Thanks and gratitude to my biological mother, Irene, who singlehandedly, when it came to all the work of raising children, (two sets of twins and one single), and the work around the house, did it all because she was of that generation. It’s exhausting just trying to imagine how she fed us, clothed us, socialized us and put up with her five children of such varying ages on a daily basis.
To my eldest sister, Heather, who died in 1991, and whose warmth to a younger sister, 13 years younger, was communicated to me in the way she’d stroke the top of my head sometimes when I entered a room. She did quite a few mom things that my mother didn’t such as choosing the most dainty, pearl stud earrings when she took me to get my ears pierced at 13 and taking me “downtown” on a special shopping/lunch outing when I was seven and she was 20.
To my best friend’s mother, Toni (Tomoko), when I was growing up who felt in some ways like a second mother and who exposed me to Japanese-Canadian culture and made me aware of, interested in, and respectful of the experience of “the other” and to help me recognize that quiet strength in adversity builds even greater strength.
To women who have felt to me like my emotional mothers. My friend Anne who has always treated me like a queen, even bringing me tea in bed while staying at one of her many beautiful abodes over the years (and to her husband, Bob, who is our sommelier and cook during my visits).
To Pauline on Salt Spring, who has the mothering qualities of providing a listening ear, culinary prowess, and humour that can always lighten me when I’m feeling bereft.
To Marjorie, also on Salt Spring, who for 18 months let me occupy the cabin that her grandfather built more than 40 years ago helping me fulfill a dream of living in a cabin near the ocean, and who was always a comfort on sunny afternoons during conversations in her back solarium, her cat Duchess never far away.
To my former psychiatrist, Leila, who tried through example to help me to mother myself and how showing acceptance can come through something as simple as a beautiful smile from one human being to another.
To all the women I have met in my life, become friends with, and those who I am still friends with because women have been the foremost characters in my life, each sharing their unique qualities of caring, then and now.
And to even a few men, who were loving examples of how familial titles aren’t really relevant when it comes to being able to show loving kindness towards another and letting them know that they’re very special.