in America. Pictures, letters and post cards, some of which that my dad had sent to his mother were included, giving me a peek into who my dad was as a young man in love with my mom.

My favorite postcard from my dad read, 

Dearest Mother and Dad…Going to miss you both, but will be thinking of you on this important day of your son’s life. Just want to thank you for the wonderful life you have given me. I hope that I can make my marriage as successful as your’s and Dad’s. We both send our love to you and regret not being able to see you at our wedding.

Your Loving Son,

Arthur

August 16, 1944

I believe stories and myths are valuable in reawakening a connection to what once was. They remind us to dream, create and to live the life our heart and soul desires.

I hope this book will provide people with the space to honor the story of all mothers, whether they be a man, woman, sister, foster or step parent, neighbor or grandparent, keeping their stories alive will allow future generations something of great value.

If you want to know more about your own mother you will love my book, as it will guide you to ask questions to learn about their story, and guide you in a simple process to write their story, leaving a legacy for you and others in your family to enjoy.

My mom and dad instilled in me a profound desire to love and express love. As a couple, they taught me to live my dream, and to move beyond a family of origin to include a larger spiritual family. I can hear their words and feel them in my heart, “It’s okay honey, do what you need to do, believe in yourself, and believe in love.”

Their life, their love, taught me well and everyday I give thanks for the life they have given to me.

No matter what form your mother came to you in, know that the love of a mother is deeply ingrained in the collective and human psyche. It is immortal and has the ability to make lives better.

We are all on the road to becoming ancestors. It is our birthright and spiritual work to keep our stories alive.

View Book Here.

By: Debbie Rosas, Nia Founder & Creator