Traditionally, most of us have only one Mom. But, like Modern Family, mom status has expanded to differentiate biologic, adoptive, step, surrogate, foster, and relative in this fundamental role. There could even be a case made for a close neighbor, or church-affiliated nurturer.
Society is enlightened about these evolved caregiving roles. A look at the Mother’s Day card selection reinforces that understanding with special cards that begin: “I loved you as a mother,” or “While not my mom, you gave me your love,” or “Please know you provided the encouragement and love of a mom.”
Back in the day and outside of heavily populated areas caregiver roles were less regimented. A family took in one of their loosely related kin without much fanfare, or maybe the care was given by a concerned neighbor. Leyla Jo Piper experienced personal family upheaval without missing a beat. Kind, “Aunt” Beatrice smoothed history with love and wisdom.
“… Aunt Beatrice, holds her small hands together tightly in hers and looks into Leyla Jo’s eyes. She looks back into Aunt Beatrice’s brown, sun-wrinkled face and knows something’s happened, something she doesn’t understand. The dear old woman tells her, momma won’t be back, never mind a father gone long before.
“Will anyone come for me?” Leyla Jo asks.
… Aunt Beatrice takes a small round basket made of coiled dried pine needles and places it into her small hands. Leyla Jo knows she is being given a treasure, even then, and recognizes it’s a connection, a link to another time. Aunt Beatrice hastily wipes away tears, the only tears she remembers the dear old woman shedding, then Aunt Beatrice pulls her protectively into her arms. The summer sun edges down behind the pine-covered foothills of RobesonCounty. That night, Leyla Jo’s small makeshift bed tucked next to Aunt Beatrice’s room, becomes comfortably permanent. She loves the safety its warm pinecone patchwork quilt provides.”
Moms are so special! The role of Mothers and preservation of family is a recurring theme in Nardi Point. Happy Mother’s Day!