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June 02, 2009



This is a truly beautiful memoir of your mother. I treasure the friendship I share with my own mother and all she still teaches me.

Your mother would be so proud of you-you are an amazing person.

Lori Lyn

So lovely, Becky! I can't wait to meet your mom. In the meantime, I enjoy learning about her and learning from her from you and the sibs. Thank you so much for sharing this.


I think it's wonderful that years after her passing, you get to have conversations with your mother! Even though she's not here, you have that information that was her guarded, private self. What a gift she left you!

What a beautiful story. How I love your mother through her honesty and deeply appreciate you for encapsulating this memory.

I loved what you wrote here Becky. Your honesty allows other women to examine and then express their own experiences of trying to measure up.
I would like to explore more thoroughly what made your mother feel stifled. Bored? What would she have liked to have done? Do you have some insights on that? Did her role as a mother and wife eclipse her self-exploration?

Thank you for sharing this. I love that our mothers can still teach us such valuable things even when they are no longer here in person. It's such a blessing.

I love how you have figured out that you do not have to walk in anyone's shadow and have found your own self. A great lesson for everyone.

You have a sweet spirit and your mother is so proud.



What a wonderful essay and tribute to your mother. I find it amazing how being a mother myself makes me appreciate the small things my Mom did each day to make our lives happier, more enjoyable, and to make use feel special. Thanks for sharing this.


I do think my mom's feeling of being "stifled" had to do with motherhood consuming so much of her time that it was hard for her to find time for nourishing herself. Around '84 she started taking a needlepoint class at a local shop one night/wk, and enjoyed making beautiful things while socializing with the women there. I think creativity plus socializing was really good for my mom. I spoke with the shop owner recently b/c I had her stuff one of my mom's final projects and the shop owner still fondly remembered my mom. She even offered to finish any projects my mom left behind.
She was constantly reminding herself of the importance of her role as a mother...the daily rewards were so few that it was easy for her to feel like she didn't offer much. I think seeing my oldest sister start her family- the 1st grandbaby ('90)- helped my mom see the fruits of her labors. (The picture of her grandbaby that she shared to introduce her friends to her 1st grandbaby was poster-size)
When my mom was sick ('91-'92) the only thing that mattered to her was her relationship with her family and her family's well-being. I don't think she left as unfulfilled as she felt back in the '80's. Those years filled with changing diapers, runny noses, the roller coaster pregnancy hormones, and so much physical sacrifice were hard.


This post made me cry. Your mom seems like such a lovely and brave person. It makes me sad that she compared herself to a friend and then felt negatively about herself. How we need to build each other up! This is why I love Whitney and her Dare to Dream blog. She is just so positive and encouraging. Oh, and I love, love, love Wayne's comment, "What is tole painting?" Here he had grown up surrounded by all that crafty stuff, but really paid no attention to it--maybe the absent-minded scientist in him?! He really was choosing you for you! I'd love to read more about your mom--are you planning to write a full history of her life? Thanks for such a great post!

Rebecca, what a wonderful opportunity you have to view your mother in her own words. Often when our mom's are here other things cloud the true perspective of a person. Grateful for sharing your story!

Your mom had a way with words - "the caboose of heaven" and so do you! By the way, I have no clue what tole painting is. But I can make a mean chicken pot pie...


Thank you for posting - I loved learning a new side of you!

I wonder, in our new world of blogging, is this our new form of journaling? And if so, becuase it is so public, how direct/revealing our we - or do we sugar coat it?

I know there are times I am selective of my word choices and other times I let my emotions be exposed but would I do the same if it were a private commentary versus public...

Thank you for being so honest and sharing your thoughts.


A wonderful post, Rebecca. Just beautiful. A thought of yours that resonated with me: "What a relief it is to finally know that I don't exist to fit another person's mold"

Becky, I love what you are doing with your Mom's story; it will become a cherished gift as your children come to know her through your eyes and your words.
Wonderful,and beautifully written.

Rebecca - Have you considered developing her journal (with family permission, of course) and your commentary into a book proposal for a publisher?

Seems like this message would be so welcome and needed in the larger public. Think big!

Oh, how I miss your mother!! Thank you for sharing this Becky and thanks for making me cry! In my eye's your mother was an amazing women. She was always ALWAYS so cheerful, loving, kind and generous! Your mothers salad, I forgot what it is called but it has walnuts in it, well this is famous with our family! I always thought your mother was a great cook too! Ok, I need that recipe from Gail, my husband would LOVE it! I am going to try that strawberry pie too!

Tonight at book club, we were discussing you new younger mothers. You all seem so much more honest and balanced then we were at your stage. Being connected to the internet certainly has opened some opportunities for networking and communicating that broaden your experience. I admire your determination to keep things balanced and yet devoted to motherhood.

Rebecca, when my younger sister was dying with cancer, she too found solace and satisfaction in her family. She didn't want to be with anyone else nor waste time on things that just didn't seem that important anymore. Holding her first grandchild was as important to her as it sounded like it was to your mother. The circle is full.

Oh, thank you for letting us take a peek into your heart! And what a treasure to have her journal. I think that knowing the women we respect the most have moments like this makes them "real". We can relate to that!! And yes, your mom-in-law sounds like mine - heavens, she has copyrighted craft projects. Ironically, as I've become a more proficient wife and mother, I actually see myself becoming more like her - caring more about the things around me, their aesthetic etc. She's one of my biggest biggest cheerleaders and I'm so grateful!

I'd like to think of your mother weeping in Heaven as she's reading your wonderful tribute to her. With such insightful wisdom into how it really should be, it's you she's crying about.

Wonderful essay. And thank you for sharing the strawberry pie recipe. I live down the street from a pick-your-own strawberry farm. We always have too many strawberries. I'll try this recipe.

Rebecca, that was so lovely. Sometimes I wish I could see into others' private lives when I feel insignificant or sub-par compared to them and know their struggles. It makes us all feel a little more human to know we are not the only ones. And I'm very glad I don't have to be a craftsy-extraordinaire or gourmet chef or even a fabulous decorator to be me because I'd fail miserably!

Rebecca, thank you for sharing this loving letter and this glimpse of your mother's journal. It makes me want to open up my journal and write. Perhaps one of the reasons we're urged to keep records and histories is that they have an atoning power. The honesty and worthy desires and true affections of our lives remain for those we leave behind, and perhaps the less noble parts of our nature are more easily forgiven and forgotten.

Thank you for this tender experience.

:) Love you. Love your Mom. Thanks for the memories. You are all living proof that all she did was extraordinary.
Aunt M *tears*

A "Menzie" search brought me to your website and I'm so glad it did!

Thank you for sharing your love for your mother with all of us.

God Bless you on your journey.

An Indiana "Menzie"

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  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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