Saturday, June 7, 2008

Before the Quirks

As I reflected on the aspects of Marcie that made her so unique, I realized that I would not be giving a whole or complete view of her without extolling some of the things I admired about her.

Quirks and unique eccentricities and creative things are all things we enjoyed. But what we sometimes overlook are those aspects of people which define their person.

Marcie was a mother. She did not have children, nor did she want them. But understanding her meant knowing what she did, and what she did was take care of people.

Marcie provided everyone she cared for with love. It was not always the unconditional acceptance they wanted from her, but it was love nonetheless. She underwent much for family and friends, put herself out when necessary and generally wrapped us all in blanket of her beneficence.

Marcie transformed the way I thought of mothers and the function of mothering itself. In my own experience, there were few positive models to build a view of mothers. Those I had were flawed in ways that had somehow harmed me or caused disdain.

My own had left when I was turning nine to essentially run around with criminals. I knew many "can't wait until they are 18" types who smacked me as more inconvenienced than happy about their motherhood.

In foster care, I met single mothers, some of whom became welfare mothers, some of whom would desperately cling to the nearest man who would look at them. Divorce and inconstancy of heart was everywhere and broken children the norm for me.

Foster mothers? We won't even go there. Suffice to say that in the 1980s, there was a shortage of them and the business end of it all was good, and they knew it.

Mothers weren't doing too well in my book.

Marcie and I had a very good relationship on a lot of levels. But what swayed me, so very opposed early on to marriage, to decide I could marry her was that she took care of me as much like a mother as she did a lover.

Don't get me wrong here. She was not my mother by any measure. But she illustrated a better and more motherly aspect in her relationships, including ours, than most women I had known in lie.

She had a lot of practice at it, and I am making a list of the weight she carried in her life, as mother to all, even her own.

I will post that in detail, then something closer to her and me afterward before we explore her quirks, starting with her characters.