Monday, May 12, 2008

My superhero

I really should have posted this on Sunday (in honor of Mother's Day), but damn, have I been a sick puppy. Now that I am feeling human, here is my late Mother's Day dedication to Julie (hi Mom), who passed away eight years ago. She told me this story when I was a teenager.

First of all, Julia Mary was not an ordinary woman. She was the type of woman who said, "I'm going to marry that guy," at age 16 after only her second date with my father, and got him. She declared that she was having "two daughters, five years apart," before even trying to get pregnant, and did exactly that. She had the sixth sense; I believe it, although I feel silly even typing it. Her dreams were premonitions and she could read people in seconds. She's also the main reason that I've never felt a disconnect between femininity and strength; she ran an immaculate household, worked part time and raised two kids while nursing an almost pathological lipstick obsession. When I was little, I would walk up and down the upstairs hallway to get glimpses of her putting her hair in hot rollers, curling her eyelashes or applying perfume. My mother never had a hair out of place, but you did not mess with that woman. She laughed loud and often, but she never minced words. She knew how to get what she wanted, and woe betide you if you were the one who blocked her way.

Now for the story: apparently, when she was pregnant with me, she started bleeding towards the end of her first trimester. I was her first baby, and she was bleeding pretty badly. She wound up in the hospital, sobbing as her doctor told her that she would most likely lose me. Miscarriages are very common during first pregnancies, particularly during the first trimester.

My dad tried to comfort her. "Jule, it's not the end of the world. We can have another baby," he said.

My mother wouldn't hear it. "I want this one," she declared (repeatedly) to everyone who would listen.

Somehow, through a divine act or my mother's sheer determination, the bleeding stopped. Her doctor told her that he'd give her an ultrasound after letting her rest up for a bit. He cautioned her not to be too optimistic, as he was fairly certain that she had miscarried. Mom still wouldn't hear it; she was having her baby, this baby.

She was right; the ultrasound proved I was still in there, and comfy too, thanks very much. The rest of the pregnancy was fine, as I recall - until the labor, which came two weeks late. Sorry about that, Mom. I'm still very hard to move once I've gotten comfortable.

Thanks, Julie, wherever you are, for willing me into existence (yes, Dad had plenty to do with it, but I'm saving that post for June). Thanks for believing that I was irreplaceable, way before you could have had any idea what I would become. Thanks for reminding me of my prenatal tenacity in moments when I felt low. Thanks to you, I'm also a dab hand with an eyelash curler.

Most of all, thanks for pumping your steely determination directly into my DNA that day. It has come in very handy many times since then.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had the best mom ever. She gave such great advice and always made me laugh. I loved her like a mom.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Thanks suziQ, she loved you, too.

7:03 PM  

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