• Nora Walsh Kerr

Motherland



"A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness, he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme."

- from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe


A recent family used this passage in their dedication for a book on their mother. It was a perfect tribute and kick off for the book, a story of someone both strong and nurturing, opinionated and receptive. It was Mom's story in her words, but not before her kids could share their thoughts on her first; she was a constant, steady presence. a supportive wife and partner to her husband. She is Mom and she is supreme, indeed!


As a mother and daughter myself, I think a lot about motherhood, especially at this time of year. What does it mean to be a mother? How does it feel to be mothered by someone? Of the 100+ stories of Mom we've heard over the last few years, no two stories are alike. We all have difference experiences to draw upon. Some of us become our mothers and some rebel against it. For those of us with kids, nieces/nephews, or other little people in our lives, we have the chance to either emulate what we loved about our moms or redefine what motherhood means to the next generation. Inspired by the passage above, I hope to be seen as a type of Motherland--to be a person and place my children feel they can always come back to, no matter what age, when times are tough.


Some questions to consider and perhaps inspire a life story:


How do or will you remember Mom?

Was Mom a safe place to land?

Was Mom a best friend and confidant?

Was Mom complicated and challenging?

How has your relationship with Mom changed through the years?


To the moms still in the thick of parenting and to those who live on in our life stories, Happy Mother's Day.