Category Archives: Mother’s Day

Paean to Mothers and Home

Home is increasingly important to me.  I like to go places, I’m not to the point of isolation, but I always like to get home.  If I travel, the further I go the more disconcerting and troubling I find it.  I immediately want to get back to the safe and warm confines of my simple little home with my wife, lovely dachshund Elsa, my garden, the birds, and my dear friends who live in the town.  I know this is from my childhood when the home that my mother created was the safe respite from the scary world “out there” that the first grade told me I had to learn to adjust do.  And I did learn to adjust to it but I’m now realizing, as I round third base in my life and head for “home” plate, that certainly “home is where the heart is.”

I stumbled across a notion about the importance of “home” in Greek mythology and was reminded of the emphasis of returning home in their stories, especially the story of Odysseus who was always focused on returning to the comforts of heart and home.  Furthermore, I learned that he actually tried to fake illness to avoid going on the long voyage that would lead to a long war and keep him subjected to great dangers for many years.  And, when he finally was able to head home, many were the obstacles that the fates placed in his way.

Recently I was reminded of an old hymn from my youth about the safety and security of the heavenly home which was promised as the reward for our earthly sojourn:  This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.  If heaven’s not my home, O Lord what will I do?  I think this old hymn, and the Greek myths do convey to us the unconscious duress that human experience puts on our soul and the comfort we find in “home.”  And though fathers are an essential part of making a home, an emotional dwelling place for the children, it is usually the mother who carries the brunt of this deeply important emotional/spiritual burden.  And on this Mother’s Day, I’m grateful for my dear mother, Dorothy Lucille Stough Chamness Smith who did such a fine job for which she is often rewarded by reading “Literarylew” from heaven!!!  And, if she does, I hope she doesn’t yawn and roll her eyes very often!!!


Two other blogs of mine are listed here which I invited you to check out:


Mother’s Day Thoughts

Indulge me while I think out loud. I’m trying to decide what to blather on about today…perhaps the “meaning of meaning” or the “intricacies of the time-space continuum” or even the old tried and true “How many angels can God sit on the head of a needle?” Now I spend hours and hours each day wrestling with these important issues, stopping occasionally to gaze for a few hours upon my navel which, after 62 years, is really one handsome navel! I kid you not!

But, I don’t know what is coming over me today as I want to “hold forth” about something that really matters…perhaps I took my medication today! So, well…oh, I know, mothers, as it is mother’s day!

Let me start with my beloved mother who is just into her 12th year of watching her six children from heaven, grimacing from time to time at the bad choices they make, trotting out one of her favorite expressions, “Aw shaw” after I’ve done something really stupid. But also, I’m pleased that now she has gotten the opportunity to get the education she wanted so badly when she was here on earth and just the other day she whispered to me when I was moping through the house immersed in a book, “Look yonder. The poor wretch comes reading.” Yes, she now has the wisdom of Shakespeare and can offer those words to me that Hamlet’s mother had for him.

Mother knew nothing about this aether that I swim in and I am so fortunate that she did not; for, she could not have been the good mother that she was if she had found her navel so enchanting. Under very grim circumstances of Southern red-neck poverty, she demonstrated great courage and cared for her six children and brought them all to maturity before the bitch Alzheimer’s claimed her in 2001. She was dutifully “under dad’s thumb” for the first 12 years or so of my life; but then he made a bad mistake in that he insisted that she go to work. She hated going to work and leaving her beloved children alone in the evening but she had no choice. However, she discovered that she liked working and she thrived on the job as a nurse’s aide. She thrived so much that within a decade she had acquired the status of Licensed Professional Nurse and became the administrator of the convalescent home that she had started out as a mere grunt.

It didn’t take Dad too long to see his mistake and when he did, his various interventions to stifle mom’s ambition could not succeed. He was right, articulating the hyper-conservative belief that “you better not let the women folk off the reservation.” Mother got “off the reservation” and discovered there was a world “out there” that she could find a place in and she did not have to live rest of her life “under the thumb” of my dad.

I have watched my sisters and other young women over the years get married and then suddenly they step into “motherhood.” And, I don’t mean merely that they have babies, but they magically know how to “mother” their children, intuitively feeling a connection with them and it is this “feeling” of connection that they offer that provides an existential anchor for the developing soul. And yes, it must hurt to me a mother and watch their “young’uns” grow up and make many of the same mistakes they did. And it must hurt father’s also. But, you can be impressed with me, as I avoided that mistake—-I DIDN’T HAVE CHILDREN!!!! (Now, on this final point, please remember I am pathologically ironic!)

(Btw, on Father’s Day, I hope to offer a more sympathetic note re my dad with whom I increasingly identify.)